Volunteer at Jane Goodall chimp sanctuary

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Jan 6th, 2005, 06:03 PM
  #1
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Volunteer at Jane Goodall chimp sanctuary

You can volunteer at Ngamba Chimp Sanctuary, an island in Lake Victoria, about a 1.5 hour boat ride from Entebbe, Uganda. The sanctuary is home to chimps that have been rescued from airports, at border crossings, from private homes, and similar unfortunate situations. The chimps now live on a large island, with a few fences, but in a wild, natural setting. Their diet is supplemented because the vegetation is not plentiful or diverse enough to maintain a population of 30-40 chimps.

Volunteer duties vary greatly. In June 2004, I assisted with feedings of the 4-year old and under chimps. The older ones were too strong and therefore too dangerous for encounters with anyone but regular staff. I helped with the visitor center and preparations for a wildlife documentary crew, which included Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols! Although I don't have a medical background, I also assisted the vet with four routine operations to replace Norplant birth control devices in the females. They don't want these captive chimps reproducing because the resources for existing chimps in the sanctuary are taxed.

Several times I was able to walk in the forest with the young chimps who loved to sit on my head, get piggyback rides, and be carried. Most of the day was just spent observing (not scientifically, just for fun) the young chimps at play and rest. Also bird watching.

I believe the volunteer program is being revised somewhat from last summer. It is very popular and books up far, far in advance.

You can also visit for a whole day, half a day, or a couple of days without volunteering.

Here is contact info:

PO Box 884, Entebbe, Uganda
Plot 26, Lugard Avenue, Entebbe, Uganda
Telephone/fax: +256 41 320 662

Excecutive Director
Email: [email protected]

General Inquiries
Email: [email protected]
atravelynn is offline  
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Jun 21st, 2005, 11:39 AM
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ttt
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Jun 21st, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Thanks, atravelynn, for topping this info. Sounds very interesting.

Off topic:
So, did you meet Johnny Rotten? : )
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 06:00 AM
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Johnny was pleasant but kept to himself and his group. With or without cameras rolling, he was always a character and even made some costume changes on the island.

He was very interested in the chimps and when he helped in the operating room with routine some routine medical procedures he was quite serious and conscientious.

His vivid multi-colored hair was of interest to the local people.

I'd love to see the final documentary some day that included gorillas and great white sharks too.
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Jun 26th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for sharing the Johnny Rotten story, atravelynn. Somehow it doesn't surprise me that he was a character.

Guess you never know who you'll run into in Africa.
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