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Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

The City of Mwanza

Sunset over Lake Victoria as seen coming into Mwanza via train

Mwanza is a city in northwest Tanzania and a southern port of Lake Victoria. It is the capital of Mwanza Region. According to a 2002 census, the population was 378,327, and Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania, after Dar es Salaam. It is located at an altitude of 1,140 meters above sea level.

The city deals with much of the lake trade with neighboring Uganda and Kenya. Industries include fishing, meatpacking, and manufacturing textiles and soap. Mwanza is connected by rail with Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. To the South, a dirt road connects Mwanza to Shinyanga and Singida and progress has been made to pave it. To the East, Mwanza is connected to the Western Gate of the Serengeti and Musoma via tarmac road.

Mwanza is the cultural centre of the Sukuma, the largest ethnic group in Tanzania. A famous landmark is the Bismarck Rock, a large outcrop of granite rocks.

In 1996, a national tragedy occurred off Mwanza’s shores as the MV Bukoba sank in Lake Victoria, drowning hundreds of passengers.

Mwanza is the site of the controversial documentary film Darwin’s Nightmare, which links the city’s commercial fishing industry to the arms smuggling business that has destabilized the neighboring Great Lakes Region. The documentary was seen as a slap in the face by the Tanzanian government as well as many Tanzanians, whose country’s political stability and history of peace has made it a haven for millions of refugees from neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Mwanza Medical Institute of Medical Research is an institution researching tropical diseases.

Many non-profit NGOs also exist in Mwanza including Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

The Region of Mbeya Tanzania

Mbeya is a city located in southwest Tanzania, Africa. Mbeya’s urban population was 280,000 in 2005. Mbeya is the capital of the surrounding rural Mbeya region (population, with Mbeya, totals approx. 2 million).

Mbeya is the first large urban settlement encountered when travelling overland from the neighbouring nation of Zambia. Mbeya is situated at an altitude of 1,700m/5500ft, and sprawls through a narrow highland valley surrounded by a bowl of high mountains. The main language is colloquial Swahili, and the English language is extensively taught in schools.


Following the 1905 gold rush, Mbeya was founded as a gold mining town in the 1920s. The TAZARA railway later attracting farming migrants and small entrepreneurs to the area. Mbeya and its district was administered by the British until 1961. Mbeya Region was created in 1961.

Economy and infrastructure

Local government is admistered via the Mbeya Urban District authority and a Regional Commissioner.

Services and corrugated iron roofing are seemingly the main business activities, after smallholder agriculture. Local crops include maize, rice, bananas and potatoes. Tanzania has a free market in agricultural produce, and Mbeya transports vast amounts of its maize to other areas of Tanzania. There is also extensive animal husbandry, with dairy cattle predominating. Smallholder agriculture is not standardised; methods vary greatly and are often innovative. High-value export crops are also grown, such as tea and coffee. There is some smallholder cultivation of tobacco. Firewood is collected by women and girls, from the wooded valleys and mountainsides. Bamboo is naturally abundant in the forests, and there are plans to teach local people about this versatile plant and its many uses. Some gold is still mined in the rural Chunya District, by artisan miners.

There is a large 450-bed hospital in Mbeya. It serves the whole of the Southern Highlands region, although there is a severe shortage of trained medical staff. Eight miles from Mbeya is a large agricultural training college, MATI Uyole, which has a large specialist library.

There are also number of schools, churches, a regional police headquarters, and a petrol station in Mbeya. As well as the usual shops, there is a fixed vegetable and fresh produce marketplace. Mbeya provides a variety of services, including the ‘Baba Kubwa’ Indian restaurant and internet cafes.

Mbeya has extensive outskirts, with the worst poverty concentrated at the fringes.

Geography and climate

The general range of temperature is between -6°C in the highlands and 29°C on the lowlands. Mbeya’s cooler climate can be deceptive in terms of sun exposure – sun screen lotion is recommended when hiking, even in what seems to be overcast weather. The best weather is from June until October, when it is dry and warm.

The area enjoys abundant and reliable rainfall which stimulates abundant agriculture on the rich volcanic soils. Average rainfall per year is around 900mm. The rainy season is from November to May. It is cool and misty in Mbeya much of the time. Sometimes visitors will need warm clothing, such as a sweater or hat, to keep warm.

Mountain reserves and wildlife

The area around Mbeya has been called the “Scotland of Africa”, and with good reason. The hills are clad in heather and bracken, but botanically they are more closely related to the Fynbos (fine bush) of South Africa’s Western Cape Province than the Highlands of Scotland. The nearest mountain to Mbeya is Loleza Mountain, which rises over the town.

Mount Rungwe is the highest mountain in the wider Mbeya region and it dominates the skyline for several kilometers around. It is composed of ten or more dormant volcanic craters and domes. Rising above the small town of Tukuyu, at 2,960m, Rungwe is southern Tanzania’s highest peak, and is third in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in the north. Mount Rungwe is surrounded by the catchments forest reserve that was gazetted in 1949. This forest reserve incorporates montane forest, upper montane forest and montane grassland, with lesser amounts of bushland and heath at the upper elevations, found in low bushes along streams and at the edges of montane forest. The forest is home to a variety of significant forest flora and fauna, including the threatened Abbott’s Duiker. The forest is regarded as important bird area, with two species listed as vulnerable. The most notable creatures are Rungwe Bush Viper and Colobus monkeys.

