Ngamba Island Celebrating Its 20th Anniversary

Two decades of rescuing and protecting endangered chimpanzees.

by Natasha Tworoski

Uganda has long since been referred to as “The Pearl of Africa,” due to its diverse and abundant ecosystems and wildlife. Despite being a small country, you can find dark forests, iconic savannas and breath-taking views of the Nile. If there were a “Pearl of Uganda,” it would likely be Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Located in Lake Victoria near the city of Entebbe, this PASA member sanctuary is home to 49 rescued chimpanzees. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of this incredible place and Ngamba Island wants to celebrate with you!

Since chimpanzees cannot swim and the entire island makes up the sanctuary, it doesn’t need to be surrounded by fencing. 90% of the island is forested and for the chimps, while the remaining 10% that is fenced off is used for education facilities for visitors, kitchens to prepare food and housing for both staff and tourists. Large platforms at the edge of the fenced off area allow caretakers to view the chimps from up high and toss them meals throughout the day.

While the forest is home to plants and trees that provide the chimps with food they would have eaten in the wild, there is only enough food produced by this forest to sustain 2 chimpanzees for the long-term. Therefore, most of their diet must be brought to the island, which is a lot of food! Since 2007, all food has been purchased from local communities that are living aside wild chimpanzees, as a way to strengthen hardworking Ugandans as allies in conservation efforts. This also has opened up doors for the sanctuary to conduct relevant research, help with forest conservation by starting tree nurseries and improving educational outreach.

Ngamba Island is part of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), an NGO which also provides educational outreach programs and works with the Ugandan government to rescue orphaned and confiscated chimpanzees.

They’ve even recently received support from Miss Earth Uganda, Josephine Nabirye, who gave a shout-out on one of her publicity videos. Check it out!

To help Ngamba Island to celebrate its 20 year anniversary, please visit the Ngamba website!

About 90% of Ngamba Island is a forested sanctuary where chimpanzees can roam freely.

About 10% of Ngamba Island is fenced off for education facilities for visitors, kitchens and housing for both staff and tourists.