How to get to Mwanza | Mwanza Airport  | Kilimanjaro International Airport | Dar-es-salaam International Airport | Luxury Buses

How to get to Mwanza City / Town

Air Transport in:

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. There are daily flights from: Dar-es-salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro International airport, as closest International airport to Mwanza,

Road network
The City comprising of Nyamagana and Ilemela districts has 35.5 km of trunk roads, 132 km of regional roads, 695.5 km of district roads which makes a total of 861 km of the road network.
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
The City is at the railhead of the Mwanza – Dar es Salaam railway line receiving at least three passenger trains per week; leaving alone the continuous fleet of Cargo trains which are almost daily.

 Marine Transport
The City is connected to Kenya and Uganda by Marine transport, which also connects it to the regional capitals of Bukoba and Musoma. It has two major ports; the South and the North ports owned by the Government parastatal organization known as National Ports Authority. The North Port is the passenger terminal, while the South port is the cargo terminal. It has ten ships/boats of which six are used to transport cargo and four are used for passengers and cargo


4 ways to go to Mwanza





Difference between fly and go by a car is.

Mwanza City - Town FAQ's

There is really no right or wrong time to visit this beautiful country. The best time to go on a Tanzania safari depends entirely on what you want to see and experience: The major national parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire deliver superb year-round game viewing, but visitor numbers peak from about June to October when the country is at its driest. This period also coincides with the migration river crossings, however, all the parks offer amazing wildlife sightings at this time as vegetation is less dense. If you are looking for a tropical beach getaway to Tanzania’s coast, Zanzibar and other islands, the best time to visit is between June and March.

All our tours are tailor-made, so the total cost will depend on various factors, including but not limited to the duration of your stay, accommodation options, experiences, travel costs, and more. As a rough guideline, our Tanzania tours generally cost between $350 to $3,500 per person per night sharing and are dependent on service provider availability and seasonality. 

The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency. However, USD is generally accepted, as long as the print is past 2007. Most places will also give you change in USD if you pay with that currency and the same for Shilling. Your tourism areas will also accept USD. You can use credit cards at most establishments as long as they have telecommunications signal. 

 Credit cards are also accepted at most properties with telecommunications signal, although it is better to have USD on-hand for leaving tips or shopping at smaller local markets, etc. Many vendors do not accept American Express, so rather travel with your Visa or MasterCard.

Extremely rich in age-old cultures, traditions and religious beliefs, Tanzania is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Tanzanians are known for being friendly and harmonious, with great respect for their fellow man (and woman) and, in particular, their elders.

Religious belief is strong in Tanzania, with Christianity and Islam as the most prominent. Most Muslims are in Zanzibar, but visitors should be aware of the conservative nature of these destinations and behave and dress accordingly. Women should always keep their knees and shoulders covered. 

T-shirts that cover the shoulders and shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should wear and carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns as revealing clothes can be offensive to locals, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels, normal swimwear (but no nudity) is acceptable.

Many Tanzanians are quite happy with visitors taking their picture. However, always ask permission first. Not only is it universally polite, but some ethnic groups in Tanzania believe that the flash of a camera will steal your soul. 

A Visa may be obtained at the United Republic of Tanzania Mission abroad or Consulate and also on arrival at all designated entry points. In case of Referral and Multi Visas, applicants are required to submit their applications to the office of the Principal Commissioner of Immigration Services or at the office of the Commissioner of Immigration Services Zanzibar.
Visa Fees
Standard rate for ordinary Visa Fee is 50 USD, for Multiple Entry Visa is 100 USD, Business Visa is 250 USD, Student Visa is 250 USD and Transit Visa is 30 USD except for the following Nationals with their specific Visa rates in brackets; USA-(100 USD) and Ireland-(100 USD). For more information please visit Tanzania Immigration website.

Distance: 46.9KMTime: 1.5HR

Mwanza Region in Tanzania

The city of Mwanza is the major Tanzanian port on Lake Victoria and a major center of economic activities in the region. The lake borders the country’s East African neighbors – Uganda to the northwest, and Kenya to the northeast. For visitors, the city makes a good base from which to explore the nearby Rubondo Island National Park and the western parts of the Serengeti.