Also ecologically important are the Poroto Mountains, south-east of Mbeya. In 2005, a completely new species of large monkey was discovered living in the southern highlands to the south-west of Mbeya. The Mbeya region has not yet been closely studied by scientists, and doubtless there are also many new species of plants to be discovered there, and perhaps even new animals.

Forests in the area, even in the reserves, continue to be enroached upon and degraded. However, there has also been extensive tree and forest planting, which ensures the local firewood supply. There is a small illicit trade in orchid bulbs, which is thought to be endangering the survival of some species.


Catchments from the reserve feeds numerous villages and towns from Kiwira to Katumba to Tukuyu and Kandete, and all settlements in between. All streams from the north, west and southwest flow into the Kiwira River. These streams include the Marogala, Sinini, Kipoke, Kilasi and Mulagala. In the southeast is the source of the Mbaka River, with the Suma River feeding into it. In the east the Mrambo and the Mwatisi flow out of the reserve. All of the above rivers flow into Lake Nyasa. The region’s rivers are generally clear and fresh, and the area is outside the mosquito zone. Freshwater fish abound in the rivers. Other rivers flow from various sources in a catchment divide at the area called Igoma in Mbeya rural district. Also, Igoma is a dividing watershed for the two river systems, those flowing southward to lake Nyasa and those flowing northward towards the Usangu plains. The rivers flowing norhtwards are Ipatagwa, Mlowo Mwambalizi and other minor ones and are among tributaries of the great Ruaha River which flows into Indian Ocean.


The best weather is from June until October, when it is dry and warm. Mbeya can be reached by bus services along tarmac roads, or via the TAZARA railway line from the capital (approx. 300-miles, two overnight passenger trains per week). An airport is marked on maps, but this now seems to be defunct.

There are game watching safaris, and also trout fishing in the mountains to the south. There are efforts to widen tourism beyond animal and wild game viewing, which can best be done in Madibila and Rujewa.

Mbeya is the best place in Tanzania for hiking and forest walking; which is aided by the cooler climate, friendly villages and pure clear water in the river catchments. Well-defined hiking trails have been established to enable hikers to reach the elevated areas and bio-diverse highlands, although the trails need to be properly mapped. For self-sufficient hikers, some of the best, and least known trekking in Africa is in the Poroto Mountains around the small town of Tukuyu.

Botanical excursions are also promoted, due to the presence of the natural flower garden at Kitulo.

Recommended lodgings include: the Karabuni Center in Mbeya, the Mbeya Hotel, the Holiday Lodge, the Highlands and the Moravian Youth Hostel for budget travellers. South of Mbeya, signposted off the main road into Zambia, the Utengele Country Resort is a charming country hotel with excellent food and a vibrant pub.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


Iringa Region Tanzania

Iringa is one of Tanzania‘s 26 administrative regions. The regional capital is Iringa. The total area is 58,936 square kilometers (22,755 square miles), of which land area is 56,864 km sq (21,955 mi sq) and water area is 2,070 km² (800 mi sq).

The Iringa region has a population of 1,495,333, according to a 2002 census[1].

Iringa Region is home to Ruaha National Park, Tanzania’s second largest park, which has an abundance of wildlife and approximately 7,500 visitors per year.

The Regional Commissioner of the Iringa Region is Halima Y. Kasungu.[2]


The region is divided into seven districts: Iringa Rural and Iringa Urban, Kilolo Ludewa (8,397 square kilometers), Makete (4,128 square kilometers), Mufindi (7,123 square kilometers), and Njombe (10,242 square kilometers).

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


The Region of Dodoma Tanzania

 Dodoma [translation: “It has sunk”], population 324,347 (2002 census), is the national capital of Tanzania, third biggest city in the country, and also the capital of the Dodoma region. In 1973, plans were made to move the capital to Dodoma. Tanzania’s National Assembly moved there in February 1996, but many government offices remain in the original national capital, Dar es Salaam.


Located at 6°10′23″S 35°44′31″E Coordinates: 6°10′23″S 35°44′31″E , in the centre of the country, the town is 486 kilometres west of the former capital at Dar es Salaam and 441 kilometres south of Arusha, the headquarters of the East African Community. It covers an area of 2,669 square kilometres of which 625 square kilometres is urbanised.


Out of the total population, 157,469 people (48.5 percent) are male while 166,878 people (51.5 percent) are female. The estimated total number of households is 74,914 with an average household size of 4.3 people. The Roman Catholic Church reports that 19.2% of the population are Roman Catholics [1].


During German colonial rule in East Africa, the town of Dodoma was founded at the same time as the construction of the Tanzanian central railway. After the British took over the city following the First World War, Dodoma became a regional administrative centre until the independence of Tanzania in 1964. Primarily owing to the more central location, it was decided by plebiscite in 1973 to move the capital to Dodoma from Dar es Salaam. The National Assembly moved the next year, although to this day, a good deal of government offices remain in the former capital.


A trunk road connects Dodoma with the former capital of Dar es Salaam via the Morogoro region in the east. To the west, there are roads to Mwanza and Kigoma going through Tabora. The Great North Road links the city with Arusha to the north. The city is also served by the Central railway line which connects it over a distance of 465 kilometres (288 miles) with Dar es Salaam in the east. The city has an airport managed by Mission Aviation Fellowship, although the size of planes is limited to small private aircraft. There are plans to build a new airport outside the city.


