Rubondo Island Sundowners On The Beach Of The Camp, Lake Victoria
Camps & Lodges

Rubondo Island Camp

Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania

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A remote island in Tanzania's Lake Victoria, Rubondo offers an incredibly unique adventure experience in a pristine sub-tropical ecosystem where elephants and chimpanzees roam wild.

About RUBONDO ISLAND CAMP

Rubondo Island Camp overlooks the vast waters of Lake Victoria. As the only camp in the wild and virtually uninhabited Rubondo Island National Park, it is a truly special place to experience. 

  • Calendar

    Open: June to March
    Closed: April to May

  • Airplane

    Closest airstrip: Rubondo, 20-minute drive from camp

  • 1 Families

    Families: children aged five and older

3. Rubondo Island Double Room
1. Rubondo Island Private Beach

Accommodation AT RUBONDO ISLAND CAMP

Take a look around

  • 1. Rubondo Island Private Beach

    Rubondo Island Camp - Welcome to your very own private escape on the island

  • 2. Rubondo Island Exterior Of The Room

    Rubondo Island Camp - Our eight waterfront, thatched-roofed cottages have been hand-built using traditional methods and local materials.

  • 3. Rubondo Island Double Room

    Rubondo Island Camp - Enjoy the most magical views frorm your bedroom.

  • 6. Rubondo Island Lounge Area

    Rubondo Island Camp - Enjoy a quiet moment and relax on the lookout deck.

  • 4. Rubondo Island Twin Room Set Up

    Rubondo Island Camp - One of our double rooms at Rubondo Island Camp.

  • 5. Rubondo Island En Suite Bathroom

    Rubondo Island Camp - The beautiful bathrooms at Rubondo Island Camp.

  • 7. Rubondo Island Breakfast Deck

    Rubondo Island Camp - Enjoying breakfast on our deck is one of the best ways to start the day!

  • 8. Rubonod Island Private Dinner Cooked At The Fly Camping Site

    Rubondo Island Camp - Our talented chef prepares dinner outdoors.

  • 11. Rubondo Island The Nest Continued

    Rubondo Island Camp - Spend time in our lounge area reading up about the island and its wildlife.

  • 10. Rubondo Island Private Dining Set Up Around The Pool, Overlooking Lake Victoria

    Rubondo Island Camp - Our pool provides a truly tranquil setting for lunch.

  • 9. Rubondo Island Beautiful Lunch Spread

    Rubondo Island Camp - Lunch is served!

  • 13. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Expereince Briefing

    Rubondo Island Camp - Our guides chatting to guests about the day's forest walk activity.

  • 13. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Expereince Briefing
    Island Activities - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa Youtube Video Play

    VIDEO: Island Activities - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa

  • Rubondo Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
    Chimpanzee Trekking - Rubondo Island, Asilia Africa Youtube Video Play

    VIDEO: Chimpanzee Trekking - Rubondo Island, Asilia Africa

  • 12. Rubondo Island Boating Safari On Lake Victoria
    Boating Excursions - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa Youtube Video Play

    VIDEO: Boating Excursions - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa

  • Fantastic Chimp Guides
    Our People - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa Youtube Video Play

    VIDEO: Our People - Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa

  • 22. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

    Rubondo Island Camp - Explore the beauty of Rubondo Island on foot

  • 12. Rubondo Island Boating Safari On Lake Victoria

    Rubondo Island Camp - Exploring the island's waters on a boating safari trip.

  • 14. Rubondo Island Forest Walks Experience With Your Guide

    Rubondo Island Camp - Exploring the lush forest of Rubondo Island.

  • 15. Rubondo Island Fishing On Lake Victoria Off The Shores Of Rubondo Island

    Rubondo Island Camp - Try your hand at reeling in one of the Nile perch who call these waters home.

  • 17. Alpha Male Chimp Rubondo Forest

    Rubondo Island Camp - Join us on a chimpanzee trek and spend time with the chimps of Rubondo Island.

  • 18. Hippos Rubondo Island

    Rubondo Island Camp - Rubondo's waters are home to a number of differnt animals including hippo.

  • 19. Sitatunga Rubondo Island

    Rubondo Island Camp - The sitatunga is the only amphibious antelope in the world and they call Rubondo Island home.

  • 20. Elephant Rubondo Island

    Rubondo Island Camp - The island is home to a large number of elephant.

