Rubondo Island National Park in Lake Victoria

A fish eagle guarding the gentle bay shrieks an alarm, head tossed back. A well-fed monster of a crocodile snaps to life, startled from it is nap in the morning sun. It stampedes through the crunchy undergrowth, crashing into the water in front of our boat, leaving only sentry post eyes sceptically monitoring our movements.

Rubondo Island National park is tucked in a corner of Lake Victoria, the world's second largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between three countries. With 9 smaller islands under her wing, Rubondo protects precious fish breeding grounds. Tasty tilapia and the rapacious Nile perch, some weighing more than 100kgs, temp recreational fishers with challenging sport fishing and world record catches.

But Rubondo is more than a water wonderland. Deserted sandy beaches nestle against a clack of virgin forest. Papyrus swamps host the secretive sitatunga, a shaggy aquatic antelope and the dapples bushbuck, darting fleet footed through the maze of tamarind, wild palm and sycamore fig, strung with a cage of trailing taproots. The malachite kingfisher's azure brilliance competes with the paradise flycatcher's glamorous, flowing tail. Rubondo is home to fish eagles and global stopover for hundreds of migratory birds. Wild jasmine, 40 different orchids and a smorgasbord of sweet indefinable smells from the forest greet you.

Ninety percent of the park is humid forest; the remainder ranges from coastal grassland to lakeside papyrus beds. A number of indigenous mammal species, hippo bushbuck, monkey, genet and mongoose share their protected habitat with introduced species, such as chimpanzee, elephant and giraffe, the benefit fro Rubondo's inaccessibility

Size 240 sq kms (about 150 sq miles).

Location Northwest Tanzania, 150 km (about 95 miles) West of Mwanza.

Getting there Regular flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara Serengeti and Mwanza. By road from Mwanza and then boat transfer. Contact the Park for transport details.

What To do:
Walking safaris, boat excursions, sport Fishing chimpanzee treks, plans for canoe

Trips: Best time Dry season, June - August. Wildflowers and Butterflies, wet season November - March. December - February best for migratory Birds.

Accommodation: One luxury tented camp, park band as and Campsite.