Although there is no university currently in Dodoma, there is a proposal for building one which has attracted sponsorship from both Microsoft and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia [2]. The university is called the University of Dodoma and is expected to open in September 2007 with an initial intake of 1000 students. The University Vice Chancellor is Professor Idrisa Kikula.

Also the Anglican Church of Tanzania is establishing St John’s University of Tanzania in Dodoma. It is intended that courses will commence in September 2007.[3]


In Tunisian folklore, the term ‘Dodoma’ refers to a mythical beast of African origin

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara



Kagera region is identified in the minds of most Tanzanians as banana and plantain country; the land of coffee and equally the land of plenty. It is also identified as one of the regions which were favoured by early contacts with European missionaries along with Kilimanjaro and Mbeya regions. Consequently, Kagera has had an early start ahead of most Mainland regions in terms of education. In 1967 it has an average adult literacy rate of 40% with only Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Ruvuma doing better. During the 1978 Census, Tanga, Morogoro, Mara and Iringa had caught up and surpassed Kagera whose ranking deteriorated from number 4 to number 8 which position it also held in 1988.

Geographically, Kagera had the record of being the remotest region from the administrative centre of Dar es Salaam along with Kigoma. It has maintained this unfortunate position even after the move of the country’s capital to Dodoma. The regional headquarters of Bukoba for Kagera is 616 kms from Dodoma as the crow flies. Kigoma, the regional capital for Kigoma is 683 kms away. But unlike Kigoma, Kagera’s isolation in further compounded by poor roads into the region and by being sandwiched between the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi in the north, west and by the Lake Victoria waters on the east. The region’s only land route to the rest of the Mainland is to the south. No other region in the country is bordered by so many foreign countries. The region’s geographical isolation and the close proximity to the three foreign countries has made Kagera very vulnerable to foreign influences and problems. The influx of refugees from Rwanda and Burundi in the past two decades is a case in point. No other region has suffered from refugee damage as has Kagera. The damage by deforestation as some 600,000 refugees sought to make camp and to meet their demands for fuelwood has been colossal. Game reserves were heavily poached, morals polluted and drug resistant STDs were introduced. As if this was not enough, roads were damaged through overuse, health and water facilities were overloaded.

 Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


The District of Bukoba Tanzania

Bukoba is a town in northwest Tanzania on the western shore of Lake Victoria. It is the capital of the Kagera region. Population estimate: 100,000. Bukoba has a small airport and regular ferry connections to Mwanza, as well as ground transport to Uganda’s Rakai District.

 About Bukoba

Situated on the shore of Lake Victoria, Bukoba lies only 1 degree south of the Equator and is Tanzania’s second largest port on the lake.

Bukoba town is situated at the Western shore of Lake Victoria in the northwest of Tanzania. The regional capital and Kagera’s biggest town is the gateway to the region. The climate is sunny and mild most of the year. It can sometimes get cool especially in the evenings during the two rainy seasons, but never as cold as the winter season in Europe.

The town is flat and compact, forming a bowl as it is surrounded by hills. The town has one small bus stand, a small airport and a port with a ferry that travels from Bukoba via Kemondo bay port to Mwanza. It boasts a white sandy beach, a large market, a port, tennis courts and a swimming pool. There are many small streets, along with 3 main streets: Jamhuri Road, which goes from Kashozi Road to the Lake Hotel, Government Road from the main bus stand to the port and Kashozi Road from the Church Bookshop (Ujirani Mwema) via Nshambya to Kashozi (Hekima Secondary School) and Kashozi parish, the first Catholic parish in the region.

Bukoba Town itself has the status of a Town Council. It has a Town Director and other local government officials like other district councils in the region. It is expected that it will gain the status of Municipal Town in the near future.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


The Region of Dar es Salaam Tanzania

Dar es Salaam (Arabic: دار السلام [translation: “Abode of Peace”] Dār as-Salām, cf. “Yer u-salem”), formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population estimated around 2,500,000, it is also the country’s richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma in 1996, it remains the centre of the permanent central government bureaucracy and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region.


Dar es Salaam is located at 6°48′ South, 39°17′ East (−6.8000, 39.2833). [1] The city is situated on a massive natural harbour on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Africa.

Being situated so close to the equator and the warm Indian ocean, the city experiences generally tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. Annual rainfall is approximately 1100mm per annum and in a normal year there are two distinct rainy seasons, ‘the long rains’ which fall during April and May, and ‘the short rains’ – during October and November.

Administratively, Dar es Salaam is broken into 3 districts: Ilala, Kinondoni, and Temeke.


Kaiserstrasse, Dar es Salaam, German East Africa, c. 1905

In 1859, Albert Roscher of Hamburg became the first European to land in Mzizima (“healthy town”). In 1866 Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar gave it its present name, an Arabic phrase meaning Haven of Peace. Dar es Salaam fell into decline after Majid’s death in 1870, but was revived in 1887, when the German East Africa Company established a station there. The town’s growth was facilitated by its role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa and industrial expansion resulting from the construction of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900s.

German East Africa was captured by the British during World War I and from then on was referred to as Tanganyika. Dar es Salaam was retained as the territory’s administrative and commercial centre. Under British indirect rule, separate European (e.g. Oyster Bay) and African (e.g. Kariakoo and Ilala) areas developed at a distance from the city centre. The town’s population also included a large number of South Asians.