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Accommodation

Accommodation & Amenities

Rubondo Island Camp is the only camp on Rubondo, the largest island national park in Africa. Overlooking Lake Victoria, it’s surrounded by tropical forests and is home to chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes and 300 species of birds. 

Meals are served al fresco on the main deck overlooking the beach, where you can relax with your toes in the sand. Spend afternoons in a hammock, binoculars and bird guide in hand or cooling off in the pool. As the sun sets, watch hippos emerge from the water to graze on the grass around camp. 

  • Cottages

    8 rooms (including 1 four-sleeper family room and a honeymoon suite)

  • Complimentary Laundry Service

    Complimentary laundry service

  • 26 Solar&Generatorpower 2

    Generator power

  • Battery

    Battery-charging facilities

  • 7 Wifi 2

    WiFi in main areas

accommodation

Rooms

Our eight waterfront, thatched-roofed cottages (including one larger family cottage) have been hand-built using traditional methods and local materials. The cottages have high ceilings and are decked out in natural colours that mirror the lake and forest. En suite bathrooms all have hot running water and flushing toilets. In front of each cottage, a terrace overlooking the lake is the perfect spot from which to watch the island life pass by. 

4. Rubondo Island Twin Room Set Up
5. Rubondo Island En Suite Bathroom

LOCATION

Location of Rubondo Island Camp

Located in the southwest of the massive Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island is 26 km long and 10 km at its widest point, mostly covered in pristine forest. Rubondo Island Camp is on the beach, overlooking the water. 

A stay on Rubondo is the experience of a lifetime. Besides a handful of park wardens, researchers and our camp staff, the island is uninhabited by humans and has been set aside as a refuge for endangered chimpanzees and other animals. 

Tilapia and Nile perch fill the lake, elusive sitatungas hide in the papyrus swamps and along the forest edge, and bushbucks roam the forest. Between November and March, wild orchids bloom, attracting a dazzling array of butterflies. Birders can spot more than 300 species of endemic and migratory birds. 

1. Rubondo Island Private Beach
Rubondo Island Camp

Experiences

Pristine island paradise

The park is a haven for chimpanzees — introduced as part of a groundbreaking rehabilitation project in the 1960s — as well as elephants, giraffes, hippos and shy sitatunga antelopes.  

The pristine Rubondo Island is 75 percent forest, which guests can explore on drives and walkswhile learning about the animals and plants that make up this extraordinary protected ecosystem. Wake up to the serene lake views from your beachfront cottage and enjoy catch-and-release-fishing the massive Nile perch and tilapia that dwell in the surrounding waters in the afternoon. 

17. Alpha Male Chimp Rubondo Forest
12. Rubondo Island Boating Safari On Lake Victoria

Experiences

A typical day on safari at Rubondo Island Camp

We like to get an early start to the day, while it is still pleasantly cool and animals are most active. Wake up with a cup of tea or coffee, followed by breakfast. It’s sure to be a busy morning, with so many experiences at your fingertips. Take part in chimpanzee habituation or depart on a forest walk, boat tour, fishing trip or game drive.  

If you’ve been on a morning outing, you’ll be back at camp in time to relax and freshen up before sitting down to enjoy lunch. Alternatively, you can devote the day to tracking chimpanzees in the dense forest. 

The afternoon is time to take a siesta, read a book or cool off in the pool. After you’ve rested and refueled with afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes, opt to head out on a guided forest walk or a sundowner boat cruise. Round off a special day with drinks around the campfire on the beach and dinner under the stars. 

7. Rubondo Island Breakfast Deck
14. Rubondo Island Forest Walks Experience With Your Guide

Experiences

Chimpanzee habituation experience

Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience helping habituate the island’s chimpanzee population. As you walk through the forest tracking their progress with a knowledgeable guide, you’ll likely hear them calling to each other and they’ll hear you. The more they grow accustomed to the presence of humans, the easier it will be for researchers to spend time studying them. 

Read more about this unique experience here.

17. Alpha Male Chimp Rubondo Forest
Chimpanzee Rubondo Island LR

Experiences

Forest drives

Head out on in an open vehicle to explore the forests of Rubondo, led by expert Asilia guides. You’ll learn about the flowers, shrubs and trees, and spot birds and animals that dwell in these forests. 

13. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Expereince Briefing

Experiences

Forest walks

There is so much to see in this unspoilt forest that our guided nature walks can last anywhere from one hour to a full day. Guests can even opt to spend several days amid nature with an overnight stop at our treehouse or fly camp. 

22. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
14. Rubondo Island Forest Walks Experience With Your Guide

Experiences

Boat trips

Explore Lake Victoria and the shores of Rubondo on a boat trip. Keep an eye out for hippos, elephants, crocodiles, otters and monitor lizards.

Rubondo Island Camp Sunrise Over Rubondo Beach Eric Frank MR
12. Rubondo Island Boating Safari On Lake Victoria

Experiences

Fishing

The waters around Rubondo are full of tilapia and huge Nile perch, one of the most sought-after freshwater fish. Take a boat excursion or cast a line from shore to catch and release them. 

15. Rubondo Island Fishing On Lake Victoria Off The Shores Of Rubondo Island
Rubondo Island Late Afternoon Fishing Trip

Experience

Birding

December to March is the best time for birding, when the migrants stop on Rubondo on their way from Europe. At the peak of the season, there are more than 300 bird species. 

Pelican Rubondo Island Camp Anton Crone MR

Experiences

Family safaris

Rubondo is a great choice for families with children over the age of 5. We have a larger family cottage and offer special activities for kids, including identifying animal tracks, learning about local cultures, taking guided nature or butterfly walks and learning bush skills. 

Step 1 Family Safari

Experience

Meals and refreshments

All of our food is homemade, including breads, cakes, biscuits and sorbets. Breakfast is served on the deck overlooking the lake. Lunch is a light buffet (if you’re a keen cook, join our chef for a class that doubles as lunch prep). Sip sundowners around the campfire on the beach, after which we’ll serve a communal dinner under the stars. 

8. Rubonod Island Private Dinner Cooked At The Fly Camping Site
9. Rubondo Island Beautiful Lunch Spread

When to go

What to expect during the year

The weather in Rubondo is fairly consistent, with temperatures ranging from 25˚C/77˚F to 32˚C/90˚F and a low of 15˚C/59˚F to 20˚C/68˚F throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the cooler, dry season from June to October. As a tropical island, it may rain on Rubondo on any given day. Note that Rubondo Island Camp is closed throughout the long rains in April and May.

  • January - March

    Why travel at this time

    January and February may experience some afternoon showers, but generally these months are less wet than the rainy seasons. This is a great time for birding and spotting butterflies and flowers, such as lilies and orchids.

    Climate

    The long rains begin in March, with humidity climbing, especially in the forest.

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 18°C / 64°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 104mm / 4.1in

  • April - June

    Why travel at this time

    Rubondo Island Camp is closed throughout April and May during the long rains. June is the start of the cooler dry season.

    Climate

    The dry season begins in June. It’s a little cooler at this time and less humid.

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 28°C / 82°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 141mm / 5.6in

  • July - September

    Why travel at this time

    Rubondo’s dry season is the best time to see wildlife and to go walking, when there is less rain. There are fewer mosquitoes around, too, though you should still pack repellent and long pants and shirts.

    Climate

    There’s less rainfall throughout this period and temperatures are a little cooler. It’s also not as humid as the rest of the year.

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 20mm / 0.8in

  • October - December

    Why travel at this time

    From November, the migratory birds arrive on Rubondo. Many flowers bloom with the rains, such as lilies and wild orchids.

    Climate

    The short rains fall in November and December, when there’s an increase in temperature and humidity.

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 18°C / 66°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 83°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 147mm / 5.8in

Guest reviews

Do yourself a favor and book this camp. It’s beyond fantastic! At every turn you will be surprised and delighted by the very special team at Rubondo Island Camp. The accommodations are beautiful and the service is exceptional! We trekked chimpanzees and caught Nile Perch and the team helped us create lasting memories of this wonderful place. This s the standout in a 28 day safari. Wow! Great location and can’t say enough about the way the team took care of us. Thank you so much! We will return.
Kim M
Tripadvisor 1
We spent the last three days of our safari at Rubondo Island Camp. The setting is magical. We were the only guests there and received a very warm welcome. Although it felt a bit unusual to have so many staff be so very attentive, it was lovely. Our guide Issac was fantastic and very knowledgable. We had fire side cocktails on the beach at night, did a boat safari and saw crocodiles, hippos and many birds. We did a walking safari and were able to see even more and then we had a driving safari after which there was a surprise sunset reception on a remote beach with cocktails and snacks. On our last evening we also had a romantic dinner pool side. That night all staff came out and sang and danced for us. Unforgettable!
Henrike R
Tripadvisor 1
At every turn the team at Asilia’s Rubondo Island Camp provide a personalized experience that cannot be adequately described. Don’t miss this amazing place. It was the perfect place for a 3 day stay to culminate a lovely safari experience. I won’t say exactly what makes it so special because the surprise is half of the fun. We caught large Nile Perch, Trekked Chimpanzees and enjoyed this beautiful island retreat for just two nights and wished we had at least one more. There is no comparable stay in Africa. Service is beyond excellent! We will return.
1214kimm1214
Tripadvisor 1

Special offers

Special offers now available

• Special Offers •

Rates

When would you like to go?

