Ngamba Island

by Luke, in Uganda
7th December, 2009

When you do arrive – Ngamba island is amazing. A chimp sanctuary of note, amazing animals, wonderful work and a brilliant start to the mission. Anyone can come here as they run a strong eco-tourism project alongside the charitable work.


We spent the afternoon with Baron and Africa – two orphaned infant chimps that the team here had rescued, integrating themselves to the 41 strong community of chimps that live on the island. Africa’s mother had been caught and killed, her parts harvested for witchcraft – baby Africa was rescued by local authorities and Ngamba stepped in to do the rest. Baron is missing a finger on his right hand after being caught up in a snare when he was very young. Captured and used for the illegal pet trade, he was subsequently confiscated and is now living it up with the staff here. Their integration to the community here is a long process as the chimp social heirachy is complex and delicate so they need to first bond with the juveniles (5yrs-8yrs) then when they have made some friends, bond with the sub adults (8yrs-12yrs), finally they will bond with the adults (12yrs+) whereby hopefully one of the adult females will adopt each of them respectively before they meet the alpha male of the community. Scary business meeting a big troop of chimpanzees – 98.7% DNA same as us, adult males have the strength of five men – definitely a question of talking when spoken too. Wonderful interaction with the chimps today and more planned for tomorrow – I wouldn’t say I feel right at home as I miss it too much, but these animals are easy company and brilliant fun. Great start to the trip.




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