Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island was gazetted officially as National Park in 1977. It is an important breeding ground for both migratory bird and fish species especially Tilapia and Nile perch as for a long time it stood to be the only area in the waters of Lake Victoria which was well protected and preserved.

About 80% of the park is covered by a dense forest thus providing a variety of habitats for indigenous wildlife such as Sitatunga, hippos, bush bucks, velvet monkeys, genet cats, crocodiles, bush pigs etc sharing the ecological niches with the introduced species such as chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, black and white colubous monkeys, suni and African grey parrots.

Best Time To Visit Park

The best time is from June through September and wet season from November to March when wild flowers are flourishing and plentiful of butterflies

For bird watchers is from December to February when most migratory birds are nesting

Getting there

Rubondo Island can be reached by Air Chatters and Public transport & then boats to the park.

By Air

Rubondo Island can be reached both by charter/air. Visitors who prefer to travel by air should in advance check with the tour operators in Bukoba, Mwanza, Arusha and Dar es Salaam for flight schedules.

By public transport and Boat

By public transport leads you from Mwanza to Nkome via Geita town which is approximately 3-4 hours (164km) drive, 100km through a tarmac and 64 rough road. At Nkome Rangers post you can be picked by park boat and will take 1 hour to the park. Another route is Mwanza to Mganza through Bukoba road (270km – 5hrs), Biharamulo to Mganza through Chato – Bukoba road and from Bukoba to Mganza through Bukoba – Chato road. At Muganza you can take a taxi or motorcycle (5min) to Kasenda where Park boats are parking and there you will be picked-up by park boat and will take about 20-25 min to the park.

Note: Communication and transport arrangements should be done prior to park visit.


The park is bestowed with magnificent attractions that tourist can enjoy these include diversity of wild life including elephants, giraffes, bushbucks, hippos, yellow-spotted otters, crocodiles, chimpanzee, sitatunga and offers best fish breeding sites. other attractions are birds diversity with more than 400 species of nesting birds resides the park. The grey parrot, introduced in 2000 when 34 birds were rescued from illegal trade, is a spectacular newcomer. Another noisy specimen is the African fish eagle.


Currently being habituated – few Chimps are now used for tourism Habituation Experience (CHEX). One can travel by car to Chimps’ areas and joining chimps’ habituation crew and be a part of habituators.

Other mammals

Other mammals that are frequently seen are Giraffes, Hippopotamus, Sported necked Otter, Bushbucks and Velvet Monkeys. Colobous monkeys, Genet Cats, Marsh Mongoose, Suni and Elephants.

Magnificent view of evergreen dense primary lowland Congolese forest

More than 80% of Rubondo Island National Park is covered by an intense primary lowland Congolese forest. Thus providing a variety of wildlife habitats sharing the similar ecological niches such as elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees, black & white colobous monkeys, Suni, African grey parrots etc.


Variety of water birds at Birds’ Island: RINP is one of the sites with highest density and concentration of Birds in Tanzania. Also RINP provides best habitat for birds migrating between southern and northern hemispheres.

Variety of Reptiles

Reptiles such as snakes (pythons), monitor lizards and crocodiles: These are reptiles that found in the park but some are rarely seen. Most reptiles maintain their body temperature by absorbing heat from their surrounding and have bodies that change accordingly to local atmosphere that means they cannot control their own body temperature

Cultural sites

Sacred Site Ntungamirwe

Near Kageye area, just beneath Pongo Viewpoint along the tourist trail, there is still visible and intact a sacrificial site, one of the most popular sacred site use by Native Zinza tribe for traditional and spiritual beliefs. The rock can be delineated from the surrounding rocks due to its white coloration.


This is an important historical site, used during wars with enemies of the Banyarubondo. Enemies included Baganda people from Uganda, who attacked them especially after the harvest season to steal cereals. The natives hid in karobhela caves at Alutare during the wars. The natives like to compare this entrance with an entrance into a cathedral. This is why the whole area was named “Alutare”, which means “altar”.


Rubondo island, is a place you can relax in two minutes. This is due to its natural beauty and calmness. Is a place you can enjoy colorful sunrise and sunset while listening to bird songs.

Sport Fishing

It is the most exciting recreational activity in which there is great possibility of getting a big catch to make a wonderful and challenging record of catches among others.

Boat Excursions

one can view a spectacular beauty of the island, beaches, variety of water birds, crocodiles, amongst the deepest point in the Lake Victoria “Irumo”, hippos, otters, plants species along the shores as well as enjoying the cool lake breeze.

Walking Safaris

(Short and long) up to 4 hrs and above depending on the requests – One can enjoy seeing animals such as suni, mongoose, genet cats, monkeys, bush pigs, sitatunga, bush bucks etc. Also, reptiles, orest birds, viewing the lake & shores etc.

Game Viewing

There is a possibility of watching big game such as elephants, giraffes and other mammals, reptiles, amphibious and variety of forest birds.

Chimps Habituation Experience(CHEX)

One can join Chimps habituation crew to experience how chimps are habituated in their nature state without using any artificial means of attracting them to humans (e.g. feeding, playbacks, etc.)


Canoeing is one among recreational activity on Lake Victoria with aim of diversifying activities in park. The activity involves paddling a canoe and is done as or as a part of a sport.



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