Become a chimp champ Today
Make a difference in the lives of the 49 chimpanzees by becoming one of our chimp champs today at Ngamba through contributing to the number one model chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa as well as the in-situ conservation in Hoima field project.
- Chimpanzee Behavior Enrichment
- Daily caregiver schedule
- Infrastructure Improvements
- Community Visits
- Wildlife reserves and Leisure in Bunyoro Region
- Wild primate populations and habitat monitoring
- Culture and Conservation for Sustainability
- Environmental Education ,awareness and community livelihood programs
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located 23 kilometers southwest of Entebbe, Uganda. Located on Lake Victoria, participants will get to experience the natural beauty of such a remote setting on a daily basis.
Hoima District is located in the Mid-western region of Uganda between major protected area systems namely Queen Elizabeth NP, Semliki NP and Murchison Falls NP. It is 5,932.8 square kilometres in area with a population of approximately 350,000 people. The area is part of the wider Bunyoro region composed of Masindi, Bulisa and Kibale Districts.
About the Projects
Chimpanzee Trust Uganda was established as a combined national and international initiative and a globally recognized collaborative conservation effort, geared towards developing and implementing a long- term strategy for conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat, with the immediate purpose of establishing a chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria, and such other places in Uganda as the trustees may acquire. Chimpanzee Trust Uganda established Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1998 for the care and welfare of entrusted rescued orphan chimpanzees and established the Hoima field project in 2007 that targets insitu chimpanzee conservation through education, research and community development. Through the implementation of this program Chimpanzee Trust Uganda hopes to contribute to improved livelihoods of the local communities and to reduce environmental degradation while conserving as far as possible the ecosystem of the island.
Chimpanzees are the animal kingdom’s closest relative to humans, but unfortunately the wild population has decreased to less than 150,000, putting them on the Endangered Species list. Their population is continuing to diminish with a calculated decrease of about 6,000 per year because of relentless poaching, logging, habitat destruction, and human encroachment. They are hunted for meat or captured for sale to zoos, animal testing labs, circuses, and even individuals as pets.
The Organization works in different main areas of sustainability. They include research aimed at the identification of social dynamics within the species, behavioral enrichment exercises that work to keep the chimpanzees stimulated and thriving in the environment, infrastructure improvement and Insitu chimpanzee conservation. Volunteers will work on a combination of these tasks that are all aimed to further both the success of the projects and conservation efforts for this wonderful species.
The Chimpanzee Trust gives volunteers the opportunity to contribute to the number one model chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa as well as the Insitu conservation in Hoima field project. We also provide a safe haven for chimps that are rescued from the harsh fate that too often awaits the wild chimpanzee population. With about 100 acres of land at Ngamba Island, we aim at providing the most natural environment possible for the chimps.
Accommodation: volunteers will be provided with basic, clean, and comfortable resource center rooms. The accommodations include a bed (with bedding), Toilets and hot showers (Outside of the rooms). One towels will provided and therefore volunteers will be required to bring their own. A cleaning service is provided daily and electricity is available. Small safes are available in the rooms to lock up valuables, but volunteers must bring with them their own padlock to secure it.
Food: volunteers will be provided with three meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a cooked meal served in the dining area is a help-yourself arrangement.
Internet: Available on a shared computer and wireless.
Laundry: A service is available for a small fee, otherwise hand washing is possible.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
During your time volunteering, you will participate in a variety of tasks, all vital to the continuation and sustainability of the Chimpanzee Trust. There are five main areas that you will have the opportunity to become involved with:
- Behavioral Observation: Volunteers will work alongside caregiver at the sanctuary, studying how chimpanzee groups differ in their social dynamics. The study aims to be able to classify standard chimpanzee behavior by assessing these social dynamics amongst chimpanzee groups through food distribution and video data collection.
- Behavioral Enrichment: Volunteers will be involved in creating permanent or temporary behavioral enrichment structures (such as tire swings and shaking boxes) as well as organize temporary challenges in order to further the behavioral enrichment of the chimps.
- Infrastructure Improvements: Volunteers will help with whatever current enrichment projects are taking place during their placement and may include tasks such as building picnic sites and shaded viewing shelters, or putting up information boards to educate visitors.
- Daily caregiver schedule: Preparation of chimp foods, clean chimp holding facility, takes chimp records and Health monitoring.
Every day is different as animals rarely operate to our schedule – we ask that you remain flexible. Your work day will begin each day at 6am and work through to 9pm inclusive of breaks at Ngamba Island well as in Hoima it varies, six days a week. You will have a rest day each week. Please note that this should not be considered a ‘hands-on’ project. For your protection, the protection of the chimpanzees, and in order to adhere to sanctuary guidelines, ‘hands on’ contact may be limited and dependent on the prevailing circumstances at the sanctuary.
- Wild primate populations and habitat monitoring (3 Days)
Tree planting for habitat restoration, Itoya forests walk, Nest counting, Mammal surveys, Tropical tree identification and counting. Birding, Human wildlife interactions, other wildlife including butterflies, insects, bush babies etc. Forest Mapping, Forest surveys
- Culture and Conservation for Sustainability (3 days)
Bunyoro – Kitara Palace, Mparo (Burial grounds for the Famous Bunyoro Kitara Empire), Kitara rural hospitality,Music and Dance,Traditional artisans and Indigenous Story telling
- Environmental Education ,awareness and community livelihood programs (3days)
Kyamaleera Wildlife Education Center, Working in support of local schools, Participating in schools’ environmental activities (debates, drama, music, film shows, Home stay programs (spending a night with a rural household),Participating in livelihoods initiatives (mushroom growing, hand crafts, bee keeping, fruit growing, rural farming)
- Wildlife reserves and Leisure in Bunyoro Region (2 day)
Salt mining (indigenous salt mining in Bunyoro culture, hiking on the escarpment of the Albertine Rift ), Kabwooya Wildlife reserve (Excursion),Budongo or Bugoma Forest Reserve ( Excursion) and Scenery viewing and Cave excursion
- Minimum age 18
- Basic English
- Good Physical Fitness – must be able to walk at least 4kms a day
- Full Travel and Medical Insurance
- Immunizations (As per our vaccination checklist)