Rubondo Island is tucked into the corner of Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between three countries. Rubondo provides protection for fish breeding grounds, while tilapia and the rapacious Nile Perch, some weighing more than 100kg, tempt recreational fisher-folk with challenging sports fishing and world record catches. But Rubondo is more than a water wonderland. Deserted sandy beaches nestle against a cloak of virgin forest. Papyrus swamps host the secretive Sitatunga, a shaggy aquatic antelope, and the dappled bushbuck.
Rubondo is a birder’s paradise, with the Malachite Kingfisher’s azure brilliance competing with the Paradise Flycatcher’s glamorous flowing tail. Rubondo is home to African Fish Eagles and is a global stopover for hundreds of migratory birds, as well as a sanctuary for sweet smelling wild jasmine and 40 different species of orchid. Ninety percent of the island is covered with humid forest, the remainder ranges from coastal grassland to lakeside papyrus beds. A number of indigenous mammal species – hippo, bushbuck, genet, and mongoose – share their protected habitat with introduced species such as chimpanzee, elephant, and giraffe. Rubondo’s wild flowers are at their best from November to March. For migratory birds, visit December to February. The island’s climate is at its most pleasant
from June to August.