RUBONDO ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Rubondo Island National Park is one of two Tanzanian National Parks sited on an island in Lake Victoria- the largest lake in Africa, second largest lake in the world and the source of the Nile River, the other being the Saanane Island National Park. Rubondo Island National Park is located in the south-western angle of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The distance from Rubondo Island is about 150 km west of Mwanza Region. The main island Rubondo is about 237 km2 in size which protects another 11 islets that constitute Rubondo Island. Most islets have got areas which are not much larger than 2 km2. These 10 islands which form the Rubondo Island National Park cover the area of about 456.8 km2 of land and water area.
The protected status of the Rubondo Island National Park is recognized as the important place for breeding ground for both migratory bird and fish species particularly Tilapia and Nile perch as for an extended time it stood to be the only zone in the waters of Lake Victoria which was well secured and preserved.
Nearly 80% of the park is covered by a thick forest as well as savannah, open woodland, papyrus swamp and beautiful sandy beaches. The beauty of Lake Victoria is ever-present while visiting the park. The dense vegetation provides varieties of habitats for indigenous wildlife such as Sitatunga, hippos, velvet monkeys, bush bucks, genet cats, crocodiles, bush pigs. Revealed species shares the ecological niches with the introduced species such as chimpanzees, elephants, black and white colobus monkeys, giraffes, suni and African grey parrots. 300 speckled species of birds are found on the island, such as African Grey parrots, heron, stork, spoonbill, malachite kingfisher, paradise flycatcher and many other avi-fauna.
The landform of the park is principally covered with thick forest which gives visitors a good moment at the island destination for walking safaris, canoeing, fishing, bird watching or just watching the distinct lake fauna from the sheltered comfort of your hammock.
Native fauna include semi-aquatic sitatunga and dappled bushbucks are also found in the swamps, as well as vervet monkey, genet cat, hippo and the largest prehistoric carnivore and crocodile. Some animals that are found on the island were introduced for conservation purposes. Other non-native animals found in the park include giraffes, elephants, black and white colobus, suni antelope and many others. Exploring the original wilderness of Rubondo Island Park is unlike any other experience during your GVTS exploration safari in northern Tanzania. Life on the island is much more comfortable, a perfect way to unwind after the unbelievable heart-pounding pleasure of game drives and mountain climbing in some of Tanzania’s other national parks. Observations of the slighter wildlife are the focus, making these occasions much more spectacular. The pleasant staying at Rubondo Island, though, causes you to slow down and enjoy smaller ecosystems, such as wild insects collecting nectar from wildflowers, marked neck otter hunting for food and an African fish eagle mounting high overhead hunting for its next meal will be more of the activities in the park.