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“A wonderful African Experience”

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Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Rubondo at the start of a 2 week Tanzanian visit. The heavily forested national park of Rubondo was a totally different experience to the subsequent tours of Serengeti and Ngongogoro. Being a small resort, we were treated exceptionally well by Henk and Janine and their staff; the food and service were excellent. We spent two days on boat excursions on Lake Victoria, the first to see the plentiful bird life, crocodiles and hippos ad the second to fish for Nile perch (6 fish caught with the largest about 45kgs:three were returned to the water and the others cooked by the chef at camp). We spent a third day in 4WD looking for wildlife which is not as plentiful as Serengeti but the jungle experience was very interesting and the bird life is good. Overall, an excellent visit in good facilities which I would recommend to other travellers.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kayshome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 56 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2013

We just got home from a trip to Tanzania, during which we stayed at Rubondo Island Camp, beautifully set on an island in lake Victoria. The place is pure harmony and relaxation.

Rubondo Island camp has it all.

Driving around with the camp's safari vehicle is perfect for discovering the local fauna and flora, including giraffes, elephants, and some of the rarest antilopes in the world. Adventurers can track Elephant on walking safaris led by the camps experienced safari guides (special thanks to Hamza, our guide).
Or why not go fishing in lake Victoria with Henk, the camp's manager, who has been a professional sports fisher for more than 15 years? The fish you will catch will be deliciously prepared by the camp's chef, who did an excellent job preparing delightful meals everyday. My personal favorite is his basil/lime sorbet, absolutely wonderful!

For those who want to relax, the camp grounds provide the perfect spot for chilling at the pool, on your own private terrace right on the beach, or in the camp's lounge area, offering beautiful vistas of lake Victoria. The camp also offers massages and currently plans to build a traditional sailing boat for sunset cruises. We had our sundowners on the camp's motorboat, after having explored the waters around the island seeing crocs and hippos. Not bad either!

All in all, an unforgettable place, offering a quality of service you cannot find anywhere else than in Africa.. Thanks to you Henk and Janine, as well as the staff for making this place paradise. We will come back, for our honeymoon or before ;)

Thomas and Sarah from Switzerland

Room Tip: All 8 rooms are set on the beach, with lake Victoria views from your bed!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Thomas W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I had the opportunity to stay at this heavenly camp for 2 nights in June 2013 - and 2 nights were just not enough. From the warmest welcome by managers Janine & Henk, to the cozy rooms, my stay here was absolutely fantastic. There is no fixed itinerary here, everything is very relaxed and laid back. The sunsets and sunrises were superb, meals were to die for, the staff so attentive and friendly - they remembered how I took my coffee after the first order.

There's no way anyone can get bored. Sitting out on the viewing decks, there are hundreds of birds and butterflies providing entertainment. The nature walk was brilliant - Hamza & Habibu are 2 of the most passionate& knowledgeable guides I have ever met. The fishing excursion was heaps of fun; Henk is an extremely skilled fisherman and an afternoon on the lake is just heavenly.

The lounge area is warm and brightly decorated, making it difficult to figure out where I wanted to spend most of my time. And the pool was the afternoon chill out spot.

Rubondo Island Camp is most definitely one of my top favourite spots in Africa - a paradise island that one can never get enough of. I would go back over and over and over again.

Room Tip: All rooms have great views over the lake.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Aliya H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Just after arriving on Rubondo Island we thought we want to stay a week and not just 2 nights (which was way too short). We flew in from the Serengeti which took us just over an hour. We couldn`t believe that only 1 hour flight away from the dusty bush you get this very different experience - like being in the jungle. Huge trees, monkeys, birds and butterflies. When being on Rubondo Island you rather feel like being at the sea as Lake Victoria seems endlessly big and not like a lake at all. The chalet we stayed in was very spacious and comfy with view on the lake and you even hear the waves at night. The food was delicious and the staff very friendly. As we only stayed for 2 nights we weren`t able to do all activities on offer - but only one boat safari incl. fishing and birding and a forest walk which was amazing!

