Located in the south-western corner of Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island National Park is Tanzania’s only park on Lake Victoria. The island attracts a small number of visitors each year, mainly game fishermen and bird enthusiasts.
Rubondo essentially consists of a partially submerged rift of four volcanically formed hills, linked by three flatter isthmuses. The island has no rivers and the soil is volcanic, and the habitat is mixed evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, which covers about 80% of the island’s surface area. The eastern lakeshore is characterised by rocky areas and sandy beaches whilst the western shore supports extensive papyrus swamps, lined with date palms.
There is a bimodal rainfall distribution, with peaks in December and April–May during the October–May rainy season. The annual temperature is 19–26 0C.
Rubondo Island became a game reserve in 1965, to provide a sanctuary for animals, and was gazetted as a national park in 1977. Today Rubondo is uninhabited, and consequently, 80% of the island remains forested today.
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