TABORA PROFILE IN BRIEF:
LOCATION: 744 Kilometres west (and a bit north) of Dar es- Salaam.
CLIMATE: Moderate Tropical, 180 to 300c the year round. Rainfall November to April.
NOTABLE FEATURES: Capital of Tabora region.
POPULATION:Tabora urban 261, 501; Tabora Region, 2,539,715(2002 census projections for 2012, made in 2006).
RELIGION: Christianity, Islam, Traditional African faiths.
LANGUAGES: Kiswahili, Kinyamwezi, English.
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY: Farming (Cotton, Tobacco, Groundnuts, Sunflower), beekeeping, Timber logging, agro-processing, Light manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade.
Tabora lies at the heart of western Tanzania, nearly 750 km northwest of Dar es- Salaam. The main railway line in Tanzania passes through Tabora and, along with trunk roads, connects it with Mwanza in the north and Kigoma in the west.
The city is the capital of the Tabora region, physically the largest in the country, and has a rich history. It has long been known for its educational institutions, which include the school that educated Julius KambarageNyerere, the founding president of the United Republic of Tanzania.
- CLIMATE: The climate is moderate tropical, with temperatures generally in the range of 180 to 300c (640 to 86F).
- ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES:Tabora is the economic hub of the region. There are farm -lands all around it and farming (cotton, tobacco, sunflower, groundnuts) is the major economic activity, supplemented by beekeeping, timber logging, agro-processing, and wholesale and retail trade. Food crops are Maize, Rice, Sorghum, Cassava, and beans.
- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The main investment opportunities are to be found in honey processing, milk processing, and hospitality. There may be opportunities, as well in light manufacturing, for example, in processing timber and timber by-products, along with service areas such as infrastructure and education.
- BORDER REGIONS:Tabora shares its borders with 5 regions. Moving clockwise from the north, they are: Shinyanga (north ), Singida( east), Mbeya (South), Katavi (south west) and Kigoma (west).
- SIZE:Tabora is physically the largest of Tanzanias 31regions, with a surface area of 76, 151 square Kilometres. Just over two- thirds of this consists of Forest reserves (34,698 sq. km) and Game reserves (17,122 sq.km). Most of the region lies at an altitude of 1,000-1,500m ( the city’s altitude is 1,000m) and has a moderate tropical climate, with temperatures reaching their peak in September- October, just before the start of the rainy season. Rainfall is seasonal and occurs mainly from November to April. In the western parts, rainfall totals over 1000mm, while in the east it drops to 700mm or less. The daily mean temperature is around 230 There is a slightly cooler period from May to July, when temperatures can drop to 140c at night, although they reach 28-300c during the day.
- ADMINISTRATION: Administratively, the Tabora region consists of 7 districts; Nzega andIgunga (North), Tabora urban (centre), Uyui(East), Sikonge (South), and Urambo and Kaliua (West). The population of the region was projected to be just over 2.5 million in 2012, while that of the district was projected to be around 260,000.
- THE ORIGIONAL MEANING OF THE WORD “TABORA”
The name Tabora is said to have originated in the word “Matoborwa”, meaning boiled and dried sweet potato, a stapple food of the Wanyamwezi who are the main ethnic group in the region. The town was an important mission station during the early years of the European exploration of East Africa. Stanley and Livingstone stopped in Tabora after their famous meeting in Ujiji (near Kigoma) in late 1871. The Arabic-style house where Livingstone stayed in Tabora is now the Kwihala Museum, which is dedicated to Livingstone and contains his memorabilia including letters, maps, pictures and a diary. It also displays information about other early missionaries and explorers. Tabora is also known for its educational institutions. President Julius KambarageNyerere himself went to the Tabora Government School, the first boarding school in the country, and thought highly of it.
- TOURISM IN TABORA REGION
Tabora is the largest of Tanzanias 31 regions, with a surface area of 76,151 square. kilometres and just over two- thirds of this consists of Forest reserves ( 34,698 sq .km) and Game reserves 17,122sq .km). The major reserves in the region is the Ugalla Game reserve, an area of 5,000sq .km that supports a large variety of game congregating in the vicinity of the Ugalla river in the dry season. The reserves is about 200km from Tabora city and is characterized by two primary ecosystems; extensive miombo woodland and large floodplains. An estimated total of over 50,000 animals inhabit the reserve for all or part of the year. The species include lion, Leopad, Elephant, Hippo, Giraffe and Buffalo, as well as Impala, Waterbuck, Topi, Wild dog and Warthog. The other major reserve is the Kigosi, which is larger thanUgalla (7,000sq .km) and straddles two regions; Tabora and Shinyanga. The Kigosi has wildlife similar to that in Ugalla and similar access difficulties. Hunting is permitted in the Ugalla reserve, under strict regulations and for a fee. Licensed honey gatherers and fishermen are also allowed to enter the reserve for six months of the year, from July to December, to harvest honey and fish.
Visitors can reach the reserve by the trunk road from Tabora to Mpanda, which is being up- graded to gravel level. In addition to the reserves, there are also a number of Tourist attractions within the city of Tabora itself.
- HISTORY OF TABORA REGION.
Tabora was founded in the mid-19th century by Arab slave traders and was a major trading point and stop over for caravans connecting Lake Tanganyika and central Africa with the coastal town of Bagamoyo to the northeast.
It was also an important mission station during the early years of the European exploration of East Africa. Stanley and Livingstone stopped in Tabora after their famous meeting in Ujiji (near Kigoma) in late 1871. The Arabic-style house where Livingstone stayed in Tabora is now the Kwihala Museum, which is dedicated to Livingstone and contains his memorabilia, including letters, maps, pictures and a diary. It also displays information about other early missionaries and explorers. After the German takeover, Tabora became an administrative centre of German East Africa. The construction of the railway made it even more important. The German Fort Boma, which housed the administrative offices, can be seen in Tabora today. It is still in use (by the military) and is connected with the Tabora railway station by means of an underground tunnel (which is not in use). Other points of interest in the city include the Tabora Boys Secondary School, which president Nyerere attended; and the varieties of architectural styles – African, European, Indian-to be found in the city’s buildings……………