Ngamba Island is another magical place in Lake Victoria. Ngamba Island an area of 100 acres found in Lake Victoria lieing in the Koome chain of islands an area together with Kiimi, Nsazi, Koome, Bulago, and Damba Islands. The Island is located approximately 23 kilometers while on water southwest of Entebbe Airport. The magnificent Ngamba Island is made up of 50 different types of vegetation with 95 acres out of 100 acres are forested and the rest of the 100 acres that is the northern part of the island is relatively flat raising at an altitude of 3800 feet. 10% of the island is covered by grassland vegetation. Ngamba Island is home to approximately 40 chimpanzees who were are orphaned and some rescued and brought back to the wilderness. The increasing number of tourists flooding Ngamba island trails have been developed on the island spanning from north to west, north to south forming 50X50 blocks. The island is a home to chimpanzees, fruit bats, spiders, otters, monitor lizards and birds of approximately 120 bird species including water and forest birds including goose, a duck, grey crested cranes, shoebill Stork, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Great Blue Turaco, marabou stork, and African Green Broadbill.
Ngamba Island is full of beautiful views with sands on the shores connecting to the fresh waters of Lake Victoria making it a perfect destination for honeymoons and love birds. The island offers excellent photographic opportunities because of its clear skies. Ngamba Island experiences average temperatures of 23°C and an annual average rainfall of 890mm creating conducive conditions for touring.
Ngamba Island is divided into two sections which are separated by a large electrified fence. People living on this island are confined to a section of 40 hectares and the other section (rest of the island) is where chimpanzees are left to live free wondering to any part with no limitations or getting scared of humans. Chimpanzees are seen twice a day at 11 am and 2: 30 pm making their way from the forest to feed and this is the perfect time for tourists to view the chimpanzees.
The section of the island is referred to as Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary which is the main highlights of Ngamba Island, chimpanzee viewing in the sanctuary on this island cannot be the same as chimpanzee viewing in areas like kibale national park but it is amazing and worth your money and time as you get a close view off the chimpanzees. On this island you not only enjoy chimpanzees but also the beautiful fresh weather and beautiful scenery of island shores covered by trees. Touring Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary is always headed by a professional tour guide.
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary was established in 1998 under the management of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust) primarily to provide a safe home for confiscated orphaned chimpanzee in a natural habitant (wilderness). In the sanctuary chimpanzees live in one community peacefully thanks to successful integration methods carried out on the immediately they are rescued, integration methods are carried out so as to make the newly chimpanzees get used to living with the fellow chimpanzee in the group and new home. The integration process takes time basing on factors like age, sex, level of trauma involving 3 stages that are home.
In the sanctuary, there are many chimpanzee activities to indulge in for tourist’s entertainment which include Chimpanzee feeding, challenge the chimp critical thinking and chimp Nest preparation.
There is a caregiver experience that a tourist can engage in, this experience gives tourists the opportunity to experience the daily life of chimpanzees by being their caregiver. As a caregiver, you get a chance to participate in preparing their food and feeding the chimpanzees which are exciting. Tourists also engage in medical checkups, research monitoring, administrative work and preparing holiday areas for chimpanzees. This is meant to help tourists understand and appreciate the efforts of taking care of the orphaned chimpanzees.
Activities in Ngamba Island
Ngamba Island is an extraordinary safari destination offering breathtaking activities like:
Forest walks. This is an amazing activity which involves tourists trekking on foot through the forests enjoying the cool breeze, beautiful nature views and wildlife like birds, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards.
Fishing cruise on Lake Victoria. Fishing cruise on Lake Victoria from Ngamba Island offers an extraordinary ordinary experience as you not only take part in fishing but enjoy throwing fishnets and the calm refreshing waves of the lake. Hooking one of the world’s largest fresh water fish Nile perch on either a full day activity or a half-day activity is a delightful moment.
Sunset cruise. Sunset cruise on Ngamba Island takes place on waters of Lake Victoria taking place during the evening times purposely targeting the moment when the sun sets, it is a unique view as the sun spread different colors on the sky.
Borne fires and camping. Camping and borne fires on the island is an exhilarating experience taking place at night around lit up a fire, it helps tourists bond and gets to know more about themselves while reciting novels, singing, and dancing which is fun.
Bird watching. Bird watching in Ngamba Island is greatly enjoyed by tourists during boat cruises and nature walks both water and forest birds are spotted.
Chimpanzee experience. Chimpanzee trekking experience is the major high light in Ngamba Island taking place in the Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary, the sanctuary hosts over 44 chimpanzee individuals and many activities can be carried by the tourist, for example, chimpanzee daycare.
Ngamba Island can be reached on using a speed boat or a traditional dugout canoe from the dock in Entebbe and can take up to 40 -45 minutes sailing using a motorized boat or 90 minutes using a canoe. A tourist can also decide to use a chartered aircraft which can be got from Kajjansi airport or Entebbe airport to the island which only takes 20 minutes.