Serengeti Trips Tanzania

Find all the transport options for your trip from Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater right here. We displays up to date schedules, route maps, journey times and estimated fares from relevant transport operators, ensuring you can make an informed decision about which option will suit you best.

How to get to Ngorongoro

Things to do in Mwanza

Just 2 hours drive from Mwanza City, where you will reach to the Tanzania’s oldest and most popular National Park – Serengeti, also a World Heritage site and recently proclaimed a seventh worldwide wonder.

 Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. 

Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.

Saanane is the nearest park from Mwanza city center, which is about 2 km. Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.

The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. 

The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species. Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python. The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.

To Do
Saanane Island is an ideal place for game viewing, bird watching, rock hiking, boat cruise, walking, picnics, bush lunch, photographing/filming, meditation and sport fishing. Special occasions like wedding, engagement, team building, family day and birthdays can also be organized.

Best Time To Visit
All year round, birdlife is most varied and scenery greenest over Nov-March. June-August is the dry season and great for picnics, game viewing and rock hiking.

Rubondo Island National Park includes Rubondo Island and several other small islands of Lake Victoria. About 80% of the park is covered by a dense forest thus providing a variety of habitats to wildlife ranging from Savannah, open woodland, papyrus swamps to dense forest. 

These habitats form a home for various wild creatures such as sitatunga, bushbucks, vervet monkeys, genet cats, spotted necked otters, hippopotamus and crocodiles which share the ecological niches with introduced species such as chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, black and white colubus monkeys, suni and African grey parrots.

The park boasts for its rich and diverse variety of butterflies and bird life, more than 200 bird species easily viewable from the lake shore. The rare Sitatunga, an extremely endangered amphibious antelope, can sometimes be viewed escaping from the charging predators by hiding and camouflaging itself in the lake shore marshes.

Location and Size
The park is located on the south-western corner of Lake Victoria in Geita region about 150 km (95 miles) west of Mwanza. The Lake (Victoria) is the second largest lake in the world. The lake is also the sources of the longest river in the world, River Nile. The park has 456.8 Km2 of which 236.8 km2 is dry land and 220 km2 is water comprising of 11 small islets of varying sizes.

Python at Rubondo Island Park Safari Tour

Tourist Attractions
• A variety of water birds, Eurasian migrants and introduced African grey parrots
• High density of African fish eagles distinctly seen
• Animal species including sitatunga, elephants, giraffes, hippos, bushbucks, pythons, crocodiles, chimpanzees (not fully habituated), bush pig and suni
• The lake Victoria forming a spectacular sight for the visitors with the deepest point in the lake (Irumo) forming part of the park
• Magnificent view of the one of the last remaining representatives of evergreen dense primary lowland Congolese forest with a unique habitat mosaic in the midst of high biodiversity value
• Beautiful and attracting beaches such as Fly catcher, Mchangani and Michicoco
• Important gulfs of Irumo and Kamea
• Clear sighting of both sun rise and sun set
• Cultural sites such as “Ntungamire”, “Maji Matakatifu”, “Altare” and “Solo” which explain the life of natives who once stayed in the park
• “Birds Islands”, breeding sit for water birds
• Crocodile Island

Boat excursion at Rubondo Island Park Tourism

Tourist Activities
• Sport Fishing – This is the main activity in the park done at specified areas. It is the most exciting recreational activity in which there is great possibly of getting a big catch to make a wonderful and challenging record of catches among others. This activity is done throughout the year.
• Boat excursions – one can view a spectacular beauty of the Island, beaches, terrestrial bird species, water birds / shore birds e.g. malachite kingfishers, paradise flycatchers, herons, storks, egrets spoonbills, fish eagles and African Grey Parrots. You can visit the crocodile island, the deepest point in the lake “Irumo”, also while on the boat, you can see hippos, otters, plants species along the shores as well as enjoying the cool lake breeze.
• Walking safari (guided) in the natural forest / along the beach. There is both short and long walks (2 – 7 hours). While hiking, one can enjoy by viewing mammals like Sitatunga, bushbucks, Suni, Mangoose, bush pigs, genet cats and primates like Black and white colubus monkeys vervet monkeys; reptile such as monitor lizards, snakes, tortoises and pythons. Also, one can see forest birds species, grey parrots and water birds; colourful butterflies and viewing the lake and its shores.
• Game drive – in which there are responsibilities of watching big game such as elephants and giraffes; other mammals, reptiles, amphibious and bird species can also be seen.
• Bird watching in the forest and along the shore in the evening and morning time