Below, choose your travel dates for an estimated accommodation cost per person sharing, or scroll down for a table of high and low season rates.

Dates in grey indicate 'not available'

Estimated accommodation cost per person sharing*

US$ 0

for two adults sharing

Enquire Now

Additional information

  • Rate includes

    Full-board accommodation, house drinks, game drives, boating safaris, swamp excursions, nature walks, chimpanzee experience, fishing and fishing permits, transfers to/from nearest airstrip, limited laundry

  • Rate excludes

    Park and concession fees, TANAPA chimp permit, exclusive fishing boat hire, flights and airport taxes, gratuities and items of a personal nature

  • Budget factors

    Special offers may apply. Contact us for the best available rates. Last minute offers and long-stay rates may apply.

Rates and Seasonality

  • High season: 01 Jul 2022 - 31 Oct 2022 Rate: US$708

    What to expect

    • Great time for chimp habituation treks

    • Good boating weather

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 20mm / 0.8in

  • Low season: 01 Nov 2022 - 19 Dec 2022 Rate: US$613

    What to expect

    • Migratory birds arrive

    • Fantastic Nile perch fishing

    • Great time for chimp habituation treks

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 18°C / 66°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 83°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 147mm / 5.18in

  • High season: 20 Dec 2022 - 05 Jan 2023 Rate: US$708

    What to expect

    • Great time for chimp habituation treks

    • Superb forest and shore birding

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 18°C / 64°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 147mm / 5.8in

  • Low season: 06 Jan 2023 - 31 Mar 2023 Rate: US$613

    What to expect

    • Great time for chimp habituation treks

    • Superb forest and shore birding

    • Building humidity towards rainy season

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 18°C / 64°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 104mm / 4.1in

  • Closed: 01 Apr 2023 - 31 May 2023 Rate: US$0

    Seasonal camp closure

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 28°C / 82°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 141mm / 5.6in

WILDLIFE

Rubondo wildlife

With more than 25,000 large animals and hundreds of bird species, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area lives up to its reputation for incredible wildlife viewing. The Ngorongoro Crater is home to wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. From the crater rim, watch the herds journey across the base in long columns. Keep an eye open for black rhinos in the bushes and old bull elephants with long, majestic tusks around the Gorigor Swamp. Leopards lurk in the Lerai forest, while prides of lions prowl the plains. On the northern flank of the Olmoti volcano, you may spot buffalo, zebra and hyena. Hike down to the Empakaai Crater to see thousands of pink flamingos around the edges of the soda lake.

  • Chimpanzee

    17. Alpha Male Chimp Rubondo Forest
  • Sitatunga Antelope

    19. Sitatunga Rubondo Island
  • Spot-Necked Otter

    Spotted Necked Otter
  • Elephant

    20. Elephant Rubondo Island
  • Bush buck

    Bush Buck
  • Giraffe

    Giraffe (2)
  • Colobus Monkey

    Black And White Colobus Monkey, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Vervet Monkey

    Vervet Monkey Shutterstock 93757318
  • Crocodile

    Nile Crocodile
  • African Gery Parrot

    African Grey 2
  • Hippo

    18. Hippos Rubondo Island

Ngorongoro ITINERARY

Tanzania Serengeti and Chimps

This is a thrilling safari combining some of Tanzania’s most rewarding national parks with the unique opportunity to be part of a chimpanzee habituation programme on an island in Lake Victoria. Begin at the Ngorongoro Crater, game-driving on the floor of this dormant volcano before flying to the Serengeti, staying in a mobile tented camp that follows the pattern of the Great Migration. Conclude your adventure on Rubondo Island, home to a chimpanzee population as well as other wildlife, including forest elephant, hippo, sitatunga and flocks of African grey parrot.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the best time to visit Rubondo Island to see chimpanzee?

    Chimpanzee sightings can never be guaranteed, but the dry season between June and October offers visitors the best chance to spend time with the chimps. 

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