Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a project of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, which was founded in 1998 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a small group of pioneering leaders who saved around 13 chimps, thereby establishing Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Ngamba has developed over the years to sustain the existence of over 49 orphaned or rescued chimps from the illicit wildlife trade, making it one of Africa’s best and foremost monkey sanctuaries, offering a home to orphaned or rescued chimps who cannot return to the wild. Since their return to the wild is not possible, Ngamba Island serves as a tourism and research facility, educating tourists and local residents about the amazing species and the necessity of protecting their endangered forest environment. Ngamba Island is located in Lake Victoria, 23 kilometers southeast of Entebbe district, and covers around 100 acres, 98 of which are wooded and separated from the visitors’ area by an electric fence where the chimps wander throughout the day. Ngamba Island is an ideal secondary forest habitat for chimps and other fauna such as fruit bats, spiders, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards.
The journey to Ngamba Island begins with a meeting spot on Entebbe Lugard Avenue. Departure is a short walk from the dock, and access to the island is only via speedboat (about 50 minutes) or conventional powered boat (roughly 90 minutes). The crossing to Ngamba Island is done in two shifts: half day and full day; the half day excursion begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. While on board the boats, you are given with life jackets and rain suits. Depending on the weather, morning viewing hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and afternoon viewing hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Spending time with the chimps is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the full-day Ngamba Island tour. Visitors who visit the sanctuary for a half or full day can see the chimps from the visitor platform while listening to an interesting discourse about the chimps given by sanctuary workers. Other activities on Ngamba Island include swimming at the equator, visiting fishing towns, birdwatching, and other wildlife encounters, as well as sunbathing and relaxing on the island. Prices for visiting the island vary based on the amount of persons coming. The younger the tourist group, the lower the charge; children under the age of five are free, while those aged five to fifteen pay half the amount. These rates include a return boat journey and Ngamba Island admission fees, which vary according to habitation type.