Nestled in the south-western corner of Lake Victoria in Geita region is Africa's largest island park, the Rubondo Island National Park. Draped in tranquility and spared of human encroachment this unspoiled piece of land has become a sanctuary for the endangered wildlife of the region and is a welcome break from the adrenaline rushing game drives of other iconic parks. Gazetted as a national park in 1977, the park island is 26km in length and has a staggering 80% under forest cover with the habitats ranging from evergreen and semi-deciduous forests interspersed with papyrus swamps, open savannahs, and granite outcrops. The diverse habitats are conducive for hosting a variety of faunal species including large mammals like elephants and giraffes. The park is one of the best places to see the rare Sitatunga, an extremely endangered amphibious antelope, which is often sighted in the west coast swamps of the island. You can also spot Hippos, Bushbucks, Pythons, Crocodiles, otters, Chimpanzees, velvet monkeys, colobus monkeys, Bush pigs, and Suni. There are nearly 40 varieties of orchids growing in the island which gets special appreciation from the colorful butterflies abounding the region. While Emin Pasha Gulf and a large number of African fish eagles are native of the island, the park often receives huge number migratory birds; with 300 species of birds to watch, the island is of particular interest to birders.
The park is game round the year but the best time to visit Rubondo is during the dry season, between June and October. December through to February sees the flowers in full bloom and with a large number of migrant bird species visit the island the park transforms into a birding paradise which makes it a great time for birders to visit.
The park is one of the best places to see the rare Sitatunga, besides an array of avifauna like cuckoos, sunbirds, hammerkops, egrets, geese, bee-eaters, herons, saddle-billed storks, ibis, kingfishers. You can also visit the "Birds Islands”, a breeding site for water birds. You can also spot Hippos, Bushbucks, Pythons, Crocodiles, otters, Chimpanzees, velvet monkeys, colobus monkeys, Bush pigs and Suni in the diverse habitats of the island park.
Rubondo Island is accessible by road and charter flights. You can drive from Mwanza to Geita and then to Nkome before taking a boat to Rubondo main island (Kageye, the park HQ). You can also take scheduled flights operate from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha to reach Rubondo. There are also direct flights to Rubondo Island from the Serengeti
You can drive from Mwanza to Geita and then to Nkome before taking a boat to Rubondo main island.
You can also take scheduled flights operate from Dar es Salaam,Zanzibar, Arusha to reach Rubondo