The island sanctuary of Ngamba offers offers an array of options that will satisfy any tourist. There are half- and full-day tours, three-day tours and a special honeymoon package, as well as a stay at Ngamba Island Tented Camp.
To get to Ngamba, you’ll need to catch one of the two boats leaving Entebee, one at 9:00 a.m, the other at 12:45 p.m. On arrival, you’ll get an orientation and view one (or both) of the two daily feedings. Besides checking the chimps,you can enjoy island shopping, bird watching, swimming on the equator, visiting a neighboring fishing village, experiencing other wildlife encounters, or simply sunbathing and relaxing. The tour cost, including the round-trip cruise, varies depending on the number in your party. But a family of four would pay $88 each.
On the three-day safari adventure, you’ll check in at an East African style Tented Camp on the island overlooking Lake Victoria with en-suite bathroom facilities and solar lighting. One day, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at caregiver activity and enjoy a sunset cruise. The next you’ll hike the Ngamba trail. Here you’ll learn how the chimps spend their days, what they eat in the wild, how they hunt by following their trails in the forest. All meals are included.
The honeymoon safari includes the adventures of the three-day safari, plus special perks like a candlelight dinners on a private deck, your own piloted boat and nightly campfire – all with round-the-clock security. The cost is $1,294 per couple.
And there’s even a three-day student camp adventure for kids 10 through 17 that costs just $185.
You can verify pricing and find even more details about the Ngamba tours, lodging at the Tented Camp and the student camps by visiting the Ngamba’s tours page.
NGAMBA CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY
Ngamba Island, Uganda
Surrounded by the peaceful waters of Lake Victoria, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to 49 orphaned chimps rescued from throughout Uganda.
Ngamba has well-organized, four-week volunteer program in two parts. For the first part, you’ll work at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island. Here, you’ll help with daily caregiving, observe chimpanzee behavior, look for ways to enrich chimpanzee behavior and improve the island’s infrastructure. Volunteers work alongside the sanctuary’s caregivers to study how chimpanzee groups differ socially. They also help create structures that enrich chimpanzees’ lives – tire swings and shaking boxes, for example – and find other ways to challenge the chimps. There are always improvements underway at Ngamba, and you may be asked to help build picnic sites, erect shaded viewing shelters or put up visitor information boards. And everyone helps feed the chimpanzees, clean their living areas and monitor and record health records. Except in rare circumstances, the sanctuary maintains a “hands-off” chimpanzee policy for your protection as well as that of the chimpanzees’.
The other part of your volunteer stay includes 11 days helping local field projects to enhance conservation education, undertake forest conservation, facilitate community development, conduct research and start or strengthen local partnerships for education.
For volunteers at Ngamba, the day starts early – 6 a.m. And it’s long, ending at 9 p.m. Every day is different at Ngamba, since the chimpanzees have their own agenda. So flexibility and adaptability are key.
You’ll live right at the sanctuary in a private room. Toilets and hot showers are nearby. Electricity is available; so is Internet access. And you’ll get three square meals a day and one day off each week to hike, explore nearby communities and wildlife reserves and do leisure activities in the Bunyoro Region.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Number of Volunteers
Typical Length of Stay
Relevant Experience a Plus
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