Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island is located 14 miles off the shore of Entebbe, Uganda.  It is part of the Ssese Islands – a collection of 84 beautiful, untouched islands in Lake Victoria, a perfect location for a Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Ngamba was established in 1998 to provide orphaned chimpanzees with a safe haven and to implement a comprehensive approach to chimpanzee conservation, from snare removal projects and education programs to eco-tourism and chimp habituation projects.  The island consists of approximately 100 acres, of which 98 acres is forested and serves as a jungle playground, separated from the human camp by an electric fence. At the turn of the 20th century there were two million wild chimpanzees in 25 African countries. They are now extinct in four of those countries and there are fewer than 200,000 chimps alive today. Their natural forest habitat is rapidly being destroyed to make way for cultivation and human population growth. They are routinely trapped and slaughtered for food, or captured and sold as illegal pets or circus performers. Once they have been captured, they become habituated to humans and it is almost impossible to return them to the wild. Untutored by their mothers in the ways of the forest, an orphaned baby chimp is unable to cope in the wild on their own. Ngamba Island offers these orphans a veritable playground of tangled vines and towering trees, not to mention a host of brothers and sisters where they can learn and live relatively freely with no threat from the outside world. As chimps don’t like water, the island has a natural perimeter boundary.  Although the island is rich in vegetation, there is not enough to sustain an entire chimp population and their diet is enhanced with fruit and supplements provided by a hard working Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust staff.  These professional keepers adhere to an atypical schedule of ten days on the island, five days off. In addition to the excellent secondary forest habitat for the chimpanzees, Ngamba Island is the home to other wildlife species including fruit bats, spiders, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards and over 154 bird species. Children of Conservaiton is currently sponsoring 32 children through the Ngamba Island sanctuary.

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