Rubondo Island Camp Experience
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.
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.
A typical day at Rubondo
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 refuelled 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.
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.
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 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.