fishing for fun at Rubondo Island Park Tourism

Best Time To Visit The Park
Dry season (June – September) and wet season (November – March) when wild flowers are flourish and plentiful of butterflies. For birds watchers, December – February is the best time as most migratory birds are nesting in the Park.

Rubondo Island National Park can be reached by charter, air and road. Visitors who prefer to travel by air should check in advance with us for flight schedules to the island.
The park can be accessed by road in approximately 4 hours drive on tarmac road from Mwanza to Geita and a morum road from Geita to Nkome. Visitors travelling through this route can be picked up by the park boat at Nkome, and will take maximum of one hour and half hours cruising to Rubondo Island (Kageye, The Park HQ). Another route is from Mwanza/Bukoba to Muganza/Kasenda village where it takes a maximum of 5 hours from Mwanza to Muganza/Kasenda and only two hours from Bukoba to Muganza/Kasenda (this route also connects Tanzania with neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda and Kenya). Visitor travelling through this route can be picked by the park boat at Kasenda village, and will take about 20 – 25 minutes to Rubondo National Park.

The Northern part of Mwanza is surrounded by the water of Lake Victoria which is nearly 69000sq kms, and the African largest tropical lake and the second largest fresh water Lake in the world. Mwanza has so many beautiful beaches for your desire, with a beautiful scenery and view of the Lake Victoria and Mwanza.

Malaika Beach Resort
Malaika Beach Resort the nearest Hotel from the Airport lie at the shore of Lake Victoria and to the other side built on granite rocks of Mwanza. Has the beautiful and large beaches of beautiful scenery.
Malaika Beach Resort - Beach Tourism

Tunza Beach
An oldest and good beach for swimming at the Lake Victoria without worries

Tilapia Beach and Boat ride
The Nearest Hotel from the City center with beautiful beach and view of the Mwanza, and the Kapri-point hills and amazing houses on Rocks. The boat ride to the Lake very beautiful especially at the sun set.

Mwanza city Beaches - Beach Tourism

Luchelele has got so many beaches, designed beautifully and are the best beaches to interact with the locals and to dance Music at the beach. Some of the beach are:

Jembe ni Jembe Beach and Club
Is the beautiful beach with a night club, you can have a lot of fun at Jembe ni Jembe, with a Boat ride.

Mwanza History

Mwanza the city with more than 120 year old also known as the “Rock city” because of it’s beautiful rocks around the city. Mwanza and Tanzania in general was colonized by the German and British, before independence 1961 under Julius Kambarage Nyerere the first president of Tanzania.

Mwanza formerly known as the Sukumaland was founded by a German Colonial agent Emin Pasha in 1892. The word Mwanza was founded from the word “Muansa” where German called a rock where they built their house, probably a misunderstanding from a Sukuma word “Nyanza” which means Lake.
Germany Gunzet House more than 100 years old - mwanza city tour
In 1908 Mwanza consisted of 1200 Africans, 64 European inhabitants and 50 Indian traders. There were a handful of European firms and a district office. Others were a company of soldiers, a post and Telegraph line to Tabora, a hospital and a hotel . In 1953, Mwanza was elevated to the status of a town council by the then British colonial governor, sir Edward Twining. In 1980, Mwanza became the second municipality after TANGA. In 2000, president Benjamin Mkapa elevated Mwanza into city status, becoming the second city in Tanzania after Dar es salaam. Samaki samaki - Mwanza city Tour