After World War II, Dar es Salaam experienced a period of rapid growth. Political developments, including the formation and growth of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), led to Tanganyika attaining independence from colonial rule in December 1961. Dar es Salaam continued to serve as its capital, also when in 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania. However, in 1973 provisions were made to relocate the capital to Dodoma, a more centrally located city in Tanzania’s interior. The relocation process has not yet been completed, and Dar es Salaam remains Tanzania’s primary city.

One of the deadly 1998 U.S. embassy bombings occurred in Dar es Salaam; the other was in Nairobi, Kenya.

Economy and infrastructure

A branch of the international Subway restaurant chain in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most important city for both business and government. The city contains unusually high concentrations of trade and other services and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania, which has about 80 percent of its population in rural areas. For example, about one half of Tanzania’s manufacturing employment is located in the city despite the fact that Dar holds only ten percent of Tanzania’s population. Located on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, it is the hub of the Tanzanian transportation system as all of the country’s main railways and several highways originate in or near the city. Its status as an administrative and trade centre has put Dar es Salaam in position to benefit disproportionately from Tanzania’s high growth rate since the year 2000 so that by now its poverty rates are much lower than the rest of the country. The Julius Nyerere International Airport connects the city with other African countries, the Middle East, India, as well as Europe.


Downtown Dar es Salaam is a busy commercial area of town. The area includes many small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent – areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations. During the daytime the heavy weight of traffic, office workers, busy merchants, street vendors and restaurateurs of the area lend it a frenetic and slightly claustrophobic air. However, after nightfall the area is relatively quiet as much of the city’s nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city’s mainly commercial centre.

The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. Although there is little in the way of open racial hostility, the various ethnic communities of Dar es Salaam do not tend to mix heavily. The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities) and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.

Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen very rapidly over recent years. The city now offers a surprisingly rich and internationalised diversity of cuisine, ranging from traditional Tanzanian barbecue style options such as “Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and “Mishkaki” (Shish Kabob – usually barbecued and served with salt and various hot peppers on the side) and the long-established traditional Indian and Zanzibari cuisine, to options from all corners of the globe including, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Italian, and Japanese food.

There is also a lively music scene in Dar es Salaam which is divided among several styles. The longest standing segment is live dance bands such as Kilimanjaro, Twanga Pepeta and FM Academia. Taarab which was traditionally strong in Zanzibar has also found a niche but remains a small compared both to dance music and “Bongo Flava”, a broad category that represents the Tanzanian take on Hip Hop and R&B, which has quickly become the most popular locally produced music. This type of music is especially strong among the youth and it seems that its pull is reducing the interest in performing and hearing dance music. Songs by artists such as Ferooz name check Dar districts such as Sinza. Traditional music, which locally is used to refer to tribal music is still performed but typically only on family oriented occasions such as weddings.

A variety of museums, including the National Museum, the Village Museum and the Botanic Gardens are all very close by. Within an hour’s drive north is Bagamoyo, which is home to the Kaole ruins. There are beaches on the Kigamboni peninsula east of Dar es Salaam and on Kigamboni Island to the north where residents and tourists alike frequently visit. Trips to the nearby islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve are a popular daytrip from the city and a favourite spot for snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing. The National Stadium hosts Dar es Salaam’s Young Africans Football Club, Simba football club, Other Tanzanian football clubs, and many other international matches.

The first cineplex in Tanzania to show first-run Western and Indian releases was opened in Dar es Salaam in December 2003.


Dar es Salaam is also the educational centre of Tanzania. The city is home to the University of Dar es Salaam, the Open University of Tanzania, the Hubert Kairuki Memorial University (HKMU) as well as the International Medical and Technological University (IMTU). Other institutes of higher education include the Institute of Financial Management (IFM), Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and the College of Business Education (CBE).

Dar es Salaam also boasts some of the finest schools in Tanzania. The following are schools that provide secondary education, O Levels and A Levels in Tanzania, according to the NECTA (National Examination Council Of Tanzania) syllabus.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


Mtwara Region Tanzania

Mtwara is one of the southern regions of Tanzania which have been underdeveloped for a long time for various justifiable reasons and constraints. Among the development constraints for Mtwara is not the lack of resources but economic infrastructures of road and energy. Mtwara is now looking up and waking up to enormous development possibilities and exciting times ahead. The Dar-Kibiti-Lindi-Mtwara road has been given a boost after the completion of the Mkapa bridge over the mighty Rufiji River. Energywise, Mnazi Bay gas promises to provide the badly needed reliable and adequate electricity for powering industrial and commercial activities in the region.

The boundary with Mozambique to the south is formed by the Ruvuma River. To the west, the Mtwara Region is bordered by the Ruvuma Region, to the North, by the Lindi Region, and to the East the region is bordered by the Indian Ocean.

According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of the Mtwara Region was 1,128,523.[1]


The Groundnut Scheme

In 1948, the British Government formulated the “Tanganyika groundnut scheme” through the Overseas Food Corporation (OFC). The purpose was to alleviate the worldwide shortage of vegetable oils. However, inadequate research and adverse environmental conditions caused by poor planning resulted in the complete and disastrous failure of the scheme. The port of Mtwara was to have been the focus of the exported crop.


The Mtwara Region is administratively divided into 5 districts: Masasi, Newala, Tandahimba, Mtwara Urban and Mtwara Rural.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


Kilimanjaro Region

Kilimanjaro is one of the 26 regions in Tanzania. The capital of the region is Moshi. Kilimanjaro region is home to Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro Region is bordered to the North and East by Kenya, to the South by the Tanga Region, to the Southwest by the Manyara Region, and to the West by the Arusha Region.

