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Rombo district is one of the six (6) districts in Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania which was established in 1972. The district has a total area of 1442 square kilometers including the two peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro namely Kibo (Uhuru peak) and Mawenzi respectively.


This is situated in Rombo District in Pangani basin along the border with Kenya. It is a volcanic crater within the Kilimanjaro Mountain System that drains into the lake without discharging out. The water in the lake is crystal blue with lush green vegetation, providing a stark contrast to the surrounding terrain.


  1. Which lovely crater lake would you find north of Taveta on the Kenya – Tanzania border.


Lake Chala in Rombo district, Kilimanjaro Region, northern Tanzania.


Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free – standing mountain in the world at 5895 meters above sea level. The two peaks of the mountain; Kibo (Uhuru peak) and Mawenzi are in Rombo district.

  1. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest Mountain, is made up of three (3) ancient volcanoes, the earliest of which started empting less than two Million years ago. What are the names of their peaks?


  • Kibo (Uhuru peak) 19,340 feet / 5,895 Ms), Mawenzi (16,900 feet / 5,150 metres), and Shira (12,936 feet / 3,943 metres).


Background information; by

The name originated from a mere foible in 1918. A German roadwork supervisor, who was watching laborers building a road at present - day Babati Township, saw a local Gorowa boy who was standing near two elderly Gorowa men. Out of a hunch, the German master approached the boy and asked him what the name of the village was. The boy did not understand German language so, by intuition, he (the boy) thought the Whiteman had wanted to know who his father was among two elderly Gorowa men. He (the boy) looked at one of the men and said “babati”. What the boy actually said was, “This is my father”. The German jotted down the “name” Babati in his log book and, incidentally, Babati eventually became the name of the village. Until now the Gorowa dialect has not changed much. The words “babati” still mean this is my father.” So it was by a quirk of fate that Babati, the headquarters of Manyara Region, got its name, according to the Babati District Gorowa people. Babati is a small but booming town. When Babati District was established in 1985 present – day Babati town was a mere village. The new status propelled the town into faster growth. The town is located at the end of Tarangire National Park and at the base of Lake Babati. It also nestles under Mount Kwaraa. Babati town rests on the shoreline of Lake Babati where floating hippos can be seen. The lake is rich in fish, both Tilapia and Nile perch. Here commercial and farming tribes on – exist with cattle herding tribes. The scenario provides a distinguished cultural contrasts.


Residents of Babati District, who co – exist in complete harmony, include Maasai, Mbugwe, Gorowa, Nyiramba, Nyaturu, Rangi, Fyomi, Hadzabe (Hadzas), Barbaig (who are also called the Mang’ati) and the Iraqwi (who are also known as the Mbulu). Manyara Region was established in July, 2002. It is 50,921 square kilometers in size or 5.4 percent of the entire country. In 2002 the region had a population of 1,040, 461 residents, going by that year’s National Census. The number of men stood at 534,565 and that of women was 505,896. At that moment, the regional population was pegged at 1,288,280 taking the growth rate of 3.8 percent into account. In Hanang District, near Mount Hanang (3418m), live the Barbaig people whose traditional culture is still unchanged and unspoiled. The women wear traditional goatskin dresses and the men walk around with spears. Visitors can mix freely with the Barbaig (The Mang’ati) who live in the Mang’ati plains. Lake Babati is stunningly beautiful and is a great spot to rest and watch the sun go down. Friendly hippos live in the lake. The memorial foundation center mobilizes the community around Lake Babati to conserve the environment.


