New passenger boat launched at Ngamba Island to boost tourism

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New passenger boat launched at Ngamba Island to boost tourism
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A 29-passenger boat has been launched at the chimpanzee sanctuary in Ngamba Island, about 23km from Entebbe town, which is expected to transport passengers especially tourists from Entebbe.

In an initiative to boost tourism at the chimpanzee sanctuary in Ngamba island, into a major chimpanzee tourist spot, the sanctuary Executive Director , Dr. Joshua Rukundo, said there has challenges with transport system among tourists coming to the sanctuary.

Dr. Rukundo said the boat which was acquired through the partnership with Pelican Lodge and Marina will easily support travels to the island unlike the old boat which carries only 12 people.

"Our guests have been decrying challenges of high costs of transport to the island through private water boats on the lake, including small sitter capacity boats and now we are happy that at least, we are making a great step to encourage our guests for a comfortable means of transport”

“Previously, tourists have been paying a transport cost of  shs290,000but now we expect them to pay around 100,000 shillings,” Dr Rukundo stated.

The sanctuary which currently houses 53 rescued chimps from various parts of the country has been receiving over 10,000 tourists a year from across the world.

According to Dr.Rukundo ,the sanctuary with the support from the Ministry of tourism including provision of water transport means ,will register increase in the number of tourists from 10000 to 40000 a year in the next five years.

The island is also considering opening more accommodations in the neighboring islands to allow more guest to increase their stay as a support mechanism to boost revenue.

Despite these efforts, the rising water levels have destabilized the island by submerging some of the accommodation facilities, which threatens the sanctuary.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1998 to care for orphaned Chimpanzees who have been rescued by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

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