1 Day tour to Ngamba Island.

Day 1: Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary Tour

Have breakfast to drive Entebbe to the jetty to transfer you to Ngamba Island. The Island is a chimpanzee sanctuary managed by the Jane Goodall Institute. They usually get the chimps from the wild and look after them, most especially those that are infants and can not take care of themselves. You will reach in time for feeding the Chimpanzee and you will watch them feed. Spend about 1 hour with the chimps and later in the afternoon take a rest at the pool side or the lake shores as you wait for the next feeding of the chimps to watch them feed. It’s astounding! You will then transfer back to Entebbe.

A chimpanzee and her young in ngambaan elderly chimp in the islandA chimp in ngamba island


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End of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Tour


Other Primates Adventure Tours

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Quick Facts about Chimps

Africa has a great population of chimpanzees and their population stretches across 21 countries in on the continent. However, the number of chimpanzees is quickly diminishing mainly due to habitat loss and poaching. There were over 25 countries in total in Africa with chimpanzees and according to statistics their population will have been wiped out from over 10 countries of the 21 countries.
Uganda is one country that has been blessed by nature. It has some creatures that cannot be found elsewhere in the World. However, like the mountain gorillas in Uganda – the Pearl of Africa has lost an estimated 90% of its population of chimpanzees and other great apes in the last 5 centuries and it is believed that the population of human beings in the last 100 years has increased by 800%.
The population of chimpanzees in Uganda is now 4,950 only and these can be found in Zoos, national parks and reserves as well as rain forests.  Statistics show that 98.4% of all the sub-counties in Uganda have more people than all the populations of Chimpanzees in Uganda.
The population of chimpanzees and primates in Uganda is way better than that of other countries and it is easy to see some of these great apes even when not on a safari in Uganda. Kibale forest national park has one of the largest concentrations of primates in the world with chimpanzees making a huge population.

Chimpanzees have large bodies with four limbs like human beings and according to scientists share 98% of our genetic makeup and are regarded the closest to human beings.
Chimpanzees in the wild have their young between 4 – 5 years and tend them for 10 -12 years before they are able to fend for themselves.
Chimpanzees live in social groups that split up with numbers that vary from group to group but unlike mountain gorillas these splinter groups join up later. Like human beings chimps have different cultures with each community having different lifestyles.
These apes are very intelligent creatures and like humans use tools. Their tools range from sticks which they use to hunt for animals like monkeys, small twigs which they use to fish termites and they also use leaves which they chew and make sponges to soak up water and quench their thirst with water from tree trunks.
Like human beings they are omnivorous and occasionally organize group hunts where they have well orchestrated hunting skills and hunt animals like antelopes and monkeys.
Like all wildlife, chimpanzees are protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and it is a crime to kill or catch any chimp. If one is got in possession of chimps, he is sure to be arrested.

Threats Faced By Uganda Chimpanzees

The population of chimps in Africa is decreasing drastically due to several dangers that they are faced with. They are regarded as endangered species as they are very few in number worldwide.
Chimpanzees are protected by International law as they are faced with extinction. There are several reason why chimp populations are reducing and these include:

  1. Uganda’s vegetation cover is being decimated at an alarming rate. It is estimated that over 800 square Kilometers of forest has been destroyed in the last 15 years. Destruction of chimpanzee habitat is the largest threat to chimps.
  2. Animal trafficking is one of the world’s most lucrative trades in the world compared to drug dealing and human trafficking. Chimpanzees are targeted for the pet trade. However, for one to get a baby chimpanzee, they will have to kill almost an entire family which averages 10 chimps as they are very protective of their young.
  3. Poaching directly and indirectly has also posed a great threat to the number of chimpanzees. In forest poachers lay snares to trap antelopes and other forest animals however these traps sometimes inadvertently catch the chimps. In fact during census of population of chimpanzees in Uganda, it was found that 25% of all the chimpanzees have sustained injuries of one kind or another.

Chimpanzee Conservation

The Uganda government in an effort to help conserve wildlife as well as chimpanzees has gazzetted several tracts of land in form of national parks and reserves, a zoo – Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) has a good population of chimpanzees as well as Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria. The government under the mandate of the Uganda Wildlife Authority has also established stringent rules regarding chimpanzee trekking in order to help in the conservation of the ecosystem and environment as well.
Many of these conservation areas are receiving lots of visitors and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is one of the main tour attractions.
Chimpanzees tours in Uganda can be done in any of the following places which have a good number of chimps:

Forest Reserves In Uganda with Chimps

  1. Budongo forest reserve in the Murchison falls area – 640 Chimpanzees
  2. Bugoma Forest reserve – 630 chimps
  3. Kagombe  forest reserve – 90 chimps
  4. Itwara  forest reserve – 130 chimpanzees
  5. Kasyoha-Kitomi 410 chimpanzees
  6. Kalinzu forest reserve – 230 chimps
  7. Otzi forest reserve – 25 chimps
  8. Wambabya reserve - 130
  9. Muhangi forest 25

Uganda National Parks and Wildlife Reserves with chimpanzees

  1. Kibale forest national park – 1,420 chimps
  2. Maramagambo forest close to Queen Elizabeth national park – 220 chimps
  3. Semliki wildlife reserve in western Uganda -  60 chimps
  4. Murchison falls national park – 20 chimpanzees
  5. Semliki national park – 50 chimpanzees
  6. Mountain Rwenzori national park – 500 chimps
  7. Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park – 50 chimps
  8. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park – 210 chimps
  9. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

The number of chimpanzees recorded outside of the above mentioned protected areas and forest reserves is 110. This makes the total number of chimpanzees found in Uganda 4,950 chimps.

Chimpanzee Conservation in Uganda

The number of chimpanzees in Uganda can be attributed to the Uganda government efforts as well as different international organizations and conservation groups.  These include:

  1. Jane Goodall Institute
  2. Semliki Chimpanzee project
  3. Kibale Chimpanzee project
  4. Bwindi Ape Project
  5. Kalinzu Chimpanzee Project
  6. Budongo Forest Project
  7. Wildlife Conservation Society
  8. Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation
  9. Makerere University Biological Field Station

Chimpanzees are social animals living in family groups of upto 100 members and their movements are in small sub groups within the forest. The males born into a family usually remain within the same family whereas females tend to move to other families when they reach adolescence.
In order to help protect these chimps some of them have been habituated to human beings so as to open them to tracking. Chimpanzee tracking often involves trekking through the jungles in search of these beautiful apes that are often constantly on the move during the day. In the night they often build their nests using twigs and branches before waking up early to move in search of food. These chimp nests are usually built every night.
In Uganda chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park is probably one of the best on the continent. Kibale national park has the highest concentration of primates with over 1,400 chimps making the best place to go for chimpanzee tracking in the wild.
The other places where one can do chimpanzee tracking is Murchison falls national park in Kaniyo Pabidi, Kyambura gorge found in Queen Elizabeth national park as well as in Budongo forest reserve to mention but a few.
The other places where one can do chimpanzee viewing is Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary found on Lake Victoria. Here there are over 40 chimpanzee orphans. It sits on over 100 acres of land with mainly forest vegetation.
One can combined their chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with that of Rwanda. In Rwanda chimpanzee trekking can be done in Nyungwe forest national park which has about 500 chimpanzees.