Rubondo Island National park : Rubondo Island, a remarkable example of wildlife conservation, is located southwest of Lake Victoria. Its 26 km length and up to 10 km width make it the largest island national park in Africa. The island’s virgin tropical rainforest covers more than 75% of it. The island has been a safe sanctuary for wild chimpanzees, sitatunga antelope, elephants, and giraffes since the 1960s. Rubondo, the largest island national park in Africa, provides a genuine Jurassic Park experience that is off the usual path.
On an island in the midst of Lake Victoria, the second-largest lake in the world, is where you’ll find the Rubondo Island National Park. 90% of the island is still covered in forest, and it is deserted. Local animals can be found here, including giraffes, elephants, antelopes, hippos, and crocodiles.
Visitors can take a break from game viewing in the serene calm of a lakeside environment by visiting Rubondo Island National Park. Day trips are made more exciting by exploring the park’s islands. The major lodges can readily arrange fishing trips on Lake Victoria. Rubondo Island National Park is a tranquil setting from which to explore Lake Victoria and a welcome break from the strenuous safari circuit.
Rubondo, which has its own airport, is reachable from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, and the Serengeti. In order to combine this wild island getaway with an unforgettable gorilla encounter in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, travelers can alternatively fly directly from Kigali.
WILDLIFE ON RUBONDO ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Numerous uninhabited sandy beaches with a direct forest border can be found on Rubondo Island. Bushbucks can be found in this area, slinking softly through the maze of tamarind, palm, and sycamore fig trees. Here, it is especially easy to see the aquatic sitatunga with its distinctive webbed feet and shaggy coat that lives by the water. The yellow-spotted otters that roam around the island’s rocky bays primarily eat flavorful tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), while Rubondo Island national park’s carnivorous Nile perch, weighing up to 100 kg, and presents a tantalizing challenge for hungry fishermen.
The woodland is home to a variety of vibrant orchid species, wild jasmine, and a mysterious potpourri of scents. The park’s forest cover is estimated to be 90% of its total area. By the lake, there are papyrus groves and open grasslands as well. Chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, elephants, and giraffes who have since made this place home share it with native wild creatures like hippos, crocodiles, vervet monkeys, genets, and dik-dik.
THE RUBONDO NATIONAL PARK: A BIRD WATCHER’S PARADISE
The island is abundant with birds, making the Rubondo National Park a birder’s secret. Over the years, more than 400 species have been identified. African gray parrot flocks that were once freed on the island fly around ecstatically and chirp in various tones. In the marshy bank areas, herons, storks, and spoonbills breed in great numbers. Every year, thousands of migratory birds from Europe join them.
TOURIST ATTRACTION RUBONDO NATIONAL PARK
Various aquatic birds, Eurasia migrants, and introduced African grey parrots
African fish eagles can be spotted in high numbers.
Sitatunga, elephants, giraffes, hippos, bushbucks, pythons, crocodiles, chimpanzees (not totally habituated), bush pigs, and suni are among the various animal species.
-Lake Victoria, with its deepest point located within the park, provides visitors with a breathtaking spectacle.
-Stunning picture of one of the last remaining examples of deep, evergreen lowland Congolese forest, with a distinctive ecological mosaic and high biological importance.
-Beaches that are lovely and popular, such as Fly Catcher, Mchangani, and Michicoco.
-The significant gulfs of Kamea and Irumo.
-A clear view of both the sun rising and setting.
-Cultural sites that describe the way of life of the natives who formerly resided in the park, such as “Ntungamirwe,” “Maji Matakatifu,” “Altare,” and “Solo.”
TOURIST ACTIVITIES AT RUBONDO ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Experience: The chance for visitors to participate in Professor Bernhard Grzimek’s Noah’s Ark Project is among Rubondo Island Camp’s most distinctive features. In collaboration with the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Grzimek introduced endangered animals, including 16 West African chimpanzees, to Rubondo. Now, visitors may go on a guided walking safari into the untainted tropical forest to look for primates. During their habituation experience during the past year (2021), 92 percent of visitors were able to see chimpanzees. Since 2020, tourists have had success viewing chimpanzees up close, within a range of roughly 10-15 meters, with the majority of sightings lasting at least 30 minutes.
