Rubondo Island is tucked in a corner of Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between three countries. With 9 smaller islands under her wing, Rubondo protects precious fish breeding grounds. Tasty tilapia and the rapacious Nile perch, some weighing more than 100 kgs, tempt recreational fishers with challenging sport fishing and world record catches.


A fish eagle guarding the gentle bay shrieks an alarm, head tossed back. A well-fed monster of a crocodile snaps to life, startled from its nap in the morning sun. It stampedes through the crunchy undergrowth, crashing into the water in front of our boat, leaving only sentry post eyes sceptically monitoring our movements.


But Rubondo is more than a water wonderland. Deserted sandy beaches nestle against a cloak of virgin forest. Papyrus swamps host the secretive sitatunga, a shaggy aquatic antelope and the dappled bushbuck, darting fleet footed through the maze of tamarind, wild palm and sycamore fig, strung with a cage of trailing taproots. The malachite kingfisher’s azure brilliance competes with the paradise flycatcher’s glamorous, flowing tail. Rubondo is home to fish eagles and a global stopover for hundreds of migratory birds. Wild jasmine, 40 different orchids and a smorgasbord of sweet, indefinable smells from the forest greet you.


Ninety percent of the park is humid forest; the remainder ranges from coastal grassland to like side papyrus beds. A number of indigenous mammal species – hippo, bushbuck, monkey, genet and mongoose – share their protected habitat with introduced species, such as chimpanzee, elephant and giraffe, that benefit from Rubondo’s inaccessibility.

Size 240 sq kms (about 150 sq miles)
Location Northwest Tanzania, 150 km west of Mwanza

Getting there

Regular flights form Arusha, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Mwanza. By roac from Mwanza and then boat transfer. Contact the Park for transport details.
What to do Walking safaris, boat excursions, sport fishing, chimpanzee treks, plans for canoe trips.
Best Time Dry season, June-August, Wildflowers and butterflies, wet season November-March. December-February best for migratory birds.


One luxury Tented camp, Park bandas and Campsite.

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