question about overnite stay @ Ngamba Island

Jun 20th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 72
question about overnite stay @ Ngamba Island

Can anyone tell me what to expect during my overnite stay. I am signed up for the forest walk with the chimps and staying at their tented camp.
dorish34 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

What an experience awaits you!

Be sure you have all the right shots and proof of health. Fax it or scan and email it to the island in advance and keep a copy. Get verification of your chimp-worthiness before you leave home. They are dead serious about the health requirements and turned away a professional photographer from a chimp walk while I was there, due to his lack of health documentation.

Here are some comments I made to my agent upon my return from Ngamba last year.

The staff was super and even helped me find a bird—the common moorhen—that was not on their list of the 126 birds on the island.

I also got to do some spectacular chimp walks! I know I have said this many times before about a variety of African experiences, but those walks—with two and three chimps hanging on me and a dozen other chimps running along side, grabbing at my ankles, tumbling over each other, and swinging from vines have to be a highlight of the whole continent! In the clearings we would play, swinging the chimps by their arms or legs and bouncing and throwing them around. They couldn't get enough. It was absolutely amazing!

As you can see I was thoroughly impressed. Other things I recall were watching thousands of fruit bats fly over the island at dusk and having good bird activity just offshore. When not walking with the chimps you can just sit and watch them play in the trees.

I saw the tents, which were lovely, but did not stay in them.

Email if you have other questions.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 48
Sounds amazing! I'll be looking forward to dorish34's trip report.

atravelynn - Is there a trip report anywhere for your adventure?
safari274 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 859
How does one book a stay on Ngamba? Thanks!
cooncat is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 178
Atravelynn's description perfectly depicts my experience as well, although I did spend the night on the island. The tents (there are 4) all overlook the lake and are very comfortable and clean and well-maintained. The food was excellent and the staff informative, attentive and committed to the well-being of the chimps. Ngamba Island was the highlight of my Uganda safari.

You can read more and contact them at
phernska is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Here is sort of a report. I was a volunteer there but the chimp walk itself is exactly the same for volunteers, paid guests, etc. In fact the paid guests get priority.

Volunteer at Jane Goodall chimp sanctuary

is the title of the report.

Or just search for the word Ngamba on this site.

A few other things:

You wear a green jump suit and rubber boots they provide for the walk. You cannot carry anything, not a camera, sunglasses, water. The chimps will take it and break it. You cannot take photos on the walk (no camera) but before or after when you are interacting with the chimps photos can be taken.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 02:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 72
Thanks for all the info..I am working on my vaccinations and preparing to apply for my visas. I will look into booking the Balloon tour from home. Thanks again
dorish34 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
Can anyone tell me what vaccinations and what type of health documentation is required? Is my understanding correct that this is specifically for the chimp walk or is it required of all visitors (including day visitors)? Thanks.
Patty is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
It is only required for those taking the forest walk or doing any sort of "enrichment" exercises with the chimps. Any interaction in which you might touch a chimp.
Otherwise, day visitors or those not participating in the forest walks do not need all the vaccinations.

I highly recommend the walks though. It is fascinating getting to play with the little ones.

These are the requirements for interacting with the chimps.

Hepatitis A vaccination, Hepatitis B vaccination, Measles vaccination (or had the disease as a child), Meningococcal meningitis (menomune vaccine), Polio vaccination (up to date), Tetanus vaccination (up to date), Yellow fever. Other health test that needs to be acquired before entry with the chimpanzees is a negative TB test within 6 months of arrival.

In addition, you can't have any signs of a cold, allergies or sniffles.

It's a lot but I look at it like this. Now I can pretty much go anywhere in the world and be covered healthwise.

To me, getting to play with the infants and younger chimps made it all worthwhile.
divewop is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
Thanks, divewop!
Patty is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 445
The tents seemed open from the website's pictures. Can snakes crawl into the tents at night?
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I never saw a snake while on Ngamba. It is highly unlikely that snakes or other animals would enter your tents.

Tents can be closed up so no access is allowed. I would not be concerned about snakes.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
The tents are on raised platforms. And pretty secure when you zip them up as with any tent.
I haven't heard of any incidents, but realize in Africa, anything is possible.
I slept very comfortably in the tents. They are very cozy and it is so quiet and peaceful at night on the island.

I wouldn't hesitate to go back again.

divewop is offline  

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