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Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island National Park is a conservation area of Rubondo Island covering 237 sq kilometers and covers 11 small islands around it for a total area of 456.8 sq kilometers (176.4 sq mi) located in Lake Victoria between Chato District and Geita District in Geita Region, Tanzania. Rubondo Island National Park is basically the Rubondo archipelago park located on the southwest corner of the lake.

Rubondo Island National Park protects Rubondo Island as the main island and the other 11 islands that measure less than 2 sq kilometers in Lake Victoria which lies at 1,134 meters above sea level. The highest point in Rubondo is Masa Hills at the southern end at an altitude of 1,486 meters or 350 meters above the lake's surface.

Xvlor Rubondo Island National Park is island reserve in Lake Victoria Rubondo Island National Park is island reserve in Lake Victoria

The main island has a length of 28 kilometers from north to south and a width of 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers. The island of Rubondo is located in the gap of the lake and basically consists of a crack of some of the four volcanically formed hills connected by three flat isthmuses. The island has no rivers and the ground is a volcano.

The island of Rubondo was designated a national park in 1977 and today is uninhabited. More than 400 folk fishermen from Zinza tribes living on the island and banana gardening were moved to neighboring islands and to the mainland by the government in the late 1960s. The court sentenced 6 weeks in prison for an unauthorized landfall on the island and 6 months for an illegal poaching attempt.


The area is a mixed green and semideciduous forest that covers about 80% of the island's surface area with common species including Croton sylvaticus, Drypetes gerrardii and Lecaniodiscus fraxinifolius. The forest is interspersed with grasses of open grasslands and acacia trees.

The eastern shore is a rocky area and sandy beach, while the west coast is a swamp of papyrus and palm trees. Common native fauna includes vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei), common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), genet (Genetta) and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus).

Release of wildlife

Professor Bernhard Grzimek of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) released 17 chimpanzees in four groups to the island of Rubondo over a four-year period (1966-1969). The animals had no rehabilitation or pre-release training and all were born wild from West African descent. Chimps are able to find wild food and build a sleeping nest that is characteristic of wild chimpanzees.

Seven other species introduced to the island are Antelope Roan (Hippotragus equinus) and rhino (Diceros bicornis) both now extinct, Suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus), elephants (Loxodonta africana), twelve giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), 20 black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) and African gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus) confiscated from illegal trade. Rubondo Island National Park is island reserve in Lake Victoria

Xvlor Rubondo Island National Park is island reserve in Lake Victoria

Location: Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria between Chato District and Geita District in Geita Region, Tanzania.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Rubondo Airstrip in Rubondo Island.

Another alternative is a flight to Bukoba Airport in Bukabo City, then drive to Kasenda Village in Chato District to use the park boat to Rubondo Island. Other alternative routes are flights to Mwanza Airport in Mwanza City, then drive to Nkome Village in Geita District, then use the park boat to Rubondo Island.

Advice: Rainy season from October to May with bimodal peaks in December and May. Complete accommodation is available at Rubondo Island Camp to explore a variety of habitats with guided walking safaris, 4x4 and boats. Delicious food made with local ingredients where the lake surrounds the beach.

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