On Rubondo Island, there are two chimpanzee trekking locations. You might need to take a game drive, boat ride, and then set out on foot to observe the chimpanzees, depending on where they are located and how visible they are. Depending on the availability of food and the climate, the chimpanzee habituation experience can be undertaken at any time of the year. Because chimpanzees are notorious for moving around a lot, visitors should be reasonably fit and have a sense of adventure.
Please be aware that the chimpanzee experience is not appropriate for anyone who cannot hike for roughly two hours on steep terrain. There is no assurance that visitors will see chimpanzees, but going during the dry season, which runs from June to October, gives them the best chance. Please be aware that there is a minimum age requirement of 12 and a maximum group size of 8 on each hike.
Meet the Chimpanzee
Chimpanzees place a high value on their family ties. They reside in extended family groups of 20 to 120 people. They have a fission-fusion social structure where they occasionally splinter off into smaller, replaceable groupings. This group of chimpanzees in the north of Rubondo Island, where more than 30 of them have been successfully habituated, has created a social structure that includes an alpha male, an alpha female, high-ranking adult males, and a few adult females. Chimpanzee vocalizations often echo through the forest as they call to one another in a sort of bonding rite, making it common to hear them before seeing them.
Boating and canoeing
Take a boat excursion on the tranquil Lake Victoria in the north of Tanzania or the rivers in the south of the country to see game in Tanzania in a different way. Visitors can experience the wilderness in a way never previously possible while on a specially customized boat. Watch hippo and crocodile go about their daily activities while basking in the sun or the cold water.
You might see finely constructed weaver’s nests and bursts of brilliant color as birds dart in and out while floating beneath overhanging bushes teeming with birdlife. Try your hand at fishing or just relax in your favorite chair as you look through your binoculars at the numerous water birds that live in the lakes and rivers.
You can throw a line into the lake’s depths where a large population of freshwater fish live on a boat safari from Rubondo, Lake Victoria’s most fascinating island, while keeping an eye out for crocodiles, hippo, and spotted-neck otter. The island’s gorgeous forests, where lively chimpanzees spend their days in the treetops or relaxing in the underbrush, may also be enjoyed from a closer-to-the-shore location.
Fishing in East Africa is excellent, whether it be in freshwater in Kenya and Tanzania or in the deep sea off the coast of Swaziland and Zanzibar.
The Rufiji, Tanzania’s largest river, offers avid anglers the chance to snag the tiger fish, a prized catch known for its razor-sharp teeth and powerful bulk. Your fishing guide, who grew up fishing by hand, will help you find the ideal areas. Catch-and-release fishing is the way to go in order to protect the population and provide the next fisherman with a chance at success.
Apart from Selous game reserve, Rubondo Island in Tanzania’s northwest is another must-visit fishing location for a more tranquil fishing adventure. Nile perch and tilapia are widely distributed in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. In your own private boat with a seasoned captain and expert fishing guide, cruise pleasantly. Sip on a cool beverage while seeing the water birds roosting for the evening as the sun sets over the water in the background.
The Swahili coast off Zanzibar is also a popular spot for game fishing. Insatiable fighters like marlin, sailfish, yellowfin and dogtooth tuna, big wahoo, king mackerel, Dorado, barracuda, and the world-record-breaking gigantic trevally all offer eager fishermen a strong opportunity to set a personal best. There are many charters available, and you may tailor the boat size, length of the excursion, and fish that are targeted to meet your needs.
It’s time to gaze up and see the bustling bird life above you when it’s hot outside and the lions are lying belly-up in a tree’s shade. Watch dazzling color flashes and listen to songbirds’ melodies. You might see weavers arguing over supplies and available space as they build their delicately woven nests. Or perhaps you’ll see the tango between prospective partners as the man struts his stuff and tries to win them over.
Whether you are happy with the occasional glimpse from your car or would rather go on a twitching mission, East Africa has plenty of excellent birding places. Choose your best set of binoculars, carry your zoom lens, and meet with a tour guide who is passionate about what you are interested in. On a birding expedition, whether on foot or in a 4×4 safari vehicle, the pace slows and reveals a world of subtleties.
Numerous native species can be found on Rubondo Island, including the hippopotamus, bushbuck, vervet, sitatunga, crocodiles, elephants, chimpanzees, giraffes, suni, grey parrots, buffalos, bush pigs, hyrax, warthogs, and giant spotted genet cats all of which can be spotted in your game drive to rubondo island national park.