Rubondo Island National Park
A pair of fish guards the gentle boy, their distinctive black, white and chestnut pattern gleaming boldly in the morning sun. Suddenly, the birds toss back their heads in a piercing, evocative duet. On the sandbank below, a well-fed monster of a crocodile snaps to life, startled from its nap. It stampedes through the crunchy undergrowth, crashing into the water in front of the boat, invisible except for a pair of sentry-post eyes that peek menacingly above the surface to monitor our movements.
Size: 240 sq km.
Location: Northwest Tanzania, 150 km west of Mwanza.
Getting there: Scheduled flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Mwanza in the peak season, charter flights only in low season. 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.
When to go: Dry season, June-August. Wildflowers and butterflies wet season November-March. December-February best for migratory birds.
Accommodation: One luxury tented camp, park bandas and campsite.