One of Tanzania’s least visited, Rubondo National Park is an island and several close-by islets covering 490km sq of unspoiled rainforest in southern Lake Victoria. The lack of visitors makes Rubondo national park a tranquil place to relax, with wildlife viewing guaranteed despite heavy forest.

Animals include elephants, hippos, crocodiles, (non-habituated) chimps, and the endemic aquatic sitatunga antelopes, as well as a wide variety of birdlife. There are also huge swarms of fireflies by the lake shore come evening time, making quite a spectacle.

Park entry is $20 per day, and you’ll need to also pay for either a boat of charter flight transfer.

Rubondo National Park highlights:
Best places to see sitatungas. Family of hippos in the bay in front of the bandas. So few people make it to Rubondo it feels like a visit to a lost world.

Getting to Rubondo National Park:
Somewhat out of the way, charter flights from Mwanza are possible but expensive. The more realistic option for most is public transport to Muzanza or Ngowe, then a boat transfer ($100/$185 respectively), arranged with the park office.

Staying at Rubondo National Park:
There are 8 beachfront bandas with electricity and hot water, and lake views for $20pppn. Camping is available for $30pppn, and there’s a large communal kitchen and dining area. There are no shops or restaurants, excluding one luxury lodge offering full board or meals only for $20 per head.

Activities at Rubondo National Park:

Guided walks $10, boat safaris $50.

Photos of Rubondo National Park: