Rubondo Island National Park – ‘The Jewel of Lake Victoria’ Walking, Boat Excursions, Bird Watching, Fishing, Relaxing…
Rubondo Island, in the southwest of Lake Victoria, is Tanzania’s tenth National Park and the only one in Lake Victoria. The 240 square km island provides an unforgettable experience for visitors, including the main island and 11 smaller islets, combining the breathtaking natural beauty of a forest refuge with the relaxing tranquility of sandy lake-shore beaches.
The Island is some 28 km in length along the north-south axis and between 3 and 10 km wide. Lake Victoria covers 68,000 square kilometres and is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest in the world – comparatively it is twice the size of The Netherlands.
Rubondo Island boasts a unique diversity of flora and fauna. Only here can the visitor be sure of seeing Sitatunga and have the chance of observing small gangs of chimpanzees. Other mammals frequently seen include hippos, otters, bushbucks and vervet monkeys. Rarer sightings are genet, colobus, marsh mongoose and suni antelope (dikdik).
Rubondo is a paradise for bird-lovers, with nearly 430 species documented on the island. The diversity of habitats, from open woodland to papyrus swamps and evergreen forest, together with its geographical location in the heart of Africa, attracts numerous resident and migrant species. The island has an abundance of herons, storks, egrets, ibises, cormorants, kingfishers, flycatchers, bee-eaters, hornbills and birds of prey, including the highest density of fish eagles anywhere in the world.
The wide variety of invertebrates and diversity of plants species makes Rubondo a fascinating place for naturalists. Fabulous butterflies create a kaleidoscope of colour in the forest together with the spectacular seasonal displays of orchids, fireball lilies and red coral trees. Visitors have the freedom to explore the forest and lake shores by foot or boat allowing each person to discover his or her own magic of Rubondo and to leave with a uniquely personal experience of the island.