Rubondo Island

Why go to Rubondo Island

Rubondo Island, located in the southwestern region of Lake Victoria, is predominantly covered by pristine equatorial rainforest, which spans over 75% of the island.

Rubondo Island, a sanctuary for rare species such as chimpanzees, offers an unparalleled experience in Tanzania’s most unique and untamed destination. Our boutique camp, the only accommodation within the national park, provides guests exclusive access to the island. Besides a few park wardens and researchers, visitors have the island to themselves. Guests can explore dense forests to discover fascinating insects and plants, embark on an active hike to search for chimpanzees, enjoy a serene lake cruise with the sounds of hippos at sunset, or simply relax on the deck and use binoculars to spot some of the island’s 300 bird species.


When to go to Rubondo Island

Rubondo Island enjoys short bursts of tropical rain, but overall, the temperature remains fairly consistent, making it an excellent year-round destination. The best time to visit is during the cooler, dry season from June to October. Note that the island is closed in April and May due to the long rains.

January to March: If a few afternoon showers don’t bother you, January and February are perfect for birdwatching and observing butterflies and flowers like lilies and orchids. Clear mornings are ideal for water activities, including birdwatching or catch-and-release fishing. However, the long rains start from mid to late March, leading to a temporary closure at the beginning of April.

June to September: The dry season is the best time to observe wildlife and track chimpanzees. The dry trails provide ideal walking conditions, and many trees produce ripe fruit, attracting chimps to specific locations, enhancing viewing opportunities. Warm daytime temperatures also offer perfect conditions for tranquil boating adventures in the afternoons.

October to December: This season is perfect for avid birdwatchers. Migratory birds from Europe and Asia arrive in November, and the rains bring many blooming flowers, including beautiful lilies and exotic wild orchids.

Key Activities on Rubondo Island:

Wildlife Safaris

Embark on thrilling wildlife safaris across Rubondo Island’s diverse landscapes, guided by experienced experts. Traverse through dense rainforests, open plains, and hilltops, encountering a rich array of wildlife along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for iconic species such as chimpanzees, elephants, hippos, and numerous bird species. The island’s untouched wilderness provides unparalleled opportunities for up-close wildlife encounters and unforgettable safari experiences.

Nature Walks

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Rubondo Island with leisurely nature walks guided by knowledgeable experts. Explore the island’s lush rainforests, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Learn about the intricate ecosystems that thrive within the forest, from towering trees to delicate plants and elusive wildlife. Nature walks offer a unique perspective on the island’s biodiversity, allowing you to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Boat Excursions

Embark on scenic boat excursions on the pristine waters of Lake Victoria, surrounding Rubondo Island. Glide across the tranquil lake, soaking in breathtaking views of the island’s shoreline and distant horizons. Keep a lookout for fascinating aquatic life, including crocodiles, otters, and various species of fish. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting a multitude of water birds, from majestic fish eagles to colorful kingfishers. Boat excursions offer a peaceful way to explore the island’s natural beauty and observe its wildlife from a different perspective.


Experience the thrill of freshwater fishing in the bountiful waters surrounding Rubondo Island. Cast your line into the lake in search of prized catches such as Nile perch and tilapia, known for their impressive size and fighting spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice fisherman, Rubondo offers excellent opportunities for a memorable fishing adventure. Enjoy catch-and-release fishing from the shoreline or venture out on a guided fishing expedition with knowledgeable local guides.


Rubondo Island is a paradise for birdwatchers, boasting a diverse array of avian species in its varied habitats. Grab your binoculars and set out to spot some of the island’s 300 bird species, including both resident and migratory birds. Explore different habitats, from dense forests to open plains, to maximize your birdwatching experience. Keep a lookout for rare and endemic species, as well as colorful migrants from Europe and Asia. Rubondo’s rich birdlife ensures endless opportunities for birdwatching enthusiasts to indulge in their passion.

Chimpanzee Tracking

Embark on an unforgettable adventure to track and observe Rubondo Island’s chimpanzee population in their natural habitat. Join expert guides as they lead you through the island’s dense forests, sharing insights into the behavior and ecology of these fascinating primates. Learn about ongoing research efforts aimed at studying and conserving the island’s chimpanzee population. Depending on the chimps’ activities, tracking expeditions may require patience and perseverance, but the chance to witness these iconic creatures in the wild is well worth the effort.


After a day of exploration and adventure, take time to unwind and relax amidst the tranquility of Rubondo Island’s pristine surroundings. Whether you choose to lounge in a hammock overlooking the lake, take a refreshing dip in the water, or simply bask in the serenity of nature, Rubondo offers the perfect setting for rejuvenation and contemplation. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this secluded island paradise.