The Park was gazetted in July 2019 having been a Game Reserve that was first established in 1972. It is 200 sq. km. The altitude averages 1,288 meters above sea level and there are two wet seasons, Sept – Dec and March – May. The dry season lasts from June to early October but wildlife remains well distributed because the Akagera River flows around almost half of the National Park, and there are permanent springs elsewhere.
The green season is from October to May but despite the relatively heavy rain storms at this time, most of the Park is still accessible and wildlife viewing is good because of the large areas of medium grass savannah.
The Park is located in the north west of Tanzania where it borders Rwanda to the west and shares a short boundary with Akagera National Park. The actual Park boundary is the Kagera River. To the north the Park shares a boundary with Uganda where again the actual boundary is the Kagera River. Open Acacia savannahs, with some of them medium grass is characteristic of this remote and beautiful corner of Tanzania, a line of rolling hills and valleys to the west and south border a central basin with low hills and plains dissected by seasonal rivers and with scattered lakes and swamps.
Plains game, in particular topi, eland, impala, waterbuck, reedbuck and bushbuck are everywhere. Roan, that large and dramatic antelope are present in large herds. Herds of buffalo are also common. There is currently no lion in Ibanda, and so the main large predators are leopard and hyena. Hippos and crocodile abound in the Kagera River and in some of the lakes and swamps.
The Kagera River is bordered on the Tanzanian side by grassy banks leading down to heavy vegetation with forest trees and palms, and there are places with beautiful overlooks of the river where one can relax with a picnic or take a tea break during a game drive.
There are a number of roads in the Park used for Ranger patrols and game viewing.
Activities The main activities are:
- Game viewing by vehicle.
- Walking safaris guided by a Park Ranger
- Bird watching
Camping can be arranged through the Park authorities at National Park sites, and simple accommodations are available in the nearest town Murongo which is about 3 ½ km from the Park boundary. Simple accommodations are available in the nearest town Murongo which is about 3 ½ km from the Park boundary.
There are airports at Chato and Bukoba from which light aircraft can fly to Ithanda Village or an airstrip within the Park.
From Bukoba to Murongo (220 km). From Chato to Murongo (327 km). From Murongo to the Park (3 ½ km). From the airstrip at Ibanda to Murongo (110 km). Road access is possible from Uganda via Murongo.