Explore Mwanza – The Rock City : Tanzania’s northwest region is home to the port city of Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria. After Dar es Salaam, it is the second-largest and busiest city. Since it is situated on Lake Victoria, fishing is a significant sector of the local economy. It’s an astounding sight to see the lovely Bismarck Rock submerged in the lake. The Bismarck Rock, a precariously placed boulder perched atop the picturesque jumble of rocks in the lake close to the Kamanga ferry pier, is known as the symbol of Mwanza. Hence, Mwanza is also known as “Rock City”.

Colonial structures like Dr. Robert Koch’s Mansion on a crumbling hilltop can be found in the town center of Mwanza.

Hindu temples, mosques, and the 1935 Indian Public Library all display Indian influences. And there are several stores in the Makoroboi region.

Mountains dotted with gigantic stones surround Mwanza. Mwanza maintains a relaxed atmosphere despite its quickly expanding skyline. Mwanza is a fantastic place to begin or end safaris in the Serengeti National park, in addition to being a stop on the way to or from Rubondo Island National Park.


For those looking to explore a less crowded area of the park and enjoy the magic of the Serengeti without the parade of safari vehicles and seasonal crowds, Mwanza is a mandatory stop. The largest tribe in Tanzania, the Sukuma, who have lived and farmed in the area for millennia, has its headquarters in Mwanza as well. Local cultural centers can set up cultural tourism programs for nearby farms and villages.

The unit is situated in Mwanza, North Western (NW) Tanzania, the regional capital of the Mwanza region, on the southern beaches of Lake Victoria. Mwanza, which has a population of over 900,000, is Tanzania’s second-largest city after Dar es Salaam. It serves as a significant commercial hub for the Lake Victoria region and the bordering nations of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. Huge granite boulders dot the rugged slopes that surround the city.

Agriculture is the main traditional economic activity in the Mwanza region, with farmers farming cotton for export markets as well as a variety of food crops. Large-scale gold and diamond mining operations in nearby regions, as well as fishing and industrial fish processing for export markets, are additional activities that have opened up new potential for social and economic development in the region. With new motorways connecting northwest Tanzania to Dar es Salaam and other regions of Tanzania as well as other significant towns in surrounding East African nations, Explore Mwanza is also seeing significant infrastructure development.

Mwanza highlights

Facts about Mwanza

  • Area: 9,467 km2
  • Second-largest city in Tanzania
  • Port city
  • On the southern shore of Lake Victoria.
  • In north-western Tanzania
  • Population of Mwanza city: 436,801
  • Population of Mwanza region: 1,135,878 people


With a surface area of roughly 59,947 km2, Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The explorer John Hanning Speke gave it the name Lake Victoria in honor of Queen Victoria. The lake’s maximum depth ranges from 80 to 84 meters. Many fish species, especially cichlids, are found only in the lake. Many endemic species have perished due to invasive fish, such as the Nile perch. Rubondo Island National Park and Saanane Island National Park are two island national parks on Lake Victoria.


Visitors are greeted by Mwanza City’s natural and refreshing weather, which comes from the River Nile’s source near the shore of Lake Victoria. Starting your experience with Tanzania wildlife safaris, boating and fishing on Lake Victoria or Rubondo Island. Tanzania’s Mwanza City, which is rapidly expanding, is a vibrant destination for culture and life. It serves as a junction for the African nations around the great lakes and as a transportation hub for several of Tanzania’s well-known tourism attractions, including the western and northern circuit wildlife safaris.


Mwanza City is referred to as “Rock City” because of the enormous stones that can be found there. Visit one of the stunning rock formations or an island off the coast, or take a tour of this little city with its warm and welcoming residents.

  • Long bush walks, beautiful hikes, boat tours, fishing in lakes, and even visits to well-known kopjes or rocks that dangerously balance on top of each other are all possible safari activities while Explore Mwanza.
  • See beautiful islands like Ukerewe and Lukuba Islands, and broaden your knowledge by going to cultural events regarding Basukuma, Tanzania’s largest Bantu empire.
  • Mwanza is a charming and extraordinarily bustling town with a magnificent beachfront and excellent lake views.
  • Sangara (Nile perch), popularly known as “the mother fish of Basukuma,” resides in Lake Victoria and is another unique species found in the rocky city (other fish such as Tilapia can also be found).
  • Some unusual tourist destinations in Mwanza City include the Igogo caverns and underground tunnels (German Boma), which were utilized as a means of escape when the Germans ruled Basukuma.

