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“A unique experience with chimps and their caretakers”

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Ngamba Island Tented Camp
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We were told of Ngamba Island by Ether, the owner of Churchill Safaris in Uganda. We booked both the forest walk and the caretaker program. You have to get vaccines to handle the chimpanzees, but it is well worth it. To walk with the chimpanzees while they swing from your body, to lay in the sun and have them climb on you (they love to be swung and tickled), is amazing. The camp itself is great. They have 100 acres, 97% for the chimpanzees to roam and the rest for the guests and caretakers. The cabins are large, clean and well appointed. You will have en suite facilities and each tent has a huge deck. We were in the tent closest to where the chimpanzees are, so we could watch them from our deck. The meals are really good too. Atmosphere beautiful because you are on this tiny island with a beautiful beach. Quiet and relaxing. The staff is knowledgeable, warm and friendly. They were fun to work with when we were preparing the meal for the chimps. They have a hard job but you can tell they really enjoy what they are doing. If you go to Uganda, it would be incomplete without this experience.

Room Tip: All tents have large decks and beautiful views of the lake. They only have 4 tents, so availability...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Fred D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 23 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2013

Aside from the experience with the chimps we also loved the tent camp in & of itself. The permanent tents are very nice with comfortable beds and an attached bathroom. They sit right on the edge of the lake and you can hear the water lapping and the frogs and birds chattering away. Very cool!

The main area has comfy sofas and a dining area where we had our meals. The food was wonderful. The staff was super friendly and took such good care of us. In between watching the chimp feedings and doing the forest walk we hung out in the main area or around a bonfire that they built for us in the evening watching birds and the very shy monitor lizards.

The work that they're doing with the chimps is wonderful and to be able to participate in a small way and spend time walking with them in the forest and give them piggy-back rides was an experience we'll never forget.

The cost of the stay and forest walk was not cheap but it was going towards such a good cause it was no problem to justify. The shots you have to get before going might be a hassle to some but we had most of them already and only had to make sure our measles/mumps was still in effect since we got them as children (and my husband found his was NOT so it was a really good thing to learn and get re-vaccinated not just for this trip but in general).

It was an incredible experience and the accommodations were lovely. I'd highly recommend for anyone who loves chimps.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LeslieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

This was like visiting Oz. The difference was apparent from the moment we approached the island and saw the busy village weaver birds. Soon we say the monitor lizards. Staying overnight one hears frogs making noises that sound almost chromatic. the tents were luxurious, but be prepared to use glorified outhouses or a very rudimentary non-flushing toilet (if you stay overnight--for tent use only at night). you get a sense of the power and primitiveness of chimps here that you will probably never get outside of the wild. They are loud, uninhibited, and little other noise distracts from them. I highly recommend the forest walk, but fulfilling the requirments for this can be a hassle. The staff were quite helpful and the meals reasonably good.

Room Tip: not applicable.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank PhiladelphiaDrumdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

This place is a fantastic experience for a number of reasons: firstly the incredible time with the beautiful chimpanzees, secondly the location, and thirdly the wonderful staff. I was there alone and stayed in the beautiful safari tent which has a great bed, shower and toilet - all eco friendly. The tented cabin has a spacious desk overlooking the small lake, so you can sit and watch the birdlife. There isnt much to do once the chimpanzees go to sleep, so definitely take a book to relax and read. There was only 1 other couple staying there when i was there, and they chose to eat at their cabin. So i had dinner in the dining area with the company of the lovely staff which was such a special experience. And then a few of us sat around the campfire and chatted about Uganda and the way of life. It is a marvellous thing they are doing to save the chimpanzee and you can tell the staff all love the chimps. It was a privelege to spend time with the chimpanzees and also the wonderful people who are helping them. I highly recommend this place for an overnight stay

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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5  Thank skitch16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

My Partner and I stayed overnight at Ngamba Island Tented Camp in June 2012 so we could take part in the forest walk and caregiver for a day program which we booked through Safari 365 and were well taken care of from the beginning of our stay right to the end.

Our tent was called Mika which overlooked the Lake filled with abundant wildlife. When we first arrived we were greeted by the wonderful people that worked there, they carried our bags up to our permanent tent which was huge and had a chemical toilet to be used during the night only (there were compost toilets to use that were shared during the day) and a bucket shower which they would carry the hot water up to you when you wanted your shower (just have to advise them beforehand what time you would like to have your shower so they can bring it up)

The meals were absolutely brilliant and were brought up to our tent so we could enjoy on our massive verandah watching the wildlife and numerous monitor lizards.

Our dinner meal was served to us by candlelight on the picnic table near the entrance so we could watch the sun go down. We met the chef who cooked our beautiful meal then after dinner we had a camp fire and sat around and chatted with the workers.

The entire experience at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was absolutely amazing and the people that work there are so kind and are very lovely people.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Critter1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

The ONLY reason to go here is if you love Chimpanzees and truly care about their future on our planet. This is not a resort, nor is it intended to be one. It is an educational experience run by professionals who treat the individuals like family, which in a broad sense they are. Yes, it is expensive, but we felt that the cost was actually a donation which helps support the individuals and their care, from food to medical care. Join both the "caretaker" and "integration" programs as this is when you really interact and play with the chimps. My wife and I visited and it was the highlight of our 16 days in Uganda and one of the highlights of our life! We are true Chimp lovers so the opportunity to hold them and walk through the woods holding their hands was unforgettable. One more thing - if you do not refer to Chimps as "individuals", do not visit, this place is not for you.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Hawthorn1Chicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We stayed overnight at Ngamba so that we could take part in the Forest Walk experience. We booked through World Primate Safaris in Brighton who organised it all for us as an add on to our holiday. I have done a separate review of the Ngamba island experience itself but this is just for the overnight stay.

The tented accommodation is really comfortable with a large bedroom leading onto a divided area at the back of the tent with chemical toilet and bucket shower. The shower was so refreshing in the heat of the island. The front verandah overlooks a pond area with so many bird types (particularly the weaver bird with their elaborate nests) to watch along with the resident monitor lizards. You can just spend the day chilling out in between watching the feeds that happen four times a day. The food was good and came in huge portions. After dinner they lit a campfire for us to sit around and relax. We had a really good night’s sleep – OK we had travelled for 30 hours the day before so that might have helped.

Everyone couldn’t have been nicer and we would definitely stay overnight again if we returned to Ngamba.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ngamba Island Tented Camp

Address: Lake Victoria, Ngamba Island, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Ngamba Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ngamba Island
Price Range: $273 - $452 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Ngamba Island Tented Camp 2*
Number of rooms: 4
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