The tour of Babati includes the fresh vegetable market, the bus stand and the sports – fields. Babati is also set at the base of Mount Kwaraa, a 2,415m high flat topped mountain coated in virtually untouched UFIOME FOREST - home to Buffalo, Elephants, and hyenas. Mount Kwaraa can be climbed in a day but two is preferable to explore the vegetation. Permits are required if a tourist wants to go to the top. Tourists can hire cycles and spend the day out in Managhati village 30 kilometers away. Managhati village is home to more Barbaig people where traditional lives are still led. Alternatively, there is a walk to Managhati village where brick making, dairy cattle, goats and biogas are amongst development projects.  From here a tourist can climb Mount Baambay for views of the Rift Valley Landscape. Cultural tourism makes it possible for tourists who are interested in visiting rural areas, interacting with local people in communities – in their villages and in their homes. Tourists have the opportunity to eat and drink an assortment of foods and drinks that abound in these rural communities. They join local ceremonies, dances and rituals. The experience is usually rich as the tourists learn new and wonderful things about Tanzania. Small groups of Hadzabes (Hadzas) live around Lake Eyasi. Their language resembles the click languages of other indigenous tribes further south in the Kalahari, in Namibia.


Manyara Region has a lot to offer to the world of tourism. The region is bordered to the North by Arusha Region, to the northeast by Kilimanjaro Region, to the east by Tanga Region and to the south by Dodoma Region. Manyara Region is also hemmed in from the southwest by Singida Region and from the northwest by Shinyanga Region. The Region has five (5) districts – Kiteto, Hanang, Simanjiro, Mbulu and Babati. Kiteto is bordered to the north by Simanjiro District; to the east by Tanga Region and to the south and west by Dodoma Region.


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Rungwe District Council is one of the oldest Districts in Tanzania among seven Districts in Mbeya Region, and it lies between Latitude 8030 and 9030 south of Equator and Longitudes 330 and 340 East of Greenwich meridian. The District shares borders with Kyela District in the south, Ileje District in the west, Busokelo Council in the East and Mbeya District in the North. The District Head quarter is situated in Tukuyu Township, which is about 72 km from Mbeya City.

Rungwe Tourism Attraction Sites

  1. Kisiba / Masoko Crater Lake

Kisiba / Masoko Crater Lake is one of the volcanic lakes collecting its water from underground streams. It offers numerous attractions such as wetland birds, Lakeshore forest, and Germany colonial military post. Additionally, when visiting this attraction, one will get a chance to experience richness of culture mainly from Nyakyusa tribe. Furthermore, there is an interesting myth stories about the formation of the Kisiba / Masoko Crater Lake. The place offers numerous touristic activities such as; swimming, canoeing, sport fishing, photographing, diving, bird watching, camping, cultural aspects, nature sightseeing etc. This attraction is located in Rungwe at Lwifwa village (Kisiba ward). The distance to get there from Tukuyu town is about 18 kms from Tukuyu town to Kisiba / Masoko Crater Lake which can be accessible throughout a year.

  1. Kapologwe waterfalls

The waterfalls offer a spectacular and interesting feature that gives a visitor a chance to view the falls from top, behind the large cave below the ledge and bottom of the falls. The original name of the falls was known as Kala falls, but later the name was changed by local resident, after an incidence of a young buy called “Kapologwe” who fell into the cliff – top to the plunge pool 35 metres below. Apart from few bruises to his forearms, he was unhurt and indeed is apparently still alive. Activities that are done are; nature viewing, bird watching, storytelling, photographing, and viewing the falls top, behind and bottom. The attraction is located at Rungwe district in Isuba village (Kisondela ward). It is about 18 kms from Tukuyu town to Kapologwe waterfalls which can be accessible through a year.

  1. Kijungu (Pot Hole)

This is the exciting destination located at Mboyo village, 1.5 kilometers from god’s bridge. The river tumbles through a small rocky gorge creating heavy drop sounds of water several meters down. Residents call it is pot hole like feature “Kijungu’ reflecting Swahili word “chungu” which means a pot. Activities to be conducted at Kijungu area are bird watching, research, photographing nature sightseeing, storytelling, etc. This attraction is located in Rungwe at Mboyo village (Lupepo ward). The distance to get there from Tukuyu town is about 19.5 kms and it is accessible throughout a year.

  1. Ngosi Crater Lake

Get to experience the second largest Crater Lake in Africa having a depth of 74m, 2.5 km long and 1.6 km wide having the African Map in shape. It takes up to two hours from foothill to the ridge where the lake lies at 200 meters below. The slopes of the crater wall are covered by upper montane forest, grassland and bamboo. Monkeys and many bird species can be seen in the forest which is also home of an endemic species of three – horned chameleons. The lake has spiritual significance for the local inhabitants and its water are changing to blue, dark or green. Activities which can be done are hiking and trekking, research, animals viewing, bird watching, camping, exploring the nature, photographing, walking safaris, cultural tourism, etc. This site is situated in the Mporoto Ridge Forest Reserve at Isongole ward, the distance from Tukuyu town is 37 kilometers and 33 kilometers from Mbeya town to the attraction.

  1. God’s Bridge

Meet the natural formed bridge, which is considered as the natural wonder of Tanzania. God’s Bridge, as it is named by the villagers, was formed as the result of volcanic lava flow which created a hole through the hard surface, leaving behind rocky span that cut across two sides of the river in the shape that look exactly like a single. The touristic activities that are carried out are; bird watching, research, photographing, natural sightseeing, storytelling, etc. This attraction is located in Rungwe District at Mboyo village (Lupepo ward), the place can be accessed throughout the year. It is about 18 kms from Tukuyu town.

  1. Big Tree (Katembo)

A giant tree was named “Katembo” by the local villagers meaning “big”, it is also known as “Mvule” in Swahili and “Mwale” in Nyakyusa. However, its scientific name is Milicia excelsa. The tree has more than 250 years old rising at 40 metres high with diameter of 3.7 metres. It needs ten to twelve people stretching both hands to encircling the whole tree to measure the circumference. Apart from the tree being big in size, there is an interesting story behind that tree. It was used for ritual worship; the reason for its long survival was because the tree was like altar, whereby villagers took all their prayer such as when they are praying for the rain, family problems, and other prayers. The place offers several touristic activities like; research, photographing, storytelling, stretching hands 10 to 12 people, etc. This destination is located at Rungwe District, 21 kms from Tukuyu Town to Kisiba ward, Lwifwa village.

  1. Mount Rungwe Nature Reserve

Mount Rungwe Nature Reserve having an area of 136.5 m.sq is a forested slopes and Montane grasslands, and host a unique variety of wildlife, the area is critical for several endangered species including Kipunji. Mount Rungwe is the third highest peak in Tanzania reaches 2981 meters high. The climb is beautiful and rewarding due to its zoological affiliations and its botanical biodiversity. Other attractions found are three craters, more than 460 of plant species, 85 Mammal species, 230 birds, 36 amphibians, 10 fish, etc. Activities which could be done are hiking (2981 high), research, animals viewing, bird watching, camping, exploring the nature Reserve and walking safaris. This attraction is located in Rungwe around 4 wards (Isongole, Ndanto, Kiwira, Kyimo, Ibighi, and Suma & Masebe). Its distance from Tukuyu town is about 13.4 km via Syukula and 42 km via Ngumbulu entance gate.

  1. Other Attractions in Rungwe District
  • Waterfalls (Mbuguyo, Malasusa, Malamba, Kapiki and Matwebe
  • Old and natural caves (Nkunga & Lupepo)
  • Hotsprings (Kajala, Malamba)
  • Ndwati (Crater Lake)
  • Old Buildings and historical sites (Boma, Masoko, Pakati, Bagamoyo).
  • Agricultural Tour (Tea plantations, Banana farms, Cocoa farms, Coffee farms, Avocado farms, etc.

Background information

The Kondoa Rock Art Paintings Sites is a series of caves carved into the side of a hill looking out over the steppe. The cave site is nine kilometers off the main highway from Kondoa to Arusha, about 20 kms north of Kondoa. The site has a spectacular collection of images from over 150 shelters depicting elongated people, animals, and hunting scenes. Today many of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby, reflecting their beliefs, rituals and cosmological traditions.

Rock Art Paintings of Kondoa

The rock art of Kondoa belongs to the rock art traditions of central and Southern Africa which are very different from those of west Africa and the Sahara in terms of styles. The Kondoa rock art paintings sites are located on the Eastern slope of the Maasai Escarpment that borders the western side of the Eastern African Great Rift Valley (EARV) in the central Tanzania, Fragmenting rift faults and some fallen boulders have created numerous granites shelters. The sites covers the area of 2336 km² in the villages of PAHI, KOLO, MNENIA, KANDAGA, MASANGE, BUKULU, KINYASI, KISESE, THAWI, ITOLOLO and ITUNDWI.  Part of this conservation area falls under the current gazzetted Irangi Escarpment Forest Reserve with the likes of Kolo, Pahi, Kinyasi and Busi sites which have the benefit of the double protection as both the Forestry Acts and Antiquities Act stands as legal muscles against any detrimental human behavior. Kondoa district has some of the most spectacular geological formation in East Africa in the form of Boulders, shelters and overhangs, it is in some of these features that the inhabitants of this area took advantage and produce the art that has made Kondoa  Rock Art paintings site famous throughout the world today. The Kondoa Rock art paintings is mainly associated with the ancestor of hunter – gatherer (The modern Sandawe) and Agro - pastoralist societies and their traditions that lived in this area over several millennia. As of today the paintings are direct or indirect associated with the living traditions of the local population living near the sites which illustrate the cultural continuity through contemporary rituals ceremony performed in these sites overtime.


The Mongomi wa Kolo shelter is a clear example of Kondoa Rock art sites which is an extensive overhang. Its drop line extends for at least 14 meters from the back wall. Several panels can be identified in this shelter. On one area are the so called Late white paintings depicting animal figures resembling elephants or giraffes. Above them are panels containing the hunter gather motifs. Here the animals resemble pigs. Next to them are depicted a group of red elephants family superimposed on a trio human figure. There are also the red concentric circles very common in the Kondoa area including red human figures, red animals, white animals, and red and white geometric motifs superimposed on each other. One of the interesting figures depicted are antelope mating. Here the shelter has both the hunter – gatherer and agropastoral. To the southwest of the shelter, below the drop line, is a cavern underneath a massive boulder used by diviners to conjure their visions and potency from ancestral spirits. The remains of sacrificed goats are also placed in this hollow. Mongomi wa Kolo is the site visited by diviners and other people participating in healing and rain making rituals. Material evidence of ritual activities at the site includes leaves of the castor oil plant on the floor underneath Rock art panels and spatters of millet beer.


Several of the main Pahi shelters are scattered along the lower part of promontory and discovered some very fine paintings with white, red and black in colours, the sites are located near the bottom of the escarpment, not far from PAHI VILLAGE. The PAHI site showcase different artistic styles, associated with the three groups of people (hunter – gatherers) agriculturists, and pastoralists) that have inhabited the region over time. The images found at PAHI include giraffe, eland, Kudu, zebra, human figures. The hunter gatherers red paintings are the oldest of all in this area where it ranges from 2,000 – 10,000 years while the so called late white Agro – pastoral paintings are of 1,500 years of age which is more recently. The red paintings are associated with Sandawe Ancestors while the late whites are of the Agro – pastoral Bantu speaking societies (Warangi, Burunge).


Background information

Irangi community form larger percent of the Kondoa people. Others include Gogo, Wasi, Burunge, Mbugwe and Sandawe people. Several groups among these have claimed their directly ancestral lineage to the ancient painters of central Tanzania rock art; although most researchers have attributed the paintings to the Sandawe who traditionally are hunter – gatherers. In terms of style, the hunter gatherers paintings are mainly depicting animals, human figures often extremely stylized in one color and sometimes artists attempted to portray animals in various postures. Scenes are common, often involving human and animal figures without background details.


Kondoa district in Dodoma Region, is home of three (3) major African ethnic language and their societies lived in the area over a long period of time, Cushitic Hunter gatherers ( Sandawe and Hadza), Nilots (Nilotics) – Iraqw / Mbulu,  Maasai, Wasi) and Bantu speaking (Warangi, Burungwe). Among the three (3) ethnic groups the Warangi are the largest and they are widely known throughout the country by their Swahili name Warangi and their Kirangi language. The warangi for centuries have been practicing rituals in these rock art sites where traditional  healing, rainmaking, iniation and the passing of magical power from one person to another was conducted and still are practiced today in the sites of Mongomi wa Kolo (God of Kolo).


Educational, historical, scientific, Social spiritual, and religious purposes, plus the economic use of tourism and job creation among the society living surrounding the sites. Kondoa Rock site was inscribed in the list of the World Heritage Status since July 2006 under criteria (iii) and (iv) of UNESCO Operational Guide Lines.


There is a private owned campsite (Amarula campsite) in Mnenia village, just near Kolo, and a community owned campsite named after Mary Leakey. The campsite is located just along the seasonal river on the way to Mongomi wa Kolo sites. Also, some comfortable lodges are available in Kondoa Town which is 28 km from Kolo with the likes of Kondoa Climax Lodge, New Simple Lodge, Golden Apple, New Planet, River Side Resort, and many more others.


Kolo is located just along the famous Great North Road which runs from Cape Town to Cairo; it is four hours normal drive (241 kms) from Arusha via Babati to Kondoa and three hours normal drive (172 kms) from Dodoma towards Arusha major Roads by a private vehicle. You can get to Kolo by using both private and public transport as there are buses from both end( Departs Arusha 7 am and from Dodoma departs around 6 am daily).


Tanzania Forestry Services Agency (TFS) has an office in Kolo village which stands as an information centre with a small site museum that showcase and gives a range of details for rock Arts, the history and traditions of people of Kondoa.



Background information; by


  1. The name of Bagamoyo, a coastal town north of Dar es Salaam is derived from words meaning “lay down your heart”. What historical significance do these words have?


Bagamoyo was once a major terminus for the slave trade. It was the point of no return from which slaves were shipped to Zanzibar for sale to Arab buyers.



Once one of the most important coastal towns in Tanzania. In 1888, it became the capital of German East Africa. However, when Dar es Salaam took over that role just a few years later, Bagamoyo lost its colonial wealth and started to go into decline. Today, the town has settled nicely into its new role as a somewhat sleepy town with lots of African charm and a reputation for stunning white beaches. It is also the center for Dhow building, a quiet village feel with a few German colonial buildings still standing. The name “Bagamoyo” means “lay down your heart” in Kiswahili, and is particularly poignant given that the town was the last stop on the mainland before captured slaves were sent to destinations unknown from Zanzibar, never to return.



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  1. Which prosperous island city was the chief trading center in East Africa from the 12th to the 15th centuries?


Kilwa Kisiwani in Lindi Region, off Tanzania’s southern coast.


The Island of Kilwa Kisiwani and the nearby ruins of Songo Mnara are among the most important remnants of Swahili civilization on the East African Coast. The area became the center point of Swahili civilization in the 13th century, when it controlled the gold trade with Sofala, a distant settlement in Mozambique. After a brief decline under the rule of the Portuguese, Kilwa Kisiwani once again became a center of Swahili trade in the 18th century, when slaves were shipped from its port to the islands of Comoros, Mauritius and Reunion.


Kilwa Kisiwani Island was once the trading center of the Swahili Empire. The ruins of the settlement still remain and are considered to be one of the most important Swahili historical sites in East Africa. The famous traveler and chronicler Ibn Batuta visited Kilwa in the 14th century describing his administration for the architecture and graceful situation of the capital city. Later the island became a trading post for slaves travelling north from Mauritius and Mozambique. The end of the town’s supremacy as a trading port came when it was ransacked, ostensibly by “Cannibals” in 1588.



Songea town is famous for its history of the first African resistance against colonization of Tanzania over 115 years ago. A National museum has been erected at Mahenge area in the same township to commemorate the hanging deaths of 70 Africans by German administration. The Museum in Songea stands at the burial place where the Ngoni and Matengo tribes warriors were buried in a mass grave behind the museum building.


The Maji Maji rebellion came about as a result of local tribes in the south eastern part of the country, notably the Matumbi, Yao, Ngoni and Mwera tribesmen rejecting the German colonial occupation of this part of Africa at the turn of the 19th century. The Germans who took control of a large chunk of land in what is present day Tanzania mainland (formerly Tanganyika), Rwanda and Burundi, ruled the native citizens with an iron fist. The Germans selected local chiefs from within the tribesmen and turned them into German government agents, forcing them to collect taxes for their emperor Kaiser. The local chiefs were beaten 25 times in a punishment known as “Hamsa wa ishirini” with a leather whip made from hippopotamus skin if they failed to collect taxes from the tribesmen, even when there was a shortfall of just five cents. Natives were forced to work for Germans without pay and would be hanged for the slightest of mistakes. Resistance erupted from virtually all corners of the country to refuse subjugation; from the Southern Kingdoms of the “Wamatumbi” and Wahehe”, to the north eastern highlands of the “Chagga” and “Shambala”, from the thorny plains of the “Wagogo” and “Wanyamwezi” in Dodoma and Khaze, to the “Ngoni” and “Matengo” in Songea, Ruvuma region.  The Maji Maji festival celebrates part of these heroic fights. In 1902 the governor of German East Africa, Count Adolf Von Gotzen (1866 – 1910), ordered Tanzanian villagers to grow cotton as cash crop. The native Tanzanians turned to African spirituality and magic to drive the Germans out of Tanzania. The leader of the rebellion was a spirit medium named KinjiKitile Ngwale, who called himself Bokero and claimed to be possessed by a snake spirit called Hongo. Bokero began to spread the idea that the people had been called upon to eliminate the Germans. The revolt was named after a medicine called maji that purportedly gave African fighters immunity to German bullets. Although this “war medicine” was in fact nothing but water mixed with castor oil and millet, the dissemination of the maji ideology spread a message of common opposition and resistance to German colonial rule. Believing themselves empowered with this medicine, Bokero’s followers began the Maji Maji Revolt. Armed with cap guns, spears, and arrows, and wearing millet stalks around their heads, they set out from the Matumbi Hills in southern and attacked German garrisons throughout the colony. Along with the Matumbi, the Mbunga, Kichi, Ngoni, Ngido, and Pogoro joined the rebellion in German East Africa. Although few in number, German forces of European and native soldiers used superior fire power to their advantage, and several thousand Maji Maji rebels were cut down by Machine – gun fire. The magic water that they thought would protect them from the German guns failed. However, the fight in several areas was bitter. When KinjiKitile Ngwale was executed by German troops on August 4th, 1905, another spirit medium continued to lead the revolt. The rebellion continued when the Ngoni people joined in the revolt with a force of 5,000 but they were no match to German guns when they were attacked. The Germans destroyed villages, crops, and other food sources used by the rebels in a scorched – earth policy, leading to the deaths of an estimated 250,000 from famine. The defeat of the Ngoni marked the end of any serious resistance. By April 1906, the south west of German East Africa was pacified, but it was not until August of 1907 that the rebellion was effectively stamped out. The aftermath of Maji Maji Revolt had important implications for German rule until the end of world war I in 1918, when area became British territory.


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Ukerewe is the largest island in Lake Victoria (Nyanza) and the largest inland in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km2. The island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel.



UKEREWE islets are an ideal place to go if one wishes to get a feeling of the life of the lake people. The journey takes two hours by boat from Mwanza. Usually, the boat leaves for the island twice a day, at 09 am and 02 pm. Large boats sail in the morning at 09: 00 am from Mwanza’s northern side of the port and in the afternoon from Mwaloni, Kirumba, or Mwanza Port Dock. From Ukerewe, you may return in the morning or in the afternoon. Accommodation is available in a few small hotels in Nansio. The list includes; Labima Hotel, Kondeni Hotel, Holiday Motel, Monarch Beach Resort and Bwiru Cultural Thatched Simple Traditional Houses. Camping grounds are available in some villages; the Ukerewe cultural tourism programme guides visitors accordingly. Monarch Hotel is only one kilometer from the ferry terminal to the west, although a newer and better equipped hotel is located near the main road into the interior of the island, a bit far from the lake. At the Monarch Gallu Hotel one can take a bicycle tour to a village located under the banana and orange trees. By a motor cycle taxi (BodaBoda) one can travel to Halwego view point, the highest point on the island with rocks and caves. In the very west of the large island, which is about 35 kilometers long, is Rubya Beach Forest, an enormous pine tree forest with a fine wide, white sand beach for safe swimming. The large catholic church of Kagunguli was built by the missionaries in the very beginning of the twentieth century. The nearby Bukindo chief’s palace is believed to have been constructed in 1920 and completed in 1928. For a visit to the neighboring Ukara Island one would need to see the dancing stone and for crossing one has to catch the ferry from Ukerewe. Then, a tedious journey on a bodaboda to the quiet beach in the north of the island. The large population of Ukara cultivates intensively Cassava or Manioc fields and engages in fishing. Ukerewe is the largest Island in Lake Victoria (Nyanza) and the largest inland in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km2. Ukerewe Island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel. Ukerewe Island is situated 45 km (25 nautical miles) north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry crossing of only 3.8 km also links the island across the Rugezi Channel to a dirt road on the eastern lake shore, which runs to Kibara and Musoma. The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by 38 small islands surrounding the neighborhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families. Its largest community is Nansio. Its simple lifestyle and rocky terrain broken by lake vistas and tiny patches of forest, makes an interesting, unusual entertainment. The few proper sights include the usual agricultural activities whereby residents cultivate maize, sweet potatoes, millet, cassava and rice. The main activity here is fishing. At Kagunguli, there is the oldest Roman Catholic Church built in 1895 located near a hill with the same name; the old school and dispensary which were built between 1902 and 1913. Bukindo was built in 1928 in the modest European – style palace of the Island’s former king, Kasyeza Ruhumbika. The building is still in use and is a must see place if you are in the area. you may find out from the palace guide why one of its rooms has remained closed more than half a century. Others include, Irondo point where visitors of Mwanza City, Entebbe in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya; a chance to be part of a traditional dance group Buzegwe staff band that is sure to leave you fascinated: a visit to the historical sites, including graves in the area. As part of the activities here, visitors are introduced to local fishing, canoeing, biking, and village tour and more are mildly interesting but the deeply rural life between them is the real attraction.



It is advisable and recommended to book a local guide to take you around simply because there are 3 tribal languages spoken on the island, so even if you know Swahili you will have a difficulty communicating. The easiest way to get to UKEREWE ISLAND is by ferry from MWANZA. Mwanza can be reached by bus, train or plane from Dar es Salaam or by bus or plane from ARUSHA. From MWANZA, you may have two ferry operators to reach UKEREWE ISLAND. The ‘MV RAFIKI’ leaves the Lake Ferries terminal in MWANZA CENTRE (near the central POLICE STATION) at UKEREWE ISLAND around 5;00 PM. Tickets are priced at 10,000/- or 15,000/- for VIP, and are sold at the ticket window in the ferry station. The MV RAFIKI departs from UKEREWE ISLAND to return to MWANZA at 8;00 am. The MV BUTIAMA usually sails daily from MWANZA NORTH PORT to NANSIO – UKEREWE at 9;00am (1st & 2nd class – cost 10,000/- or 8,000 THS, and departs at NANSIO – UKEREWE for MWANZA at 2.00pm. The journey is approximately 2 hours. The ‘MV NYEHUNGE 1’ leaves the KIRUMBA MWANZA DOCK at 8;30/ 9;00am and arrives in NANSIO – UKEREWE at 12;00pm. It returns to MWANZA at 1;30pm/ 2;00pm, and gets into MWANZA around 6;00pm. Tickets are 7,000/- TSHS – FIRST CLASS , and 6,000/- TSHS – SECOND CLASS. The ‘MV NYEHUNGE 2’ leaves the KIRUMBA – MWANZA DOCK at 1;30pm, and arrives in UKEREWE at 6;00pm. It returns to MWANZA at 7;30am, and arrives around 11;30am. Tickets are 15,000/- TSHS – FIRST CLASS, 7,000 TSHS – SECOND CLASS.

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