Rubondo Island National Park
Rubondo Island lies in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, the world's second-largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. 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.
On this Island’s shores are also deserted sandy beaches that nestle against a cloak of virgin forest, where Bushbuck move fleet silently through a maze of tamarinds, wild palms, and sycamore figs strung with a cage of trailing taproots.
The shaggy-coated aquatic Sitatunga, elsewhere the most elusive of antelopes, is remarkably easily observed, not only in the papyrus swamps it normally inhabits, but also in the forest interior.
Birds are everywhere.
Flocks of African grey parrots – released onto the island after they were confiscated from illegal exporters – can be heard screeching between the trees.
Ranging from the keen eye of the Fish eagle, the azure brilliance of a Malachite kingfisher to sights of the Paradise flycatcher, Rubondo Island has an abundance that you’ll love to savor. Herons, Storks and Spoonbills proliferate in the swampy lake fringes, supplemented by thousands of Eurasian migrants during the northern winter.
Wild jasmine, 40 different orchids and a smorgasbord of sweet, indefinable smells emanate from the forest. 90% of the park is humid forest the remainder ranging from open grassland to lakeside papyrus beds.
A number of indigenous mammal species - Hippo, Vervet monkey, Genet and Mongoose - share their protected habitat with introduced species such as Chimpanzee, Black-and-white Colobus, Elephant and Giraffe, all of which benefit from Rubondo's inaccessibility.