rubondo island tanzania africa

Rubondo Island National Park

The Rubondo Island National Park is one of two Tanzanian national parks located on an island on the Lake Victoria.
It is located in a point of the lake where the water is shallow, there are no rivers and the soil is volcanic.
The vegetation is composed of evergreen and semi-deciduous forests, which cover the 80% of the island's surface.
The undergrowth is composed of lianas or woody vines, while the forests are mixed with prairies or, in the area of Lukaya, with fields of Acacia trees.
The eastern shore of the lake is composed of rocky areas and sandy beaches, while to the west there are papyrus swamps bounded by date palms.

In the park it is possible to find chimpanzees, given that between 1966 and 1969 Professor Bernhard Grzimek freed 17 chimpanzees from West Africa in the area. Today there are around 40 specimens.
In this park other species have been introduced: the roan antelope and the roan rhinoceros (now extinct), the Suni antelope, the elephant, twelve giraffes, twenty guereza (a monkey of the colobi family) and some African gray parrots confiscated from poachers.

The native fauna of the National Park instead includes: green cercopithecus, the sitatunga (an antelope), the hippopotamus, the striated strata (an antelope) and the genet.

What to do

Bird watching, boat or canoe safaris, fishing, mountain bike excursions, camping.


The island is located on the south west side of Lake Victoria, about 150 km from Mwanza.
The main island, Rubondo, covers an area of 237 km², is 28 km long and the width varies from 3 to 10 km.
In addition to this there are eleven other islets no larger than 2 km². The group of islands creates the National Park, which covers an area of 456.8 km².
Lake Victoria is located at 1,134 meters above sea level. The highest point of the island is in the south of the Park, on the Masa Hills, at a height of 1.486 m (350 m above sea level).
It can also be reached by ship from Kasenda or from Nkome.

When to Go

The period of the Great Rains is from March to May, that of the Little Rains from November to December.
The annual temperature varies from 19 to 26° C.

Getting There

You can travel by road or by air from Dar es Salaam or from Kilimanjaro International Airports to Mwanza.
It is also possible to reach Mwanza from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Tabora, by car or by train.
People can travel by boat to the port of Mwanza from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba and neighboring islands.
Buses leave from Muganza to the National Park.

Where to Stay

Bandas: located about two kilometers from the park headquarters. Maximum capacity of 13 people per night.

Rest House: owned by TANAPA and located about two kilometers from the Park headquarters. The maximum capacity is 7 people per night.

Hostel: located in the park headquarters. Capacity: 36 people.

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