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Rubundo Island National Park

The Rubondo Island National Park is situated on the tiny island of Rubondo in the largest lake of Africa, Lake Victoria. The total area of the island is 237 sq km with the island being close to 24 km in length and 10 km in width. The closest city is Mwanza which is about 150 km to the east. The national park is situated on the main Rubondo Island and a cluster of 11 other islets none of which is larger than 2 sq km in area. Therefore the combined area of the entire national park is 456 sq km. The island was transformed into a national park in the year 1977 and has become a safe zone for the animals and other habitations. The human habitation on the island is nil thereby making it 80% forested area.

The park is quite easily accessible by air as there are 30 minutes flights available from Mwanza to the grass strip on the island. The striking lushness of the island is a sight to behold. The sounds of the various animals especially the whistles of the green African parrot is distinctive enough to give you a feel of Africa not so clearly experienced in other safaris across the country. For accommodation there is only one tented camp on the island and two vehicles to commute with. The place however is a paradise for those who love to explore the park on foot.

The campsite is under the shaded trees on the shores of the lake thereby giving a view that is to be cherished. There are tours and guided hikes organised from the camp in search of the elephants, giraffes, hippos and the other marvellous animals on the island. There are also boats rides organized into the scenic Lake Victoria. The sight of the deserted beaches nestled against the covering of the virgin forests make for a photographic moment. Truly a place to be cherished and the beauty absorbed with the mind and soul. It is place that rejuvenates the soul and therefore it is highly recommended for the vacation that is undertaken to sooth the senses.

The flora of the park is very unique with the smells of the wild jasmine and over forty different kinds of orchids floating in the air. 90% of the land is covered by humid rain forests and the rest is grasslands and the shores that have papyrus beds. In addition to the flora the fauna is also very diverse and beautiful. The fauna can be divided broadly into two categories, the indigenous species of mammals and the introduced ones. The indigenous species of the island fauna include the hippos, genets, mongoose and the vervet monkeys whereas the introduced species include the black & white colobus, the chimp, elephants and giraffes. All these animals obviously thrive on the fact that the island is largely out of the human poaching zone. In fact the inaccessibility is the major factor in the conserved beauty of the islands and the park, something that makes it distinct amongst the Tanzania safari.

The bird island is perhaps the most unique island amongst the Rubondo Islands. It is home to hundreds of thousands of birds the most distinct of them being the egret and the cormorants that fly during the day to nearby places but return in the evening to the island. The dry season is the best to view the wildflowers and vegetations along with the small butterflies, whereas the wet season would be considered best to view the migratory birds that flock the island. The island offers an adventure safari that is quite different to a Zanzibar holiday but enjoyable nevertheless.

study of the biologists since long.