Rubondo Island National Park lies in the southwest corner of Lake Vicoria, some 200 kms west of Serengeti. The park is quite small with a size of about 457sqkm, surrounded by lake on all sides making the park look like a floating zoo. The park can be used as a lovely retreat for visitors and offers the combination of a near perfect climate, atmospheric jungle-fringed beaches, some unusual wildlife viewing and the opportunity of exploring it all on foot or by boat. Besides the main island of 240sqkm the park comprises of 11 other small islets, none of which are larger than 2sqkm.
The dominant vegetation, covering about 80% of the island’s surface area, is closed canopy lowland forest. It is interspersed with patches of open grassland and acacia woodland. Rocky areas and sandy beaches characterize the eastern lakeshore. While the western shore supports extensive papyrus swamps lined with wild date palms.
The park provides one of the best opportunities for birding and game fishing.
Concentration of Game
Wildlife numbers and variety at Rubondo are less compared to other national parks in the country. What makes Rubondo different however is the unusual viewing opportunities it gives. Most of the game viewing is done on foot or on boat, this brings one quite close to the animals. Prominent species include: Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, Elephant, Giraffe, crocodile and Sitatunga. Rubondo is the only national park in the country where the Sitatunga is not as shy as elsewhere and can be viewed with relative ease.
Rubondo will be very pleasing to bird watchers. With over 225 species recorded up to now and the count is still continuing, the park is a haven for birds of aquatic and forest habitats. Some prominent species include: Fish Eagle, Goliath, Purple and Squacco Heron, long-toed Plover, blue-headed Coucal, open-billed and yellow-billed Storks, swamp Flycatcher and various weavers.
Best time to visit
Rubondo is open and can be visited throughout the year but the best months for game viewing are the dry months between June to September and January to February.
Rubondo offers ample opportunities for guided walks for game viewing and birding. Game fishing, swimming and boating can also be arranged.
Rubondo is accessible by light aircrafts only. There are scheduled flights linking the park to Grumeti (western Serengeti) and the city of Mwanza.
A 2 day tour of the park should suffice to cover all the major areas of the park. But extra days are required for those who want to indulge in other activities such as game fishing.
Our Recommendations on Rubondo Island National Park
Rubondo is not your conventional national park. It is more to do with offering a natural retreat rather than a fully fledged national park teeming with wildlife. Rubondo would be of particular interest to those who have a strong interest in birds, game fishing or those who want to escape to an uncrowded and peaceful tropical paradise!
Customized Itineraries are also available upon request.
Please contact us for a perfect, well-organized and affordable tour of this beautiful park.