By visiting this small national park, you will have a completely different adventure than the more “regular” parks. In the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, you can make this island a part of your journey and adventures during your visit in Tanzania.
Rubondo Island can be visited after the northern circuit parks, and you should also think of visiting the Chimpanzee havens of Gombe Streams or Mahale Mountains National Parks.
A pair of fish eagles guards the gentle bay, their distinctive black, white and chestnut feather pattern gleaming boldly in the morning sun.
On the sandbank below, a well-fed monster of a crocodile snaps to life, startled from its nap. It stampedes through the crunchy undergrowth, crashing into the water in front of the boat, invisible except for a pair of sentry-post eyes that peek menacingly above the surface to monitor your movements.
With nine smaller islands under its wing, Rubondo protects precious fish breeding grounds. Tasty tilapia form the staple diet of the yellow-spotted otters that frolic in the island’s rocky coves, while rapacious Nile perch, some weighing more than 100kg, tempt recreational game fishermen seeking world record catches.
In Rubondo you’ll see more than a water wonderland. Deserted sandy beaches nestle against a cloak of virgin forest, where the bushbucks move quickly yet silent through a maze of tamarinds, wild palms, and sycamore figs strung with a cage of trailing taproots.