According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of the Kilimanjaro Region was 1,381,149. [1]

The Regional Commissioner of the Kilimanjaro Region is M.O. Babu.[2]


The Kilimanjaro Region is administratively divided into 6 districts: Rombo, Hai, Moshi Rural, Moshi Urban, Mwanga, and Same.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

The Region of Kigoma

Kigoma is a town and lake port in western Tanzania, on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika and close to the border with Burundi. It serves as the capital for the surrounding Kigoma Region and has a population of 130,142 (2002 census) and an elevation of 775 m.

The historic trading town of Ujiji is 6 km south-east of Kigoma.

Kigoma Port

Kigoma is one of the busiest ports on Lake Tanganyika, as a consequence of being the only one (as of 2007) with a functioning railway connection (since the one at Kalemie in DR Congo is not operational). Furthermore it is a direct link to the seaport at Dar-es-Salaam. Kigoma Port in Kigoma Bay has a wharf of two hundred metres and several cranes and is equipped to handle shipping containers.[1] However, the bay is suffering from silting up as a result of soil erosion from surrounding hills, and the water depth at wharfside has diminished from 6 m to 1.8 m which threatens the economic future of the port. In May 2007 the Tanzanian Government announced a plan to create an economic zone at the port to stimulate trade.[2]

Lake ferries including the MV Liemba sail from Kigoma to Bujumbura in Burundi, Kalundu-Uvira in DR Congo, Mpulungu in Zambia at the southern tip of the lake, and a number of other lakeside towns in Tanzania.

Road connections for Kigoma are poor however. A gravel road links the town northeast to the national road network, and earth tracks link north to Burundi and southeast to Sumbawanga.[3]

Kigoma-Dar es Salaam Railway

The Tanzania Railways Corporation line runs from Kigoma to the port of Dar-es-Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast via Tabora and Dodoma. It was completed in 1915 when Kigoma was part of German East Africa. In Tabora, there is connection to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, with ferry connections to Uganda. At Tabora you can also travel by train to Mpanda.

As of 2007 the passenger train do not reach Dar es salaam due to poor rail road between Dodoma and Dar es salaam. However there is very good bus transport from Dodoma to Dar es salaam.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


Kigoma Ujiji

Henry Morton Stanley meets David Livingstone in Ujiji, 1871.

Ujiji is the oldest town in western Tanzania almost due west from Zanzibar. It is about 10 km south of Kigoma. Current population data are not available. In 1900, the population was estimated at 10,000 and in 1967 about 4,100. Part of the Kigma/Ujiji urban area, the regional population was about 50,000 in 1978.[1]

Ujiji is the place where Burton and Speke first reached the shore of Lake Tanganyika in 1858. It is also the site of the famous meeting on November 10, 1871 when Stanley found Dr. David Livingstone, with the words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”. Livingstone, whom many thought dead as no news had been heard of him for several years and who had only arrived back in Ujiji the day before, wrote “When my spirits were at their lowest ebb, the good Samaritan was close at hand, for one morning [my servant] Susi came running at the top of his speed and gasped out, ‘An Englishman! I see him!’ and off he darted to meet him. The American flag at the head of the caravan told of the nationality of the stranger. Bales of goods, baths of tin, huge kettles, cooking pots, tents, etc., made me think, ‘This must be a luxurious traveller, and not one at his wits’ end like me.'”

A monument known as the “Dr. Livingstone Memorial” was erected to commemorate the meeting. There is also a modest museum. There is a former slave route near the market. In 1878, the London Missionary Society established their first missionary post on the shore of Lake Tanganyika at Ujiji.

Some in Burundi claim the location of the famous meeting is a few kilometres south of the capital Bujumbura. However the Livingstone-Stanley Monument in Mugere really marks a visit the two explorers made 15 days later on their joint exploration of northern Lake Tanganyika.Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is a large lake in central Africa (3° 20′ to 8° 48′ South and from 29° 5′ to 31° 15′ East). It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, in both cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia.[2] The lake is divided between four countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia, with the DRC (45%) and Tanzania (41%) possessing the majority of the lake. The water flows into the Congo River system and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.


The lake is situated within the Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by surface area on the continent. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water. It extends for 673 km in a general north-south direction and averages 50 km in width. The lake covers 32,900 km², with a shoreline of 1,828km and a mean depth of 570 m and a maximum depth of 1,470 m (4,823 ft) (in the northern basin) it holds an estimated 18,900 km³ (4500 cubic miles).[3] It has an average surface temperature of 25°C and a pH averaging 8.4. Additionally, beneath the 500m of water there is circa 4,500 metres of sediment overlaying the rock floor.

The enormous depth and tropical location of the lake prevent ‘turnover’ of watermasses, which means that much of the lower depths of the lake are so-called ‘fossil water’ and are anoxic (lacking oxygen). The catchment area of the lake covers 231,000 km², with two main rivers flowing into the lake, numerous smaller rivers and streams (due to the steep mountains that keep drainage areas small), and one major outflow, the Lukuga River, which empties into the Congo River drainage.

The major inflows are the Ruzizi River, entering the north of the lake from Lake Kivu, and the Malagarasi River, which is Tanzania’s second largest river, entering in the east side of Lake Tanganyika. The Malagarasi pre-dates Lake Tanganyika and was formerly continuous with the Congo river.



