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

1. Rubondo Island Private Beach

Accommodation AT RUBONDO ISLAND CAMP

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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. 

3. Rubondo Island Double Room

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. 

Rubondo Island Camp

Experiences

Pristine island paradise

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 before setting off to explore the island by vehicle, on foot, or from the waters of the lake in a boat.

Rubondo Island Camp Beach 1 Tanzania Safari MR

Experiences

A typical day on safari at Rubondo Island Camp

Head out to explore the forest on foot while the morning air is still cool, take to the water before the wind picks up, enjoy a morning game drive or simply bask in a leisurely morning with fresh coffee on your veranda, and a full breakfast enjoyed overlooking the lake.

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. 

14. Rubondo Island Forest Walks Experience With Your Guide

Experiences

Game drives and forest walks

Head out in an open vehicle to explore the forests, hilltops, and open southern plains of Rubondo Island, led by an expert Asilia guide. Alternatively, set out on foot to explore the depths of the forest and learn about the smaller ecosystems often overlooked from the height of a vehicle.

13. Rubondo Island Chimpanzee Habituation Expereince Briefing

Experiences

Boat trips, Fishing and Birding

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

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. 

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. While birding can be enjoyed on the land, boat trips also offer optimum viewing of what can usually only be heard within the dense forest. 

12. Rubondo Island Boating Safari On Lake Victoria

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.

Chimp Habituation Experience

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. 

16. Family Safari Walking 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. 

7. Rubondo Island Breakfast Deck

WILDLIFE

Rubondo wildlife

  • 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

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

Special offers

Special offers now available

• Special Offers •

GUEST REVIEWS

Fantastic hotel and hospitality. The site is marvellous and we were treated like royalty. Food is excellent, the lodging perfect and the site is beautiful. The staff and the guide Walter did an excellent job. And made us feel right at home. From the cocktail at the bush airport to the fishing trips on the lake The staff went out of their way to make this experience unforgettable.
jacques t
Tripadvisor 1
What a wonderful experience full of amazing nature and hospitality. Rubondo Island is such a unique ecosystem and we feel blessed to have been able to experience this magical island. From the airstrip landing to the incredibly warm welcome and seeing wonderful wildlife we will never forget our stay at Rubondo!
Kathryn_Andy
Tripadvisor 1
Rubondo Island Camp is mainly an undiscovered small treasure - the whole experience is unique! Different experiences include chimp habituation and bird island. Guides are real naturalists ! Saw lots of different birds! Saw chimps in the wild! And the staff spoil you! Great food, the chef even called home and made a special recipe for my husband! Loved this place !
makg14
Tripadvisor 1

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.

Additional information

  • Rate includes

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

  • Rate excludes

    Park and concession fees, Asilia conservation charge, TANAPA chimp permit, exclusive fishing boat hire, spa treatments, 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

  • Low Season: 01 Jun 2024 - 30 Jun 2024 Rate: US$708

    What to expect

    • Cooler, drier weather

    • Good trekking weather

    • Fantastic Nile perch fishing

    • Superb forest and shore birding

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 20mm / 0.8in

  • High season: 01 Jul 2024 - 31 Oct 2024 Rate: US$818

    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 2024 - 19 Dec 2024 Rate: US$708

    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 2024 - 05 Jan 2025 Rate: US$818

    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 2025 - 31 Mar 2025 Rate: US$708

    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 2025 - 31 May 2025 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

  • Low Season: 01 Jun 2025 - 30 Jun 2025 Rate: US$660

    What to expect

    • Cooler, drier weather

    • Good trekking weather

    • Fantastic Nile perch fishing

    • Superb forest and shore birding

    • Min Temp Range

      Low Temp: 17°C / 63°F

    • Max Temp Range

      High Temp: 29°C / 84°F

    • Rainy Seasons

      Rainfall: 20mm / 0.8in

  • High season: 01 Jul 2025 - 31 Oct 2025 Rate: US$860

    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 2025 - 19 Dec 2025 Rate: US$660

    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 2025 - 05 Jan 2026 Rate: US$860

    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 2026 - 31 Mar 2026 Rate: US$660

    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 2026 - 31 May 2026 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

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.

 

17. Alpha Male Chimp Rubondo Forest

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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