Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of the Ssese Islands and is situated in Lake Victoria, approximately 23 kilometres south-east of Entebbe. The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of 84 Islands which are sub-divided into two main groups; the Bugala Islands and Koome Islands. Some of the other main Islands in the Koome group besides Ngamba Island include; Koome, Bulago, Damba, Nazi and Kiimi Islands. Besides being a home to the orphaned Chimpanzees, Ngamba Island is a habitat to a variety of wildlife species and plant life. The Island is a great safari holiday and wildlife tourism destination.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba IslandChimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1997 is as a project of the Chimpanzees Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) with the aim of providing a home to the over 40 orphaned Chimpanzees who lost their parents to illegal poaching.

The Island consists of approximately 100 acres, of which 98 acres are occupied by jungle forest and separated from the visitor area by an electric fence. The massive forest area is meant to provide the endangered chimps with a natural habitat where can they roam, feed and play all their days without being terrorized and hunted.

Visitors have a platform area along the edge of the sanctuary fence where they can stand and view the chimpanzees as they go about living their lives within the barriers of their safe haven. An informative talk concerning the chimpanzees is given by the diligent staff who attend to them and visitors can have a chance of seeing the chimpanzees feed especially in the morning and afternoons.

Safari adventures at Ngamba Island

Day trips and adventures

Ngamba Island has a series of adventures to engage the enthusiastic naturalist and curious tourist. There are numerous safari activities to embark on including; nature walks, kayaking, swimming, boating, birdwatching, sunbathing, visiting the neighbouring fishing villages and paying visits to the orphaned chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Sunset cruises

As the evening wanes, one of the adventures to undertake is a boat cruise on Lake Victoria to relish the breath-taking view of the setting sun. You get to sail on the lake in the gathering dusk as you watch the local fishermen mend their nets, the water birds fly over the waters, and the enthusiastic inhabitants of the surrounding villages go about their daily chores.


A safari tour to Uganda’s Ngamba Island is a chance to try your luck at catching the famous Nile Perch. The guided fishing excursion can take an entire day or just a couple of hours depending on one’s schedule and interest. Fishing is done in the designated areas on Lake Victoria and fishing equipment can be hired at measly cost.

Caregiving experience

Visiting the Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a major highlight of a safari holiday tour to Ngamba Island. While at the sanctuary, overnight visitors have the opportunity to engage in the ‘caregiver-for-a-day’ experience, a project designed to involve visitors in the duty of caring for the orphaned chimpanzees. You have a chance to actively involved in feeding the chimpanzees and preparing their meals, as well as engaging in the chimp medical check-ups and research activities.

Ngamba trail

Ngamba has approximately 95 acres of forested land which is not only a home to the orphaned chimpanzees but also abounds with numerous wildlife, plant life and ecosystems. Following the chimp trails in the forest, you get to know more about the chimpanzees, how they hunt, feed and survive in the wild. The forest jungle is also a habitat to over 120 bird species, 75,000 individual fruit bats, several months and spider species. The forest also has geological features including ancient caves.

Long visitor stay programs

Ngamba Island is one of Uganda’s tourist destinations ideal for long safari holidays. You can get to spend most of your time volunteering at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Visitors are given a chance to actively engage in taking care of the orphaned chimpanzees including assisting in medical procedures, cleaning the cages, preparing meals, typing chimp diaries, collecting behavioural data and selling in the island’s shop.

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