Neolamprologus cylindricus: One of many cichlid fish species of Tanganyika

The lake holds at least 250 species of cichlid fish and 150 non-cichlid species, most of which live along the shoreline down to a depth of approximately 600 feet. Lake Tanganyika is thus an important biological resource for the study of speciation in evolution.[4] [5] The largest biomass of fish, however, is in the pelagic zone (open waters) and is dominated by six species – two species of “Tanganyika sardine” and four species of predatory Lates (related to, but not the same as, the Nile Perch that has devastated Lake Victoria cichlids). Almost all (98%) of the Tanganyikan cichlid species are endemic (exclusively native) to the lake and many, such as fish from the brightly coloured Tropheus genus, are prized within the aquarium trade. This kind of elevated endemism occurs among the numerous invertebrates in the lake, most especially the molluscs (which possess similar forms to that of many marine molluscs), crabs, shrimps, copepods, jellyfishes, leeches, etc.


It is estimated that 25–40% of the protein in the diet of the people living around the lake comes from lake fish,[6] and that population amounts to around one million.[citation needed] Currently there are around 100,000 people directly involved in the fisheries operating from almost 800 sites. The lake is also vital to the estimated 10 million people living in the basin.[7]

Lake Tanganyika fish can be found exported throughout East Africa. Commercial fishing began in the mid-1950s and has had an extremely heavy impact on the pelagic fish species, in 1995 the total catch was around 180,000 tonnes. Former industrial fisheries, which boomed in the 1980s, have subsequently collapsed.


There are two ferries which carry passengers and cargo along the eastern shore of the lake – the MV Liemba between Kigoma and Mpulungu and the MV Mwongozo, which runs between Kigoma and Bujumbura.

  • The port town of Kigoma is the railhead for the railway from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

  • The port town of Kalemie is the railhead for the D.R. Congo rail network.


The first known Europeans to find the lake were the explorers Richard Burton and John Speke, in 1858. They located it while searching for the source of the Nile River. Speke continued and found the actual source, Lake Victoria.

World War I

The Lake was the scene of two famous battles during World War I.

With the aid of the Graf von Götzen (named after Count Gustav Adolf Graf von Götzen), the former governor of German East Africa, the Germans had complete control of the lake in the early stages of the war. The ship was used both to ferry cargo and personnel across the lake, and as a base from which to launch surprise attacks on Allied troops.[8]

It therefore became essential for the Allied forces to gain control of the lake themselves. Under the command of Geoffrey Spicer-Simson the Royal Navy achieved the monumental task of bringing two armed motor boats Mimi and Toutou from England to the lake by rail, road and river to Kalemie on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika. The two boats waited until December 1915, and mounted a surprise attack on the Germans, with the capture of the gunboat Kingani. Another German vessel, the Hedwig, was sunk in February 1916, leaving the Götzen as the only German vessel remaining to control the lake.[8]

As a result of their strengthened position on the lake, the Allies started advancing towards Kigoma by land, and the Belgians established an airbase on the western shore at Albertville. It was from there, in June 1916, that they launched a bombing raid on German positions in and around Kigoma. It is unclear whether or not the Götzen was hit (the Belgians claimed to have hit it but the Germans denied this), but German morale suffered and the ship was subsequently stripped of its gun since it was needed elsewhere.[8]

The war on the lake had reached a stalemate by this stage, with both sides refusing to mount attacks. However, the war on land was progressing, largely to the advantage of the Allies, who cut off the railway link in July 1916 and threatened to isolate Kigoma completely. This led the German commander, Gustav Zimmer, to abandon the town and head south. In order to avoid his prize ship falling into Allied hands, Zimmer scuttled the vessel on July 26 1916. The vessel was later resurrected and renamed as the MV Liemba (see transport).[8]

Che Guevara

In 1965 Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara used the western shores of Lake Tanganyika as a training camp for guerrilla forces in the Congo. From his camp, Che and his forces attempted to overthrow the government, but ended up pulling out in less than a year since the National Security Agency (NSA) had been monitoring him the entire time and aided government forces in ambushing his guerrillas.

Recent history

In 1992 Lake Tanganyika featured in the documentary series ‘Pole to Pole’. The BBC documentarian Michael Palin stayed onboard the MV Liemba and travelled across the lake.[9]

Since 2004 the lake has been the focus of a massive Water and Nature Initiative by the IUCN. The project is scheduled to take 5 years at a total cost of US$ 27 million. The initiative is attempting to monitor the resources and state of the lake, set common criteria for acceptable level of sediments, pollution, and water quality in general, and design and establish a lake basin management authority.[10]

The lake has also been a place where man eating crocidile Gustave, has been know to hide out. Gustave has killed many humans over the years and many scientists are interested in studying him.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

Tabora Region

Tabora Region is one of the regions of Tanzania. Its capital is Tabora. municipal or Tabora urban. Tabora region is famous for its distinguishable honey and timber activities.

The region is in the central-western part of the country. The area of Tabora is 76,151 km² (approximately 9% of Tanzania). A total of 34,698 km² (46%) is forest reserve, and 17,122 km² (22%) is game reserve. Most economic activity in the region is agricultural.

