Rubondo National Park

Rubondo National Park, covering an area of 457square km, became a game reserve in 1965 to provide a sanctuary for animals. The park is located in on the south – western corner of Lake Victoria, it was gazetted as a National park in 1977. Today Rubondo is uninhabited. Consequently, 80% of the island remains forested. Lake Victoria is 1,134 metres above sea level. The highest point on Rubondo is the Masa Hills in the far south, at an elevation of 1,486m (350m above the level of the lake). The main island measures 28 km from north to south and is 3–10 km wide.

 Lake Victoria is the second largest lake and the source of the longest river in the world (River Nile), this lake forms a spectacular sight for visitors with its deepest point (Irumo) in the Park.

The Park is famous for hosting a variety of migratory birds from different parts of the world.   Apart from other water birds, the park has a remarkable high density of fish eagles.

The park have several animal and reptiles species including Sitatunga, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, Bushbucks, Pythons, Crocodiles, Chimpanzees (semi habituated), bush pigs and Suni.

Rubondo Island can be reached by park boat from two different locations. One option is the boat from Kasenda, a small village near Muganza in Chato District. The other option is the boat from Nkome in Geita District. By airplane, Rubondo Airstrip can be reached with Auric Air or Coastal Aviation.

Main Activities in the park includes:

-Game drives – This activity is conducted from 0630 – 1830 HRS, no additional fee for this activity. Four wheel (4X4) drive vehicles are available in the park for hire.

-Walking safari – Both long and short walking safaris which are conducted in the natural forest along the beach. Walking trails include: Airstrip - Pongo view (3.5km), Maji Matakatifu – Mchangani(1.5km), Airstip - Mamba point( 1.8km), Mamba point - Mlaga Kageye road(2.7km) , Bandas - Pongo camp(1.5km)

-Bird watching - More than 200 bird species, including both resident and migratory, has been recorded. The common resident birds include fish eagles, herons, storks, ibises, egrets, cormorants, kingfishers and other birds of prey.

-Boat safari –Lake excursion.

-Sport Fishing-This is one of the most exciting recreational activities done in designated areas of the park.

Best time to visit the park is from June- August (dry season) is the best time to watch large animals, butterflies and wild flowers. And from November- March (wet season) is the best time for watching migratory as well as breeding resident birds.

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