Essential Places
A visit to important places around Mwanza city; Bismark rocks, Kamanga ferry, Samaki samaki, Airport, Kapri-point, Rock city shopping mall, CCM Kirumba stadium, Nyamagana stadium, The Hanging tree, Municipal Council, Soko kuu and the old Mwanza Bus stand, Courts, Regional Commissioner Office, Mwaloni Fish market (Eastern and central Africa’s largest fish market), Mlango mmoja, Makorobi (if interested in shopping), Mwanza port (if interested), Germany Gunzet house, Indian old buildings, Maasai market, Railway station and Bugando Hospital.
Mwanza city Tour - Explore tanzania

Economic Activities
Main economic activities are farming, livestock keeping, transportation, businesses, mining, fishing and processing industry. Favorable climatic condition for agriculture. Also Mwanza is a major transport transit point for the railway, connecting the Indian ocean port of Dar es salaam via Mwanza by rail and watery by Lake Victoria reaching 2 other East African countries Uganda and Kenya.
Mwanza city tour at Kamanga - Explore tanzania

Mwanza nightlife - clubbing

Mwanza Hotel Casino and Gambling
If you wish to go to the Casino at night or to do some Gambling at Mwanza Hotel Casino.

Bujora Museum – Sukuma Culture History
The Bujora Museum centre is located at the north-eastern village of Kisesa, 13 kilometres from Mwanza city centre. Bujora is an amazing Museum of the Sukuma, showing how they used to live in the ages of Iron age. Their kinship leaders, elders and division of labour and their economic activities of that time.

Traditional Houses
 Bujora sukuma traditional houses at the Museum - african cultural tourism
At Bujora there is a huge Church building in which residents who live nearby, or visitors from far afield, could learn how to recite the Catholic liturgy. Liturgy lessons have been conducted in the Church, since its inception by Canadian missionaries 60 years ago ( in 1952). The Church was designed by architectural designers who had vast knowledge of cultural buildings, and since then it attracts thousands of visitors annually, who have keen interest of sampling the richness in traditional cultures that exist in the majesty of the Sukumaland.
Wasukuma are the natives of Mwanza formerly known as the Sukumaland, the main tribe used to live in Mwanza since it has been a village. The largest tribe in Tanzania and the most kind people of all in Tanzania. They are very welcoming, helpful and happy, they don’t to fight with anyone, just peace. Get to know about their culture and ways of living by visiting Mwanza.

A visit to Bujora Museum is a half a day tour in order to experience everything Bujora Museum offers, including the traditional Sukuma Dance and dance with the snake.

Sukuma Traditional Dance a Man with a Snake at Bujora Museum - african cultural tourism

Iron technology used to make Iron tools for farming, hunting and weapons.
 Bujora Museum Sukuma Traditional Tools for e.g. Hunting - african cultural tourism

Kisesa Sukuma Cultural Tourism
Kisesa Eco and Cultural Tourism is a designed place to show the Sukuma Cultural and where you can meet and greet the Sukuma tribe people. At Kisesa Eco and Cultural Tourism, you can experience the real African life, Outdoor adventures, Unique beaches rich of fishing culture, experience amazing natural attractions, social and cultural uniqueness of new tourism package Tanzania.
Service offered
There are varieties of choices; well designed trips and tours for groups and individuals. Just few to mention are like:-
• Walking Safaris and cultural activities (3 – 4 hours)
• Meet and greet Sukuma and Zinza families (5 – 7 hours)
• Search the source of River Nile (researched), (3 days)
• Cycling trips within Sukuma villages (5 – 7 hours)
• Sunset cruise (on the privacy island) (5 – 7 hours)
• Boat trips to the unique Islands (Ukerewe or Ukara), (2 days)
• Medical, Flora and Fauna Tourism (3 – 4 hours)
• Historical and Heritage activities, (full day 5 – 7 hours)

