Although this magical island in Lake Victoria doesn’t have the teeming herds and ravenous predators found just to the north on the fabled plains of the Serengeti, it has a wealth of biodiversity to discover. In the company of a remarkable guide like Habibu Kissio and his acolyte Elisante, the secrets of the water, forests and skies are revealed.
Taking a walk into the forest is like entering another world that lives in the verdant shadow of the canopy.
Giant trees fighting for sunlight in a slow-motion battle are forced to grow buttresses to support themselves in the shallow, loamy soil.
Strangler vines use their hosts to reach the sun, eventually smothering them.
If you look closely enough, the forest is teeming with life and colour, from beetles to emperor moth caterpillars and millipedes.
When cut correctly, the water vine releases pure, cool water.
Venturing out of the forest and onto the lake, another world of life is revealed.
A leviathan slips off Croc Island.
Cormorants below a moody sky.
An Open-Billed Stork dries its wings, flanked by an egret and cormorants.
A tiny crocodile rests in the shoreline vegetation.
Small islands become heronries teeming with activity.
A magnificent Palmnut Vulture.
Habibu Kissio: legend on land and water.
The local bushbuck are unconcerned by human presence.
With its easy, laid-back charm and gentle atmosphere, Rubondo is a place that revitalises, while still retaining the spirit of discovery and adventure.
Me with a 20kg Nile Perch.