Featured Lodge: Rubondo Island Camp

On the Tanzanian shores of Lake Victoria, the second-largest lake in the world, lies an incredible ecosystem and astounding diverse wildlife: Rubondo Island, the largest island national park in Africa. Now you can stay in this fascinating place at Rubondo Island Camp, the only accommodations available on Rubondo.

However, you won’t be the only inhabitants in the area. Rubondo Island has been a site for rehabilitation of animals, ever since 1965, when the island was cultivated as a wildlife sanctuary. The pristine forest around the camp is the habitat of such rare creatures as the wild chimpanzee, which were introduced here to benefit from its remote, protected habitat. In addition to chimpanzees, seven other species were introduced to the island: Roan antelope and rhinoceros, both now extinct, Suni antelope , elephant, giraffe, black-and-white colobus monkeys and African grey parrots confiscated from illegal trade. The birdlife alone, comprising over 200 species, is enough to entice even the most discerning birder. This is virgin paradise; uninhabited for decades.

Rubondo Island offers superb rewards for the adventurous, from exploring the pristine forest to water based activities around the island. On land you can choose from guided forest walks, chimpanzee scouting, excellent bird viewing and game drives through the dense forest.

Out on the water there are world class fishing opportunities and superb boat based game viewing possibilities, with two fishing boats available for half-day hires.

The camp has ten luxury tented rooms with ensuite bathrooms, hot running water, electricity and a laundry service. Each room has a private verandah where you can read or relax in peace and watch the bushbuck roam, delicate and graceful through the camp grounds. The camp also has a swimming pool, perfect for a swim during the midday heat.

The restaurant provides good simple food, including fresh fish. Supplies are shipped from Mwanza as food cannot be grown on the island due to its national park status. Eat breakfast in the restaurant and you’re treated to the sight of vervet monkeys scrambling up trees in search of fruit for their own breakfast. Special dietary needs can be easily accommodated, although advance notice is appreciated. A selection of books are available for guests to borrow as well as copies of the studies on the island’s chimpanzees.

The bar is well stocked with a selection of wine, spirits, soft drinks and sodas. Sit out on the wooden deck by the shore and enjoy a sundowner, watch the sunset over the lake, turning the sky into burnished golds and orange, reflected in the waters of Lake Victoria. White egret sit and chatter on the rocks, Egyptian geese paddle serenely and tiny jeweled kingfishers, all glowing blue and orange, flit from rock to rock. Occasionally, hippos swim in the bay, coming up to the shore for a leafy midnight snack, leaving pad prints across the golden sandy beach.

Unwind and sink into the tranquility that Rubondo provides.

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