According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of Tabora Region was 1,717,908. [1]

The regional commissioner is Abeid MwinyiMsa who has been appointed to replace the previous regional commissioner Ukiwaona Ditopile Mzuzuri. [2] Ukiwaona Ditopile Mzuzuri was arrested in Dar Es Salaam on November 06, 2006 for allegedly shooting to death a commuter bus driver and had to resign while the trial was going on. The new commissioner sworn on 5th December 2006 in Dar es salaam. a== Districts ==

Tabora Region comprises six districts: Urambo to the West, Nzega and Igunga to the North, Tabora Urban in the center, Uyui to the East, and Sikonge to the South.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara

Shinyanga Region

Shinyanga Region is one of the regions of Tanzania. Its capital is Shinyanga. It is bordered to the north by the Mwanza, Mara, and Kagera Regions, and to the south by the Tabora Region. Kigoma Region borders to the west, Singida Region to the southeast, and the Arusha and Manyara Regions to the east.

The population of Shinyanga Region according to the 2002 Tanzanian National Census is 2,796,630. [1]

The regional commissioner of the Shinyanga Region is A.Y. Mgimua. [2] Districts

Shinyanga Region is administratively divided into 8 districts: Bariadi, Bukombe, Kahama, Kishapu, Maswa, Meatu, Shinyanga Rural and Shinyanga Urban.

Originally, the Kahama and Bukombe districts were combined to form one district.


The predominant tribes of the Shinyanga region are the Sukuma, Nyamwezi and Sumbwa tribes. Traditional agriculture in the area varies, but it is often maize, cotton, and rice production.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


Mara Region

Mara is one of the 26 regions of Tanzania. Musoma serves as the Region’s capital.

The neighbouring regions are Mwanza and Shinyanga(to the south), Arusha (to the south east)and Kagera (through Lake Victoria). To the north east, it borders the Republic of Kenya. Mara Region is occupied by various different tribal groups, including the Luo, Jita, Ruri, Zanaki, Kuria, Kabwa, Kiroba, Simbiti, Ngoreme, Kwaya, Ikoma, Nata, Isenye, Ikizu, Sizaki, Sukuma and Taturu (Datooga). Under British rule, Mara region was one district in the Lake Province, which became the Lake Region after independence in 1961.

Serengeti National Park, one of the world’s most famous game sanctuaries, is largely in Mara region. This park occupies a vast area of grasslands and woodlands and is home to thousands of wild animals. It has also been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. It attracts close to 150,000 tourists every year[1]. The sanctuary is home to more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles. Apart from conventional tourism in the Serengeti there is also a range of Ecotourism opportunities available in Mara region[2].

According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of the Mara Region was 1,368,602. [3]

The regional commissioner of the Mara Region is Isidori Shirima [4]


The districts in Mara Region are Bunda (to the south west), Serengeti (to the south east), Tarime and Rorya (to the North), and Musoma Urban (the municipal) and Musoma Rural.

Lake Victoria

The lake as seen from space, looking west, with other members of the African Great Lakes forming an arc in the middle distance. The cloud-covered forests of the Congo can be made out in the distance.

Lake Victoria or Victoria Nyanza (also known as Ukerewe and Nalubaale) is one of the Great Lakes of Africa.

Lake Victoria is 68,800 square kilometres (26,560 mi²) in size, making it the continent’s largest lake, the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area (third largest if one considers Lake Michigan-Huron as a single lake). Being relatively shallow for its size, with a maximum depth of 84 m (276 ft) and a mean depth of 40 m (131 ft), Lake Victoria ranks as the seventh largest freshwater lake by volume, containing 2,750 cubic kilometres (2.2 million acre-feet) of water. It is the source of the longest branch of the Nile River, the White Nile, and has a water catchment area of 184,000 square kilometres (71,040 mi²). It is biologically important as an evolutionary hotspot with great biodiversity.[1] The lake lies within an elevated plateau in the western part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and is subject to territorial administration by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The lake has a shoreline of 3,440 km (2138 miles), and has more than 3,000 islands, many of which are inhabited. These include the Ssese Islands in Uganda, a large group of islands in the northwest of the Lake that are becoming a popular destination for tourists.


Lake Victoria is relatively young; its current basin formed only 400,000 years ago, when westward-flowing rivers were dammed by an upthrown crustal block.[2] The lake’s shallowness, limited river inflow, and large surface area relative to its volume make it vulnerable to climate changes; cores taken from its bottom show that Lake Victoria has dried up completely three times since it formed.[3] These drying cycles are probably related to past ice ages, which are times when precipitation declined globally.[4] The lake last dried out 17,300 years ago, and filled again beginning 14,700 years ago; the fantastic adaptive radiation of its native cichlids has taken place in the short period of time since then.[5]

Exploration history

The first recorded information about Lake Victoria comes from Arab traders plying the inland routes in search of gold, ivory, other precious commodities and slaves. An excellent map known as the Al Adrisi map dated from the 1160s, clearly depicts an accurate representation of Lake Victoria, and attributes it as being the source of the Nile.

The lake was first sighted by Europeans in 1858 when the British explorer John Hanning Speke reached its southern shore whilst on his journey with Richard Francis Burton to explore central Africa and locate the great Lakes. Believing he had found the source of the Nile on seeing this vast expanse of open water for the first time, Speke named the lake after the then Queen of the United Kingdom. Burton, who had been recovering from illness at the time and resting further south on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, was outraged that Speke claimed to have proved his discovery to have been the true source of the Nile, which Burton regarded this as still unsettled. A very public quarrel ensued, which not only sparked a great deal of intense debate within the scientific community of the day, but much interest by other explorers keen to either confirm or refute Speke’s discovery.