    Explore Mwanza - The Rock City
    Mwanza City

Mwaloni Market: Make sure to stop at the Mwaloni Market while you’re there. Dynamic and truly impressive. On this significant fish market, fish and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are all sold fresh.

The majority of the supplies are brought in by little boats from the nearby settlements. Marabou storks are almost as numerous as vendors.

Jiwe Kuu: The “dancing rocks,” one of Mwanza City’s more intriguing rock formations, can be seen at Jiwe Kuu (the large rock). These rounded granite boulders, which have been perched on the sizable rock to the city’s north for millennia, provide stunning vistas of both Mwanza and Lake Victoria.

The iconic Bismarck Rock, located adjacent to Kamanga ferry port in Lake Victoria, is a highly unusual balancing rock that serves as Mwanza’s landmark. An excellent location to watch a stunning sunset.

City tour: This walking city tour of Mwanza lasts for roughly two to three hours. For instance, the historical tour passes by early Tanzanian, British, German, and Indian ruins. The Gandhi statue, the Indian area, the Haji Mussa Mansion, the Shia mosque, the Vedic Ariyan temple, the Makoroboi retail complex, and the former residence of the German district commissioner are just a few examples.

Saa Nane: From the TANAPA offices at Capri Point in Mwanza city, Saanane Island National Park may be reached in about 10 minutes by boat.

Wildlife viewing, bird watching, boat tours, hiking, rock climbing, picnics, bush lunches, photography and filmmaking, introspection, and sport fishing are all excellent activities to engage in on Saanane Island. The island is only 0.7 km2 in size and, when combined with the other two islands, measures around 1.5 km2. There are primarily monkeys and impalas, but there are also crocodiles, lizards, (python) snakes, and 70 different species of birds.

Ukerewe: 45 kilometers north of Mwanza, on the largest island in Lake Victoria (530 km2), is Ukerewe. One can travel to Ukerewe by ferry (3 hours) or fast boat (1 hour). You can observe people’s daily lives while riding the ferry.

Several coves and little islands make up the coastline of this idyllic island, which also features rocky outcroppings covered in sparse patches of woodland and stunning views of Lake Victoria. One of the main draws of the island is how straightforward and rural life is. The population practices productive agricultural methods, with the Nansio being the main group.

Africans who are albinos and who were abandoned by their families as youngsters on the island make up a significant portion of the population. Despite being an underrepresented group, they can live in safety on the island.


Air Transport

Mwanza City is served with air transport daily. About 35 to 40 aircraft shuttle at the single airport located in the Ilemela district. The aircraft frequenting the airport include of those passenger airlines such as ATCL, Air Express, Precision Air, and hired shuttle planes to various destinations including Nairobi.

 Moreover, cargo planes regularly land at the airport. Fish fillets are typically transported by cargo aircraft to Europe, the Middle East, and other destinations.

Airport capacity:

The airports have a runway that can support aircraft up to 180 tons in weight. There are two excellent primary runways at the airport. The first one is 3.3 km long, while the second is merely 3.0 km. The Boeing 737 is among the large aircraft that are landing at the airport. The airport is crowded, and a status upgrade to the international airport is shortly to be implemented.

Road network       

There are 861 km of roads in the city, which includes the districts of Nyamagana and Ilemela. There are 35.5 km of trunk highways, 132 km of regional roads, and 695.5 km of district highways. Existing tarmac roads radiating from the city are as follows:

  • Mwanza–Kisesa (Musoma Road)–17 km
  • Mwanza-Nyashishi (Shinyanga Road): 19 km
  • Mwanza-Airport (Airport Road): 10 km

Railway Transport

At least three passenger trains arrive in the city each week on the Mwanza-Dar es Salaam railway line, not to mention the constant stream of cargo trains that arrive virtually every day.

Marine Transport

Sea transportation links the city to Kenya, Uganda, as well as Bukoba and Musoma. It has two important ports: the south port and the north port, both of which are owned by the National Ports Authority, a government parastatal. The passenger terminal is located at the North Port, and the freight terminal is located at the South Port. It has 10 ships or boats, of which six are used for freight transportation and four for both passenger and cargo transportation.

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