FOCUS ON RUKWA REGION
Rukwa region is endowed with abundant tourist attractions which comprise wildlife reserves, cultural tourism, and historical sites.
MV Liembe is one of the oldest operational ship in the World, which makes it a significant tourist attraction in this region. Other attractions include Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world, Kalambo waterfalls, the second deepest waterfalls in Africa, and un disturbed Mbizi forest where red colubus monkeys are found.
- RUKWA PROFILE IN BRIEF
The region’s name derives from Lake Rukwa which has the largest concentration of crocodiles in Africa.
Historically the region was formed in 1975 by the first president of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius KambarageNyerere after joining Sumbawanga which was part of Mbozi district in Mbeya region by then and Mpanda district which was part of Tabora region.
- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (THE NAME – SUMBAWANGA)
The name Sumbawanga, originates from a Fipa word, Sumbu- wanga which simply means- ‘Throw- away witch craft”. The word was formerly used by a chief or “ MWENE” of Wafipa tribe who was ruling the area between 1914-1920. Sumbawanga was regarded as a home to “witch craft” and traditional healers. And through such beliefs it gained its popularity. The Mwene used to tell all Wafipa who wanted to follow him from Kisumba to throw away witchcraft into river lwiche if they wanted to stay with him. Before that, the word sumbawanga never existed at all. So the history of Sumbawangatownship began from 1929, at a time when the “BOMA” was shifted from Nkasi to the old Sumbawanga. In 1930-1940 this township was under the Authority of Native Africa Authority, later on in 1950 the Ufipa district council was established and was based at IZIA, BANGWE and MAZWI areas along the Mpanda -Tunduma highway.
Due to rapid growth of township, the government decided to raise the status of the township into a town council and later on 01/07/2005 the sumbawanga town council was further lifted into a municipal council and is surrounded by Sumbawanga district council and Nkasi.
- SIZE ,POPULATION AND ADMINISTRATION
The region has 3 administrative districts namely sumbawanga, Nkasi and Kalambo. The region is estimated to have the population of over 1004,539 people, a dependable work force for the regional economic development. Its area is 27,765 km2 comprising 3 administrative districts with 4 local government authorities (LGAS). Today, Mpanda is the headquarters of the new KATAVI region which was formed recently. The main productive sectors in the region of RUKWA are Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry, Tourism and Mining. Rukwa region is about 1,200 km by road from the commercial and administrative capital of Dares-Salaam. Also the region will be linked with central and Southern african countries such as the Democratic republic of congo(DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa. There is a good network of roads connecting Tunduma and Sumbawanga andKasanga via Matai and Sumbawanga to Mpanda in Katavi region via Namanyere.
- ECOLOGY OF RUKWA REGION
Ecologically region consists of 5 agro climatic zones which includes the Ufipa plateau, Rukwa valley, the Tanganyika shores and escarpment and the Miombo woodlands of plateau. These ecological zones are favourable for development of agriculture, forest, industry, tourist services and mining. Of the five zones, sumbawanga district council is lucky of having four of the ecological zones including the Rukwa Valley, which is crucial for its economic growth.
- TOURISM ATTRACTIONS IN RUKWA REGION.
Beautiful beaches on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the Kalambo river waterfalls, the unique environment of Lake Kwela, the oldest Mv. Liemba and several historical sites.
- KALAMBO WATERFALL
The magnificent waterfalls are found at Kapozwa village in Kalambo district council, one of the four councils that form the famous Rukwa region. The impressive waterfalls situated in Kapozwa village across the border with neighbouring Zambia, a two and half hour’s drive from Sumbawanga municipal.
This spectacular jet of waterfalls drops in a singleuninterrupted stream of 235 metres down into the gorge below and then on into Lake Tanganyika.
They are the second highest falls in Africa and the twelfth highest in the world. The falls, whose perfect view is only on the side of Tanzania, is one of the most desired and valued tourist destination in the south-western Tanzania, is the only place in Africa where there are several rich records of human inhabitation and activity. The waterfalls which are number two after the Tugela Falls in South Africa, lure tourists in the country.
- ACCESSIBILITY TO KALAMBO WATERFALL.
Kalambo waterfalls can be accessed by travelling by the Tanzania- Zambia Railway(TAZARA) from Dares- Salaam to Mbeya and by bus from Mbeya- Sumbawanga- Matai, the headquarters of Kalambo distinct and then to Kapozwa village, where waterfalls are located. There is reliable transport and life is made easier as Sumbawanga- Kasanga road stretch is being tarmac and will be easier to access the spectacular Kalambo waterfalls.
Alternatively, you can access Kalambo waterfalls by using ferry from Lake Tanganyika, the falls enters to Gombe stream National Park. The area falls within the category of high rainfall belts of the country.
- BEST TIME TO VISIT KALAMBO WATERFALLS
Best time to visit Kalambo waterfalls is wet season which is between January through April. This is the perfect time to visit and watch Kalambo waterfalls because of the high speed flow of its water. The area receives annual rainfall of approximately 1200mm and rainy season last normally- November –April and minimum temperatures are experienced in July ranges from 5-7 degrees centigrade while maximum temperatures are experienced in October that ranges to 20 degrees to 25 degrees centigrade. The Kalambowaterfalls inhabits chimpanzees as those of Mahale Mountains National Park. After visiting the waterfalls, you are free to go back to Sumbawanga for accommodation, or got o Kasanga where you can stay at the famous Liembe Hotel or aboard a boat to the fabulous Lake shore lodge at Kipili village or Lupita Island, in Nkasi district.