Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Care giver for a day
Infant Integration Program
If staying on the island, guests have the opportunity to have a morning forest walk with some of the juvenile chimps. This walk allows for direct contact with the animals. You will be walking through the lush forest giving a playful chimp a piggy back ride or playing ‘hide and seek’ or ‘catch me if you can’ with these mischievous individuals. Chimps share 98% of our DNA and these young ones definitely resemble human children in their demand for attention and play. Once you start tickling one belly be sure to realize that there will be a queue for the same attention. Forest walks last one hour and there is a maximum of 4 people allowed on each walk.
Care giver for a day
This is a unique program where by visitors get the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a chimpanzee caregiver. A day will include assisting the care givers with the preparation of the chimps’ food, assisting in the feeding and viewing the feeding. You will also have the chance to participate in the activities happening at the sanctuary on that day. This could include: medical checkups, research and monitoring, preparing the holding area for the chimps and administration work, where by you can to record the chimp stories for that day. This program is aimed at helping you to understand and appreciate what it takes to look after our orphaned cousins on Ngamba Island as well as rising funds for their well being. The staff will work with you to show you just what is involved in taking care of these animals, how individual they are and what makes them so special. As a care giver you will get to meet and interact with all the chimps on the island, but direct contact is not guaranteed but is possible under the close supervision of a resident caregiver.
Infant Integration Program
On Ngamba the chimps are all living as one community, this means that any new animals need to be integrated into the group. The integration methods have been successful as most of the chimps have accepted each other and live similarly to their natural social system. The time it takes to integrate a chimp depends on a variety of factors, including: age, sex, level of trauma experienced and time spent in captivity before coming to the sanctuary.
The integration is done in 3 stages:
getting the new individual used to the new environment in the indoor facility
getting them integrated with others in smaller groups in the outside enclosure
integrating them with the main group in the forest.
Visitors can participate in the outside enclosure integration. You will be part of the team going into the enclosure with the infants. You will be able to give them support by holding them and also help to teach them that the forest is a good and safe place to live. You will be in the company of several chimps aged up to 9 years and you will have direct contact with the animals.
There are 3-day trips available for Ngamba Island
Morning – leave Entebbe at 08:30hrs and return at 13:00hrs
Afternoon – leave Entebbe at 12:30hrs and return at 17:00hrs
Full day – leave Entebbe at 08:30hrs and return at 17:00hrs
Our driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Entebbe Pier. You will be taking a speed boat, the journey is approximately 45 minutes – weather dependent! On arrival, visitors are shown to the island’s Interpretation Center where a chimpanzee caregiver will give the orientation talk. After an interesting briefing you will move to the viewing platform to observe the chimps during their supplementary feeding times. After feeding you are free to explore the island’s visitor’s area and enjoy the facilities.
A half day’s visit includes the briefing on Ngamba Island and the work they are involved in and the chance to observe the excitement and fun of one supplementary feeding time. A full day’s visit includes two chances to observe the chimp’s feeding time.
Food and Drinks
Beers, mineral water and sodas are available for sale on the island and from the boat. For a full day’s visit, you will have brought a packed lunch with you.
Dress informally: T- Shirt or swimsuit and shorts are fine. If weather is inclement, be prepared to get wet from the spray as the lake can get quite choppy. Bring along a sweater, or light jacket in case it is windy. Sandals or trainers are recommended.
Bring as much sun protection as possible – hats, sunglasses, SPF creams etc. as it can be quite hot out on the lake.
Don’t forget your camera for all those close-up shots of chimps and binoculars if you are keen on bird life. All equipment should be protected from the wet in a plastic bag.