The Rubondo island is consist of 80 % of dense forest. The rest of the vegetation is papyrus swamps, open grassland, stony and sandy beaches. A broad line of open water with a very rich fish population belongs to the park as well. The coastline has a magnificent diversity of trees and bushes.
Two groups of animals are found here; Parts of the first group are smaller antelopes such as sitatunga and bushbuck, vervet monkeys, small carnivores, hippos, crocodiles, reptiles and birds. Released on the island were elephants, rhinos, giraffes, roan antelopes, colobus monkeys and chimpanzees. Most of the rhinos and the roan antelopes, brought in from Serengeti, have vanished because of poaching etc. All of the other new species have been able to maintain themselves in the new environment.
Easily accessible are bushbucks, sitatungas, vervet monkeys and monitor lizards, while going by boat offers a view of hippos, crocodiles and otters. There are between 25 and 30 elephants. The giraffes and the colobus monkeys live in a rather restricted area in the southern part. All carnivores (cats, mongooses) are nocturnal.
So far, more than 200 different bird species have been recorded.
Facts: Position (National park headquarters): 2°18′ south / 31°51 east. Surface 450 square kilometres, comprising the main island (240 square kilometres) and 11 small neighbouring islands. Extension north south: 28 km, width 3 – 10 km. Height 1135 – 1485 metres. Status of National park since 1977. Prior to this date, the island was a sparsely populated forestry reserve with a hunting ban. Only National park in lake Victoria. The sweet water lake covers an area of 68’000 square kilometres and is the largest lake of the continent. The island hosts species of central and western Africa which are unknown elsewhere in Tanzania. Main conservation aspect: illegal fishing activities within the National parks boundaries.
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