We definitely want to come back and next time for longer!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Maren-Maus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

I was fortunate enough to stay at Rubondo Island Camp in March, 2013. It is a birder's paradise, a frenzy of tight lines for fishermen and a secluded sanctuary where one can wonder at an Africa, greener, unspoiled and alive - from the Chimps and Collubus monkeys in the tall trees, right down to the proliferation of butterfly's, some which have yet to be documented.

The hosts, Keith and Nadia, are a wonderful couple and I have seldom felt so welcome and at home. Keith is a great fisherman and avid birder, and boat trips on the lake turn into adventures. While there I caught 8 good size perch - between 15 to 25 kg - as well as about 30 more Perch, all good fighters! Another guest hauled in a 35 kg beauty after a long battle. I would be envious if I hadn't hooked a 100 kg Keith after a particularly feisty Perch flung his hook so it lodged in Keith's schnozz. He took it all in his stride and wondered if he wouldn't look good with a permanent Rappala lure piercing.

One of the highlights for me was a drive along one of the island tracks which is an avenue for butterfly's and a boat trip to visit a nearby island fishing community of wonderful people and Rubondo will be aiding the clinic and school in the fishing village.

Accommodation is sumptuous but not ostentatious and the dinner and dinner time banter, splendid.

Go. It is ideal for a relaxing post or pre Serengeti or Mara Safari. It's wonderful as a destination of its own. I will never forget it.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank AntonCrone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I couldn't get my head around visiting Rubondo as part of our trip to Tanzania - "why should we go there" I thought? But my tour operator insisted we wouldn't regret it & I have trusted them before. I wasn't disappointed - this is a unique experience. The island is spectacular from the moment you start flying over Lake Victoria you know you are in for something special. It is real Africa, spectacular rain forests, birds everywhere, loads of animals and incredible activities. We did boat rides to deserted beaches, walked & ran through the rain forest, fished, tracked HUGE elephants and went searching for chimps. Forget a beach add on and head to Rubondo - oh, and the lodge is top notch as well.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tom C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I was lucky enough to spend two night at the new Rubondo Island Camp in February. What an adventure. The island itself is huge, and offers a very different experience from anything else on the Eastern African trail. Covered in lush rainforest, one has the feeling of stepping back in time to an era in which explorers travelled the continent in search of adventure.

The wilderness of the place was exemplified when we spent an afternoon tracking the elusive forest elephants. Signs of them are everywhere: footsteps in the mud, droppings, scratch marks on trees. And those scratchmarks reach a staggering height. After a while, we heard a crashing sound near to us in the forest. Stopping the car to listen, we slowly let our eyes adjust to the dark of the undergrowth. Suddenly, an enormous shape moved ever so slightly. Beneath the trees, we glimpsed the largest elephant I have ever seen. Seriously. What a rush!

The island and surroundings have much more on offer than elusive forest monsters though. The morning and evening light glimmering on the lake surface is phenomenal, as is the birding. In general, it is the small things that make this place special. We went on a fishing trip, catching nile perch and enjoying the lake. Another highlight for me was the visit to a neigbouring island, where we landed in a local fishing village. Getting up close to daily life of the many people living on the islands and shores of this massive lake was an eye-opener. Highly recommended.

If there is anything bad to say it must be that I had wanted to stay longer. The rooms of the camp were the perfect mix between luxurious and laid back, with the sunrise on the beach visible from your bed. After a great breakfast, nothing beats reading a book in the hammock or comfy couches in the common area, overlooking the lake and forest from a rocky outcrop. Nice.

All in all, I will definitely return to explore more of this magical place.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Kimvanderleeuw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa

Address: Mwanza, Rubondo Island 90210, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Mwanza Region > Rubondo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Rubondo Island
Price Range: $835 - $1,505 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rubondo Island Camp, Asilia Africa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rubondo Island - in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria - is for those seeking the thrill of adventure in a truly wild area, all but untouched by man. The camp - the only lodgings on this verdant island - immerses you in this lush and unspoilt ecosystem. From its lakefront location to the ecofriendly design of the eight fabulous cottages, the camp offers unrivalled access to this one-of-a-kind destination, where elephant roams wild, colourful birds and butterflies flit through the pristine indigenous rainforest and the waters teem with hippo, crocodile and the iconic Nile perch. ... more   less 
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