Tanzania Tour, Safaris, and Kilimanjaro Trekking
Arusha, Tanzania
+255 754 639 356 / +255713563563

About Park

The largest island national park in Africa, Rubondo Island lies in the southern part of Lake Victoria (the second-largest lake in Africa, after Lake Tanganyika).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.

Between 1966 and 1969 Professor Bernhard Grzimek from the Frankfurt Zoological Society introduced 16 captive-born chimpanzees to the island. Rescued from zoos and circuses across Europe, these animals were brought over in crates and relocated to Rubondo where they were given a new life in the wild. The chimpanzees clearly loved their freedom and quickly established a healthy breeding troop whose population today numbers over 40 animals.

Following on from this success, several other mammal species were introduced to the island, including elephants, giraffe, black rhinos and the rare suni antelope. Unfortunately due to poaching rhino are no longer found on the island. In 2000, 37 grey parrots that were victims of illegal trade were rescued and released on Rubondo. The parrots rapidly took to their island home and they can now found all over Rubondo.

Wildlife of the National Park

Animals of Rubondo

Given that it is a small island, Rubondo is home to a surprising number of large mammals. Of particular interest are the wild chimpanzees that were introduced in the 1960s. The chance of spotting these is, at present, relatively slim, although we’d expect better sightings as they become more habituated to humans. Researchers are currently in place trying to habitaute them and visitors can also play their part in this by participating in what is called the ‘Chimpanzee Habituation Experience’.

Elephant and giraffe have breeding populations, although despite their size these animals are rarely seen. By contrast, sightings of hippos, crocodiles and even otters are relatively common.

Rubondo is also one of the best places in Africa to see the semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope, which commonly sighted in the swamps on the west coast of the island. Other mammals found on Rubondo include the nocturnal civit and genet as well as a number of antelope species that are found in the dense forest.

On the shores of the island, and smaller bodies of water inland, there are surprisingly high numbers of serrated hinged terrapins, a species native to the East African tropics. These terrapins lay their eggs between October and January with the hatchlings emerging between March and April.

Walking through the forests you will also notice a lot of butterflies. A large number of species are found on Rubondo, in part due to over 40 species of orchids that grow on the island.

Birdlife of Rubondo

Rubondo Island offers one of the best locations in Tanzania for bird watching. With over 300 species, birders will be in their element.

On visiting recently, we were struck by the pied kingfishers which we found in large flocks, numbering upwards of 50 birds. Open-billed and marabou storks are commonly sighted on the shores along with cormorants, darters and white egrets. Rubondo also seems to have a very high concentration of fish eagles



Get in touch with us today and our team of travel specialists will help build your experience of a lifetime in Tanzania.

    Chat via WhatsApp!
    Need help? Chat via WhatsApp
    Can we help you!