Lake Victoria and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

As we set out into Lake Victoria by motor boat it only dawned on us how vast this great lake really was, the second largest in the world, with borders shared by 3 countries: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. We were on a Ugandan Safari and on our way to visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, part of the Jane Goodall Foundation. The boat ride itself was great fun as we covered the 23km journey. We passed numerous islands in the lake, some uninhabited and others inhabited, an entire community living and working on the island; many were local fishermen who fish for Tilapia. It was a lovely clear day and we could see the mainland of Entebbe shrinking in the distance, the sun shimmering on the ripples of the water. We saw huge Fish Eagles circling overhead, their cry carrying for miles around.

Once we arrived at the island we were greeted by the very friendly staff and shown around. We sat and relaxed for a while, had a drink and then our guide came over and briefed us on the islands inhabitants, the chimps. He educated us with the help of a number of information boards and then we walked over to the area where the chimps were. For the safety of the chimps and the visitors the two areas are separated by an electric fence. These rescued chimps occupy most of the island freely, only coming to the viewing area twice a day as their diet is supplemented by fruits and vegetables. For most part they are totally free to do as they would in the wild and live their lives undisturbed and happily. The foundation is working towards eventually releasing these chimps back into the wild in a remote forest in one of the Ugandan National Parks. It was amazing to observe these very social, playful primates, a real highlight of our Camping Safari in East Africa.

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