Utamaduni Camp
On your way to Serengeti from Mwanza or to Mwanza from Serengeti a visit to Utamaduni camp is not to miss. Utamaduni campsite, located just 12km from the Ndabaka, the entry gate to the Serengeti. At the gate you will be treated to a recipe of introductions of great names such as Lake Victoria, formerly known to the Lake natives as inyanja, which means ‘mass of water’ and the Sukumaland, Bujora Museum and the Bismarck hanging stones, among others.
Major activities at the Utamaduni camp would include, fishing and, canoeing tours in locally assembled boats and dhows. A visit to a home of a traditional healer could be an intriguing experience. But don’t forget savouring the sensational Wasukuma dance sprees such as fire eaters dance, the igobogobo dance in which groups of smallholder farmers assemble and begin tilling the land in their maize fields by hand-hoes as they follow the rhythm of an igobogobo drumbeats, a huge traditional drum. It could be fascinating to watch rhymes , and if you are active enough, then take bait and get involved in the farming dance. There are also some other activities such as the snake dance, healing dance and ecotourism. There are also so many soothing or war songs to be sung at the Utamaduni Camp.

Learn few words of Sukuma while visiting Mwanza, Shinyanga and Simiyu rural areas
Welcome – tuliho
Come in – tuliho
Good morning – mwadila
Come – zogo
Go – jaga
Way/road – nzera
Water – minze
Food – shilewa
Thank you – wabheja
Chair – ghite
Mother – maayo
Father – baaba
Grandmother – maama
Grandfather – goko
Money – hela

Mwanza Travel Guide

Mwanza is a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, in north-western Tanzania. It is the busiest and second largest city after Dar Es Salaam. Since it is located on Lake Victoria, the fishing industry is an important part of the economy. On the lake itself you can see the beautiful Bismarck Rock in the water; a very impressive scene. The Bismarck Rock is Mwanza’s icon and is a precariously balanced boulder atop the lovely jumble of rocks in the lake next to the Kamanga ferry pier. Hence Mwanza’s nickname “Rock City”.

In Mwanza’s town center are colonial buildings like the crumbling hilltop Dr. Robert Koch’s House. The 1935 Indian Public Library, mosques and Hindu temples reflect Indian influence. And the Makoroboi area is full of shops.

Mwanza is surrounded by hills strewn with enormous boulders. Despite its rapidly rising skyline, Mwanza manages to retain a casual feel. In addition to being a stop on the way to Rubondo Island National Park, Mwanza is a great starting or finishing point to or from safaris through the Serengeti.

Lake Victoria was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke and with a surface area of approximately 59,947 km², Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water lake by surface area. The lake has a maximum depth of between 80 and 84 metres. The lake includes many species of fish that appear nowhere else, especially cichlids. Invasive fish, such as the Nile perch, have driven many endemic species to extinction.

On Lake Victoria are two island national parks: Rubondo Island National Park and Saanane Island National Park.

Rubondo Island National Park is one of two Tanzanian national parks on an island. It is located in the south-western corner of Lake Victoria, about 150 km west of Mwanza. 

The main island, Rubondo is 237 km2 in size and the habitat is mixed evergreen and semideciduous forest. Rubondo Island became a game reserve in 1965, to provide a sanctuary for animals and is uninhabited. It can be reached by park boat and accommodation on the island includes the park bandas.

Rubondo Island boasts a number of the indigenous species such as hippo, bushbuck, vervet, sitatunga, crocodiles, elephants, chimpanzee, giraffe, black and white colobus monkeys, suni and grey parrots, buffalos, bushpig, hyrax, warthog and large spotted genet cat.

  • famous landmark – Bismarck Rock
  • known as “Rock City”.
  • many old colonial buildings
  • Rubondo Island National Park close by
  • Area: 9,467 km2
  • second largest city in Tanzania
  • port city
  • on the southern shore of Lake Victoria
  • in north-western Tanzania
  • population Mwanza city: 436,801
  • population of Mwanza region: 1,135,878 people

Mwanza is the excellent Tourist destination and the best place to start a Tour, the nearest city to Serengeti National Park a world heritage site and recently proclaimed the seventh worldwide wonder, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park. 

Mwanza is located at the shores of Lake Victoria has beautiful beaches, the fishing industry around and unique scenery being a hilly place, with splendid rock formations. 

Mwanza has Saanane Island park the nearest park from the city center in East Africa, Mwanza is a wonderful destination endowed with a combination of attractions. Take a look for more destination/attraction at the right side of the page or below.