The breathtaking, lush beauty of a forest refuge is combined with the relaxing tranquility of sandy beaches in Rubondo Island National Park. The island is located in the southwest of Lake Victoria and consists of eleven small islets in addition to the main island. The park offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors as this is the only national park that Tanzania has in Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world. It is twice the size of The Netherlands. Rubondo Island is about 28 km in length and rests in the southwest portion of the vast lake.
The island is home to a unique diversity of plants and wildlife. It is the only place where a visitor may be sure to spot sitatunga in addition to small gangs of chimpanzees. Hippos, otters, bushbucks, and velvet monkeys are also commonly seen in the island’s verdant forests. If you are lucky you may even see the more elusive genet, colobus, marsh mongoose, and suni antelope.
The location of the island near the heart of Africa as well as the diverse habitats that range from open woodland to papyrus swamps and evergreen forest make Rubondo a sanctuary for bird life. Bird watchers may catch a glimpse of a number of the islands nearly 430 species and may revel in the highest density of fish eagles anywhere in the world. Other species include herons, storks, egrets, ibises, cormorants, kingfishers, flycatchers, hornbills, and birds of prey. The island is an avian paradise.
There is a wide variety of plant and animal life on Rubondo Island. Numerous invertebrates as well as plant species make it a fascinating place for naturalists to visit. Butterflies become flying rainbows darting amidst the scintillating shadows of the trees and spectacular seasonal displays of orchids, fireball lilies and red coral trees brighten the otherwise emerald forest. Visitors have the freedom to explore the forests and lake shore by foot or boat. Each person discovers his or her own magic on Rubondo Island and leave with a uniquely personal experience.
Rubondo Island Camp
The camp operates ten luxury tents or bandas. Each of the ten units overlooks the lake and is just a few yards from the sandy shore. The glorious view of Lake Victoria can be enjoyed from the seclusion of a private terrace on each of the tents. The large tents are comfortable and have windows on all sides. A spacious en suite bath and dressing room has been constructed for each banda. In addition, only natural local building materials were used in the construction of each of these luxury tents.
An outcrop of rocks amidst scattered trees provides the perfect setting for the restaurant and bar, offering a splendid view of the lake and bay. A swimming pool is located conveniently close to the bar, among the palm trees. During the day the lake is usually calm, but when the wind picks up in the late afternoon the waves roll in, carrying the singing sounds of the sea. Rubondo’s climate is comfortably warm all year round and never gets as hot as on the coast. Enjoy the clean air and restful quiet. There is no traffic on the island to cause pollution or unwanted noise.
How to get there?
There are flights from Seronera to Rubondo on Tuesdays and Fridays. Flights back to Seronera and Arusha are on Wednesdays and Saturdays.