Author Archives: jamesbirungi

Chimpanzee power struggle

It’s been 6 months since the community on Ngamba Island lost their leader, Mika. This left a vacuum that has to be filled. Therefore through this time we have witnessed a series of changes in the group. We now bring you the top contenders for the position and their tactics 


Eddy at one time led the group before Mika overthrow him. He now wanted to have a comeback. This has not been welcomed by the other adults. He has counteracted the rejection by forming an alliance with Maisko but it has turned out to be a wrong move as the latter is weak.

Kisembo showed interest for the top position from the beginning.  He is so determined, strong and clearly shows intentions. However his alliance with the big males is still not good. Whenever he tries to display he is checked by Maisko. This, and the fact that he is not rallying for support from other chimpanzees puts him at a lesser advantage over others.




Kalema was excited about the opportunity of taking charge in the first few days. However, he is still failing to get that command. He displays around and also has the support of a number of chimps but he gets distracted by his love for food. Feeding time comes with an opportunity to display and take charge but Kalema most of the time cares less on calming the chimps and instead draws his attention to collecting food. Nonetheless, he is generally respected by the group and often gets submission calls when he is in vicinity.

Umutama on the other hand is at a higher advantage because he has a good relationship with high ranking chimps such as Eddie, Tumbo, Robbie and Maisko. When he displays he gains more respect. We have also noted that when he is displaying, the other low ranking chimpanzees get out of his way and no one dares to challenge him. Recently he has shown a lot of dominance.





The Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) was established in 1998 to support the welfare of orphaned rescued Chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria. Today Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary cares for 48 orphaned chimpanzees.

The Sanctuary is facing a challenge of meeting the food expenses for the chimpanzees and this is due to the ever rising cost of food (with the national inflation rate at 30%), reduction in donations to the sanctuary, reduction in the number of visitors and increased number of chimps at the sanctuary.

This is therefore to humbly request for your support towards the food expenses for the chimpanzees being looked after at the sanctuary.

Your kind support will make a big difference in the lives of these orphaned chimpanzees.

Partners in the Welfare of Chimpanzees


Lilly Ajarova

Executive Director

     Feed a chimp for a day- $3.2

Feed a chimp for a month- $96

     Feed a chimp for a year- $1,152

     For more information on how your     donation can get to us send an email to

   [email protected]



Thanking you in advance.



priority needs


achievements 2-1

Stany Nyandwi wins International Award

Stany Nyandwi

Stany Nyandwi, has  won two awards in a row this year, the Carole Noon Award for Animal Sanctuary Excellence for his commitment and courage in caring for rescued orphaned chimpanzees and the siddle Madsen award by PASA.

In his own words Stany had this to say while receiving the latest award on the 12th December 2011, “My heart is with the chimps, I care for them like my own children. People are killing chimps in the forest, the babies are suffering. They need us to take care of them. If not, perhaps they will end up like the rhino in Uganda – gone, extinct and now we are paying a great deal to bring them back.”

Stany bonds with one of the chimpanzees at Ngamba Island

Stany bonds with one of the chimpanzees at Ngamba Island

His career began as a housekeeper/cook at the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) chimpanzee project in Burundi in 1989. So many confiscated orphan chimpanzees were arriving and in such poor condition that Nyandwi was quickly converted from a cook to a chimpanzee caregiver. He had a particular affinity and connection with the youngest – and often most damaged – chimpanzees, and he quickly developed a specialty in reviving those closest to death.”

Burundi in the mid-1990s was a volatile and dangerous place. Nyandwi and his colleagues had to walk more than six miles each day to get to work by 6am, each morning starting in the dark and walking home way after sunset each evening.  In 1994, two staff members were killed on a walk home. They were attacked and murdered yet Nyandwi almost always arrived early for work and stayed late.

By the end of 1995, the JGI made plans to relocate all 20 chimpanzees to the newly created Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya.   Nyandwi, was taken to Sweetwaters to look after the chimpanzees in their new home.  For six weeks, Nyandwi was left alone in Kenya to care for the 10 infants. Away from his family and his countrymen, Nyandwi thought of nothing but the chimpanzees, sometimes walking five kilometers to buy food and medical supplies for the infants with his own salary.

Today, Nyandwi is the Assistant Sanctuary Manager/ Head Caregiver for Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  “His main role is the welfare of the chimpanzees in his care, and the trainer of all the animal caregivers and veterinarians not only on Ngamba but also those from other sanctuaries who come on staff exchange program to Ngamba,” says CSWCT Executive Director, Lilly Ajarova.

CSWCT team,GFAS Executive Director Patty Finch,State Minister for Tourism Hon.E.Kamuntu and Deputy Chief of US Mission in Uganda and other deligates pose for a photograph at the award giving ceremony at Ngamba island.

CSWCT team,GFAS Executive Director Patty Finch,State Minister for Tourism Hon.E.Kamuntu, Deputy Chief of US Mission in Uganda and other deligates pose for a photograph at the award giving ceremony at Ngamba island.

“Everyone who has received this award has demonstrated great courage, extreme self-sacrifice, and exceptional determination to help animals in need, and Stany Nyandwi is no exception” says GFAS Executive Director, Patty Finch during the award giving ceremony.

As staff of Ngamba Island we are proud of Stany and thank him for all the devotion he has given to the conservation of the chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee Children’s Christmas Carnival

With Christmas around the corner and holidays for children, it’s time to relax and have party time with family, but also to spare some little coins for nature conservation. CSWCT staff know this well , on 4th December 2011 we organized the “Chimpanzee Children’s Christmas Carnival “,at Sheraton Hotel Kampala .This was to raise funds for the chimpanzee  fence at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary as well as raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees through the children. During this Christmas season we are calling upon all our supporters to join us in raising funds to renovate the fence at Ngamba Island. For more information on this you can contact us at [email protected]

some of the little ones with the pretty faces

some of the little ones with the pretty faces

The day started out with a heavy down pour in morning, getting whole team wet as they did final touches here and there.  By 1:00 pm, an overwhelming number of children had already turned up with each receiving their lunch package of hotdog, French fries and pack of juice as they were treated to dozens of laughter from comedy by the theatre factory. (A famous Ugandan comedy group that partnered with CSWCT to raise awareness about chimpanzees through comedy) .

Some of the most exciting moments included face painting as the little girls  got beautifully colored butterflies and flowers on their faces and the boys opted for dangerous looking clowns. The dancing competition saw a number of them win decoders from DSTV and Baby Gloria and Halima Namakula- children’s best musicians crowned it all with great performances.

The Minister of state for Fisheries Hon.Ruth Nankabirwa and Ms.Tinna Wamala the PR of Multi - Choice handing over awards to the best dancing children at the carnival

The Minister of state for Fisheries Hon.Ruth Nankabirwa and Ms.Tinna Wamala the PR of Multi - Choice handing over awards to the best dancing children at the carnival

In his speech, the General Manager of Sheraton, Chris said, “Sheraton will do everything possible to support CSWCT during the subsequent events. We declare that this is going to become annual event.”

CSWCT would like to appreciate all the sponsors that made this event a success.


CSWCT team