August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary is the top primate conservation center in Uganda. When the chimpanzees were being finished by the poachers, conservationists decided to create a conservation center which will protect them from the poachers. The sanctuary was opened in the year 1998 to protect the orphaned chimpanzees who were rescued from poachers, wild traffickers, zoos and other countries like Congo, Tanzania among others.

This sanctuary is located on Lake Victoria, part of the Koome island group. It is about 27 km southeast of Entebbe town lying on the mainland. This island is dominated by the grasslands that cover almost 10% of the island. Ngamba island provides shelter to other animals like spiders, fish, eagles, otters, lizards among others. 

Ngamba island started with 13 rescued primates but as we speak now the total goes up to about 52 chimpanzees. Some of the other sanctuaries that one can see are the Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary, Tchimpounga chimpanzee rehabilitation center among others. 

The Ngamba island works hand in hand with the neighboring schools and other communities to ensure the safety of the primates and wildlife conservation at large. It also works with the other wildlife conservation organizations like the Uganda Wildlife Society, Jane Goodall institute, Uganda wildlife education center, wales zoological park, International fund for animal welfare among others all whose mission is to conserve and protect wildlife at all costs.

Among the reasons why one should visit this chimpanzee sanctuary is not only to take care of these orphaned chimpanzees but also to get some knowledge and facts about these primates and the benefits of conserving them. When you visit this sanctuary, you have greatly contributed to the wellbeing of the primates at this place. 

You get a chance to see chimpanzees, feed them, look at them as they do their day to day activities as well as taking photos of the memorable moments. You can as well get to do the boat cruise, fishing, swimming and other activities that act as a relaxer to the body and mind. 

Visits to the island are divided into two sessions, the morning and the afternoon session. However, overnight sessions are also arranged under one’s request and they are a little bit costly. 

When you get to this place, you are amazed by the excellent scenery and hearing the sounds and songs from the birds will make you happy. These chimps are protected in one area and if you happen to come early, you are likely not to find them at their feeding area. But once they are through with everything, you will be able to hear sounds of the vocal cries and screams and get to see them at a close range and feel a close relationship with them. This activity is not as rewarding as chimpanzee trekking but you will experience rare moments which you might not get in the wild. 


Fishing: Fishing is an interesting and rewarding activity. The major species are Nile perch and Tilapia. You can choose to do fishing either full or half day and this will reward you with great experiences. 

Forest treks: These treks are to help individuals get to learn about different plants and animals. It is also a chance to get to encounter the chimpanzees that are allowed to walk along with the visitors.

Getting a chance to carry a chimp on your back and play with it makes you feel comfortable. The island is also home to other animals like lizards, fish eagles, spiders, fruit bats among others that are all on display for you to see. 


To reach Ngamba island, one is required to take a speed boat that is from water from the beach in Entebbe. The boats differ in sizes and each speed boat is able to take up to a total of 25 people per route. You can either choose a big or small ferry depending on your budget. You can get the boats at the Ngamba island reservation office in Entebbe or you can consult with your tour company on how to book a boat easily and they can as well book on your behalf.

Choose to travel as a group because once you travel solo you are charged highly compared to when you travel in a group. One can also choose to use a domestic flight from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport directly to the island. 

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