Get to Know Rubondo Island
Little-visited Rubondo Island protects the largest extant tract of Tanzanian forest in the Lake Victoria Basin and an accompanying wealth of unusual aquatic wildlife.
Among the strangest protected areas in East Africa, Rubondo Island was set aside as a game reserve in the 1960s, with the intention of using it as a breeding centre for introduced populations of vulnerable Congolese rainforest species. This plan never quite came together, but the 240-square-kilometre island is still home to several survivors of the short-lived experiment, among them chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, black-and-white colobus monkeys and a flock of African grey parrots.
Introduced species aside, Rubondo is undoubtedly the best place in Africa to see the localised sitatunga, a large swamp-loving antelope distinguished by its uniquely splayed hooves, while spotted-necked otters and large-spotted genets frequent its only camp.