Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located in Lake Victoria. It is approximately 23 km south-east of Entebbe, which lies on the mainland at 0.06’S, 32.39’E. It consists of approximately 100 acres, of which 95 acres is forested and separated from the human camp by an electric fence. The northern part of the island is generally flat, rising gently to an altitude of approximately 3800 feet above sea level to the south. The island is largely forested with gaps of grassland covering approximately 10% of the island.
The northern part of the island was until 1997 inhabited by a local fishing community. The community had cleared approximately 2 acres of forest and selectively logged large trees from the more proximal parts of the forest. One acre of this area is now used as camp quarters for staff and researchers, whilst the remaining area, located between the forest and the viewing platform is where the chimpanzees are fed during the day.
A trail system was cut just prior to the chimpanzees arrival in October 1998. Trails span from east to west and north to south creating 50 x 50m blocks.Ngamba Island provides an excellent secondary forest habitat for the chimpanzees and other wildlife species including fruit bats, spiders, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards.
The objective of the sanctuary is to provide a safe home for orphaned and confiscated chimpanzees, to care for the environment on Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
To provide a high quality educational experience for visitors and importantly, to benefit local communities. Chimpanzee Trust that manages the sanctuary is a non-profit making organization which, it is hoped , will eventually be self sufficient from tourist revenues and will not have to rely on donor contributions.
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary currently cares for 49 chimpanzees that are victims of illegal poaching for bush meat and pet trade.