For seeing chimpanzees and the hundreds of bird species in Ngamba islands will now take just 15 minutes from Kajjansi outside Kampala, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday.
The MoU between Kajjansi Aero Club (Fly Uganda) and the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) will ease Fly Uganda carry tourists to the Lake Victoria island famed for its chimpanzee conservation, as well as the monitor lizard and abundant bird species.
The chopper bought from the Japanese Police Force about three years ago will also help promote the other tourist features of the island that include sport fishing and community tourism.
The helicopter carries a maximum of four passengers and a return trip will cost $980 for four full packages, including access to the island.
A good number of tourists visit the island located deep in the Lake Victoria for primate watching safaris and over 4000 tourists visit the sanctuary annually. The island has until now been serviced by boats and motorized vessels only, for a journey that takes an average of 40 minutes. By boat, it costs $80 per person for a minimum of four passengers for foreign tourists and $60 for East Africans.
“This is a natural extension to get more tourists to Ngamba islands,” said Russell Barnes, the director of Fly Uganda at the signing in Kajjansi. A trial flight has reportedly already been done with chimps reacting positively by coming over to watch the chopper. Barnes said the longer tourists stay in Uganda, the more money they spend and have a better experience “and the more they can talk positively about the country.”
“There have been inquiries for quicker (transport) mean to the islands, this will also provide a chance for medical evacuation,” said Ajarova.