About Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria
Ngamba Island is a Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) found in the vast Lake Victoria. The sanctuary was established as a combined national and international initiative and a globally recognized collaborative conservation effort, meant to develop and implement a long-term strategy for conservation of chimpanzees and their surroundings. The island is a home to 40 orphaned chimpanzees which are taken as endangered species found in forests and 20 of which have been brought to the island since when the sanctuary opened.
This 100 acre Chimpanzee sanctuary was established in 1998 for the care, safety and welfare of entrusted animals while conserving as far as possible the ecosystem of the island. It was set up by the Born Free Foundation (UK), International Fund for Animal Welfare (USA), the Jane Goodall Institute (Germany and Uganda), The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT) and the Zoological Board of New South Wales (Australia) to offer a secure habitat to orphaned chimps whose return to their natural environment is not possible while educating the public about these animal species and the importance of conserving the fragile forest surroundings. Around 98 out of the 100 island acres are forested and separated from the visitors’ area by an electric fence.
Ngamba Island is part of the Koome Group of Islands located 23km south of Entebbe Municipality. The sanctuary is in place to take care to the captive chimpanzees, managing the sanctuary for the seized chimpanzees that cannot be taken back to the wild, intervening in helping chimps in the wild when if necessary, educate Ugandan community on chimpanzees and ecotourism and capacity building through training and building viable national, regional and international partnerships on chimpanzee conservation among others. At present, the major threats to the survival of the species are illegal poaching for “bush meat” and the petty trade as well as deforestation for agriculture and profit-making timber.