Rubondo Island National Park

Located on the south-west shores of Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island National Park includes Rubondo Island and several other small islands of Lake Victoria.

The park boasts for its rich and diverse variety of butterflies and bird life, easily viewable from the lake shore. The rare Sitatunga, an extremely endangered amphibious antelope, can sometimes be viewed escaping from the charging predators by hiding and camouflaging itself in the lake shore marshes.

A visit to Rubondo Island National Park offers visitors a break from game viewing in the tranquil peace of a lake shore setting. Exploring the islands within the park creates an excitement for day trips. Fishing expeditions into Lake Victoria are easily arranged through the major lodges. Rubondo Island National Park is a relaxation from the rigorous safari circuit and a relaxing place from which to explore Lake Victoria.

Park attractions
–  A variety of water birds , Eurasian migrants and introduced African grey parrots
–  High density of African fish eagles distinctly seen
–  Animal species including Sitatunga, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, Bushbucks, Pythons, Crocodiles, Chimpanzees (not fully habituated), Bush pigs and Suni
–  The Lake Victoria forming a spectacular sight for visitors with the deepest point in the lake (Irumo) forming part of the park
–  Magnificent view of one of the last remaining representatives of evergreen dense primary lowland Congolese forest with a unique habitat mosaic in the midst of high biodiversity value
–  Beautiful and attracting beaches such as Fly catcher, Mchangani and Michicoco
–  Important gulfs of Irumo and Kamea
–  Clear sighting of both sun rise and sun set
–  Cultural sites such as “Ntungamirwe”, “Maji Matakatifu”, “Altare” and “Solo” which explain the life of natives who once stayed in the park
–  “Birds Islands”, breeding sit for water birds
–  Crocodile Island

Bandas: Located about two kilometers from the Park headquarters with 1 unit of well-maintained uniport with triple beds inside/self-contained and 5 double bed rooms all self-contained with hot shower service. Maximum capacity 13 pax per night.

Rest House: Owned by TANAPA and located about two kilometers from Park headquarters with 2 singles, 1 triple beds room and 1 double bed sized room all being self-contained with TV and hot shower. Maximum/full capacity is 7 pax per night.

Youth hostel: Located at park headquarters. Capacity 36 persons (16 boys, 16 girls and two rooms with double beds to accommodate 4 teachers.)

Resting shelters: Four resting shelter located at bandas facing a magnificent view of the lake where visitors rest while enjoying the lake breeze during a day.

Dining and Kitchen: A well maintained and fully equipped facility comprising of dining and kitchen owned by the park, all visitors are advised to bring in some foodstuffs while the park provides kitchen and dining facilities. Note that, the place is self-catering.

Campfire: The dining/kitchen facility faces a fireplace where fire is normally lit for visitors to stay nearby during evening times while enjoying their barbecue and drinks.

Shop: One shop owned by TANAPA Rubondo staff located at Park headquarters which sells some household items and beverages for both staff and visitor uses.

Public Campsites: Mlaga campsite which can accommodate up to 30 persons one per night. (Not operating currently)

Picnic Sites: Four picnic sites two of which being located at Maji matakatifu, one at Pongo view point and one at Mamba trail, they all face a spectacular view of the lake at different sights which together bring the aesthetic value of the park thus adding to visitors satisfaction.

Park Activities
Game Drives, Bird Watching, Walking Safaris, (Rangers required.  Can be arranged in advance through Park Office (See park fees), visitors are advised to carry some dry stuff while going for long walks.

Accommodation choices for Rubondo Island

We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Rubondo Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

Five things to do in Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island National Park is one of the largest of two Islands National Park in Tanzania – located on the South-west corner of Lake Victoria. However, the second largest Island Park is Saanane Island National Park.

Rubondo Island National Park is 456,8 kilometers square – which is dry land and 220 kilometres square is water comprising of 11 small islets. The park offers a vast variety of habitats for wildlife including; velvet monkeys, genet cats, spotted-necked otters, hippos, crocodiles, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes and marshes bucks. The park is also home to a variety of birds species.

If you’re a fisherman and love the challenge of coming face to face with the iconic Nile Perch – make sure you plan a holiday in Tanzania.

Fishing safari

Rubondo Island National Park is equipped with a variety of fishing techniques – including; trolling, spinning live and dead bait as well as fly-fishing. Anglers from around the world travel to this Island for the opportunity to reel in a Nile perch, one of Africa’s biggest and most sought-after freshwater fish. However, Rubondo Island practices and supports a strict ‘catch and release policy’. Additional charges and permits may apply.

Game drive

Rubondo Island National Park is equipped with a variety of fishing techniques – including; trolling, spinning live and dead bait as well as fly-fishing. Anglers from around the world travel to this Island for the opportunity to reel in a Nile perch, one of Africa’s biggest and most sought-after freshwater fish. However, Rubondo Island practices and supports a strict ‘catch and release policy’. Additional charges and permits may apply.

Game drive

Rubondo Island boasts a number of the indigenous species such as hippo, bushbuck, vervet, sitatunga, crocodiles, elephants, chimpanzee, giraffe, black and white colobus monkeys, suni and grey parrots, buffalos, bushpig, hyrax, warthog and large spotted genet cat. During your game drive – expect to spot this listed wildlife.

Bird watching

East Africa birdlife is rich and diverse, with over 1,000 species in Tanzania and Kenya together. Approximately over 200 species of indigenous and migrant birds which can be observed either breeding or pass through the National Park. The Island has an abundance of herons, storks, ibises, egrets, cormorants, kingfishers and birds of prey. However, it is believed that the park has the highest density of fish eagles in the world.

Boating and Canoeing safari

Guided canoe trips offer a different perspective of the Island and across the quiet inlets as well as covers places that can’t be reached on foot. Paddle yourself or be paddled by a guide as you trace the coast – spotted wildlife both aquatic and terrestrial. However, explore the different channels and lakes of the Rufiji River – surrounded by hippos.

Chimpanzee trek

The chimpanzee were introduced as the first ever attempt to rehabilitate captive chimpanzees back into a wild environment. Their survival to this day remains a testament to the early pioneers who introduced them here half a century ago. However, the chimpanzees are certainly one of the island’s most attractive draws to visitors.

Guided canoe trips offer a different perspective of the Island and across the quiet inlets as well as covers places that can’t be reached on foot. Paddle yourself or be paddled by a guide as you trace the coast – spotted wildlife both aquatic and terrestrial. However, explore the different channels and lakes of the Rufiji River – surrounded by hippos.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: