Tanzania National Parks – Combine the Best Experiences
Tanzania national parks can broadly be divided into North, South and West amongst which are the most famous safari destinations but also a few hidden gems.
19 Tanzania national parks and nature reserves in Tanzania cover about 37% of the country. These 155,000 square miles of protected areas are home to an incredible 310 mammal species, including the Big Five and over 910 different types of birds.
Rubondo Island has its own airstrip and you can fly-in or take a boat from Kasenda. 75% of the island is covered by pristine rainforest. Chimpanzees, giraffe elephants and sitatunga were introduced here in the 1960s. Rubondo Island Camp is the only accommodation.
Size: 176 sq miles / 456 km²
Notes: Remote and exclusive.
Rubondo Island is the largest of one of only 2 island National Parks in Tanzania and is located on the south-west corner of Lake Victoria, 150 km (95 miles) west of Mwanza city. The 2nd island park is Saa Nane Island NP, which is near by and which you will also visit during your stay. Lake Victoria is one of Africa’s Great Lakes and is the source of the River Nile (the world’s longest river), Africa’s largest lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
This national park is 456.8 km2 of which approx 50% is dry land and 50% is water comprising of 11 small islets. The park offers a vast variety of habitats for wildlife including: velvet monkeys, genet cats, spotted necked otters, hippopotamus, crocodiles, chimpanzees, elephants and giraffes. Only here can visitors to Tanzania be sure of seeing Sitatunga (marsh bucks). It is also a paradise for bird-lovers with nearly 400 species documented on the island. Fisherman also love the challenge of coming face to face with the iconic Nile Perch!
A stay on Rubonda Island and a Lake Victoria Safari is a unique way of experiencing Tanzania and its African wildlife. It’s remoteness and lack of human influence ensures you will have very special memories that few will ever have, and you will have played your part in conserving this extraordinary wildlife refuge for generations to come.
A Typical Day at Rubondo
06:00–06.30 Wake-up call with hot tea & coffee
06:30–07:30 Following breakfast, depart for a morning forest walk or a canoe safari, or leave slightly earlier, taking a picnic breakfast with you
09:30–1130 Return to the lodge, followed by breakfast (if you wish)
13:30–16:00 A spot of fishing or siesta time: read a book or just relax in camp while the hippo grunt in the lake in front of you
16:00 Afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes
16:30 Depart for a guided forest walk
18:30 Arrive back at the lodge
19:30 Drinks on the beach followed by dinner under the stars
USD$1800 per person (mid – range accommodation)
Package Suggestions –
Our price is per person and will be based on numbers in the group and any specific requirements.
DAY 1 – Transport, Crocodiles & Campfires!
At the start of this unique Lake Victoria Safari we will meet and greet you from your flight or bus. We will drive you to Muganza to take a 20 minute boat ride across Lake Victoria to the magical Rubondo Island. On arrival you will take a 25 minute drive through the forest to your accommodation – you may spot your first game on route! You can then check in your room/banda while registration and confirming your activity plan is done by the park administration. In the afternoon after lunch, you will go on a 3 hour walking safari (guided) in the natural forest/along the beach. While hiking, you can enjoy viewing animals like sitatunga, bushbucks, suni, mongoose, bush pigs, genet cats and monkeys. There are many forest birds and butterflies on the lake and its shores. In the evening after dinner you can enjoy the quiet of the island around a campfire – a good time for a local beer or wine and reflect on an amazing day!
DAY 2 – Lake Victoria Safari
After an early coffee, you will go on a game drive to try and spot big game like elephant, giraffe and other small animals, reptiles and birds. You will come back to base for a hearty brunch. In the afternoon you will then take an exciting Lake Victoria Safari to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Island. You will head to bird Island to enjoy more of the lakes birds life, the secretive sitatunga’s and the breath taking hippo and crocodiles in the water. (We can also arrange for you to fish on the lake (Sport fishing- for an additional charge)
DAY 3 – Island Discovery & Transfer
Island discovery & Transfer Today you will have a free morning on Rubondo Island to feel its tranquility and to relax. You will leave the Island after an early Brunch. We will take you back to the mainland and on to arrange a flight direct from the island to Mwanza, the Serengeti or back home!
RECOMMENDED EXTRA Chimpanzee habituation experience
Rubondo Island offers a unique opportunity for you to spend time with habitutators in the field observing these extraordinary monkeys. Please request additional price at time of booking.