The well known British explorer and missionary David Livingstone failed in his attempt to verify Speke’s discovery, instead pushing too far west and entering the Congo River system instead. It was ultimately the American explorer Henry Morton Stanley who confirmed the truth of Speke’s discovery, circumnavigating the Lake and reporting the great outflow at Ripon Falls on the Lake’s northern shore.

Ecology and social impacts

Lake Victoria plays a vital role in supporting the millions of people living around its shores, in one of the most densely populated regions on earth.

The ecosystem of Lake Victoria and its surroundings have been badly affected by human influence. In 1954, the Nile perch (Lates niloticus) were first introduced into the lake’s ecosystem in an attempt to improve fishery yields of the lake. Introduction efforts intensified during the very early 1960s. The species was present in small numbers until the early to mid 1980s, when it underwent a massive population expansion and came to dominate the fish community and ecology of the world’s largest tropical lake. Also introduced was Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), now an important food fish for local consumption. The Nile perch proved ecologically and socioeconomically devastating. Together with pollution born of deforestation and overpopulation (of both people and domestic animals), the Nile perch has brought about a massive transformation in the lake ecosystem and to the disappearance of hundreds of endemic haplochromine cichlid species. Many of these are now presumed to be extinct in the wild. Populations of some of these species are being maintained in North American Zoos and Aquariums as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan for these species.

Also vanished from Lake Victoria is one of two native species of tilapia (another kind of cichlid fish), known as the ngege, Oreochromis esculentus. The ngege is superior in taste and texture to Nile tilapia, but it does not grow as fast or as large and produces fewer young. Ngege and some representatives of haplochromine diversity survive in minute swamp ponds and lakes that dot the Lake Victoria Basin. The initial good returns on Nile perch catches, at their peak delivering export revenues of several hundred million dollars a year, have diminished dramatically due to poor enforcement of fisheries regulations. The proceeds from Nile perch sales remain an important economic engine in the region, but the resulting wealth is very poorly distributed and the overall balance sheet on the Nile perch introduction to Lake Victoria is well into the red despite the enormous value of the perch landings as an export commodity.

The three countries bordering Lake Victoria- Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania- have agreed in principle to the idea of a tax on Nile perch exports, proceeds to be applied to various measures to benefit local communities and sustain the fishery. However, this tax has not been put into force, enforcement of fisheries and environmental laws generally are lax, and the Nile perch fishery remains in essence a mining operation.

Currently, the Nile perch is being overfished. Populations of a few endemic cichlid species have increased again, particularly two or three species of zooplankton-eating, herring-like cichlids (Yssichromis) that school with an abundant native minnow known locally as dagaa (Tanzania), omena (Kenya), or mukene (Uganda). In 1996 The World Bank funded a project to restore and sustain the ecology of Lake Victoria and its fisheries, called LVEMP (Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project).

Meanwhile, the EU invested another large sum in fisheries infrastructure and monitoring. Few of the excellent intentions of these projects have been actualized despite massive expenditures, but the potential for things to be set aright is still great and through it all the ecology of Lake Victoria, in its new incarnation, has proven amazingly resilient. One beneficial product of these foreign aid programs has been the training of a new generation of east African aquatic ecologists, conservation professionals, and fisheries scientists. There has also been a renaissance in the fishery research institutes of the lake. Unfortunately, few of the new professionals find jobs, and fewer still find jobs that allow them to apply what they have learned to solving, rather than perpetuating, the deep problems that still beset the relationship between people and the lake.

An eco-problem with a happier outcome was the fight against the huge increase of water hyacinth (‘Eichhornia crassipes’), a native of the tropical Americas, which forms thick mats of plant causing difficulties to transportation, fishing, hydroelectric power generation and drinking water supply. By 1995, 90% of the Ugandan coastline was covered by the plant. With mechanical and chemical control of the problem seeming unlikely, the mottled water hyacinth weevil (“Neochetina eichhorniae”) was bred and released with very good results.

Nalubaale dam

The only outflow for Lake Victoria is at Jinja, Uganda where it forms the Victoria Nile. The water originally drained over a natural rock weir. In 1952 British colonial engineers blasted out the weir and reservoir. A standard for mimicking the old rate of outflow called the “agreed curve” was established, setting the maximum flow rate at 300 to 1,700 cubic meters per second (392 – 2,224 yd³/sec) depending on the lake’s water level.

In 2002 Uganda completed a second hydroelectric complex in the area, with World Bank assistance. By 2006 the water levels in Lake Victoria had reached an 80-year low, and Daniel Kull, an independent hydrologist living in Nairobi, Kenya, calculated that Uganda was releasing about twice as much water as is allowed under the agreement [1], and was the primary culprit in recent drops in the lake’s level.

At 55,000 cubic meters per second (35,000 yrd³), more than double the maximum agreed curve, it would take a year to drain 110.75 cubic kilometres (89,500 acre-feet) from the lake. That is approximately 4% of the lake’s volume.


Since the 1900s Lake Victoria ferries have been an important means of transport between Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The main ports on the lake are Kisumu, Mwanza, Bukoba, Entebbe, Port Bell and Jinja. The steamer MV Bukoba sank in the lake on October 3, 1995, killing nearly 1,000 people in one of Africa’s worst maritime disasters.

Mwanza | Mbeya | Iringa | Kagera | Bukoba | Dar – es – Salaam | Mtwara | Kilimanjaro | Kigoma

 kigoma ujiji | Lake Tanganyika | Tabora | Shinyanga | Mara


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