Ngamba Chimpanzee Tour

The sanctuary allows you to have a closer encounter with chimpanzees

3 Days Ngamba Chimpanzee Tour

This 3 days Ngamba chimpanzee tour starts and ends in Entebbe. The Ngamba Island is located 23 km from Entebbe town. The place is a home of more than 50 habituated orphanage chimpanzees that were rescued from the poachers. The sanctuary allows you to have a closer encounter with chimpanzees most especially in the caregiving experience or the chimpanzee forest walk. The nature walk in the forest enables you to observe the day-to-day lifestyle of chimpanzees in the forest as you watch them feed, play and take care of each other.

3 days Ngamba chimpanzee tour highlights

Day 1: Travel to Ngamba island
Day 2: Forest walk and chimpanzee trekking
Day 3: Transfer back to Entebbe

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Ngamba island

You will be picked by our English-speaking guide at either your hotel or Entebbe international airport who will brief you about your 3 days Ngamba chimpanzee tour. After you will drive to the waterfront club located on Lake Victoria to catch a boat to Ngamba island which is 90 minutes using a traditional motorized boat or 50 minutes using a speed boat and it’s 23kms away from Entebbe town. On arrival at the island, you will be welcomed and taken to the visitor’s center where you will be told about the history of the sanctuary. If you reach in good time you might have an opportunity to feed chimpanzees from the visitor’s raised platform area along the edge of the sanctuary fence.
You will have lunch at their restaurant since they don’t allow visitors to bring packed food and later have a visit to the neighboring communities. Dinner and overnight stay at Ngamba Island Camp
Meal plan: Lunch and dinner

Day 2: Forest walk and chimpanzee trekking

Wake up for morning breakfast and head out for briefing. After the briefing, you will go for a forest walk while looking for chimpanzees. When you meet the chimpanzees, you will have an opportunity of taking nice pictures with them. the best part of the day is when chimpanzees start pulling your clothes, hair, or even climb on you or hold your hands and move with you in the forest. You will return to the lodge for relaxation as you wait for lunch.
In the afternoon you will go for a sunset cruise on Lake Victoria and this takes about an hour. You will be able to see the sunset, the lake islands, birds, fishing grounds, landforms, birds, aquatic animals as the sun goes down. You will return to your lodge have dinner and an overnight stay at Ngamba Island Camp
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Transfer back to Entebbe

After enjoying a relaxed breakfast, board a speed boat or a motorized boat to the main island, on your way you can have a stopover at the equator for photos and swimming. Later proceed to the mainland where you will meet your driver-guide for a transfer back to Entebbe city or Entebbe international airport to end your 3 days Ngamba chimpanzee tour.
Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch

Tour includes
Service of the English-speaking guide
Accommodation and meals
Drinking water
Entrance fee

Tour excludes
International flight
Personal expenses

The cost of visiting Ngamba Island

Half day tour to Ngamba Island with a speeding boat goes for USD 115 per person per day and the same tour using a local motorized boat costs USD 80 per person. Children below 5 years of age pay nothing but the teenagers pay half the price of adults. If yiu want to act as a care giver for the day experience, you must pay USD 200 and this is only available to those that spend a night or two at the island.

What to do at Ngamba Island

Caregiver for day experience:  This opportunity is given to tourists that spend a night or town in the island and it costs USD 200. This activity is put in place to give tourists chances to know what caregivers go through to make chimpanzees happy and stay in good health. For one to qualify for this they must go through extensive medical tests and clearances. Tourists get involved in preparing foods, feeding them, cleaning chimpanzee sleeping chambers you will get involved in overall monitoring of individual chimpanzees and medical check ups

Long stay visitor program: This program is designed for those that are planning to stay in the island for some time. When you’re in this program, you engage in activities such as cleaning chimp cages, cooking chimp food, helping in construction projects at the island, treating the chimpanzees, data collection, entry and analysis.

Taking part in integration program for chimpanzee infants: One of the best things a newly rescued chimpanzee has to undergo is integration with the group already in the camp. The old members in the island may take a while to accept a new infant introduced to the island.  The amount of time a rescued chimpanzee takes to get used in the community depends on sex, age and trauma experienced. The new chimpanzee has to stay indoor facility first, live with smaller groups in the outside before joining the whole group while in the forest. The new chimpanzees live in separate enclosures for some time to protect them from being bullied the older members of the group. The visitors that engage in chimpanzee integration take the young chimpanzees in the forest for a walk while holding their hands and if they tired they carry them on their backs.

Forest walk: A forest walk at Ngamba Island helps tourists to learn about animals and plants that are found on the island. It’s also a great opportunity to move around with juvenile chimpanzees that are trained to move around the forest with people. These chimpanzees behave like people, you can carry them on your back, play hide and seek. Just like human beings, chimpanzee juveniles like teasing and seeking attention. Apart from chimpanzees, Ngamba Island is a home of monitor lizards, fish eagles, otters, spiders and bats.

Fishing: Fishing at Ngamba Island is an amazing experience. The main fish species here include Nile perch and tilapia. Fishing can be done for half a day or full day but the experience remains the same as you explore Lake Victoria.

Sunset cruises: These are done in the evening hours when the sun sets.

Volunteer program-volunteering at Ngamba islands: The sanctuary has a volunteering program that targets primate lovers and those that would love to learn more about chimpanzees. Volunteer program is done for four weeks and is divided into two parts. In the first part of the program gets participants get involved in daily activities in the chimpanzee sanctuary such as preparing food, feeding the chimpanzees, data collection, cleaning chimpanzee homes, medical treatments and knowing more about general wildlife conservation. At the end of this program you will be having knowledge about these chimpanzees and the second part of volunteering involves working with field projects which help in raising awareness about the number of chimpanzees, forest and the general wildlife conservation. This part of volunteering program helps you to strengthen partnership with local institutions and individuals who are a key in the area of wildlife conservation.

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