The city of Mwanza is the major Tanzanian port on Lake Victoria and a major centre of economic importance in the region. The lake borders the country's East African neighbours, Uganda to the north west and Kenya to the north east and export and transport between the countries is a foundation of Mwanza's economy.
Around the city of Mwanza, the land is primarily devoted to agricultural enterprise. Tea, cotton and coffee plantations throughout the area produce large volumes of cash crops that pass though Mwanza on their way to market. The towns industrial harbour and busy streets make it a prosperous and busy place to explore.
For visitors, the city makes a good base from which to explore nearby Rubondo Island National Park and the western parts of the Serengeti. Rubondo Island National Park offers pleasant day-hikes and bird watching around the lake shore. Mwanzas proximity to the western Serengeti makes it a necessary stop for visitors who want to experience a less bust part of the park and see the magic of the Serengeti without the parade of safari vehicles and seasonal crowds.
Mwanza is also the centre of the Sukuma tribe - the largest tribe in Tanzania, who have inhabited and farmed the region for centuries. Cultural tourism programmes to their local villages and farms can be arranged through the local cultural centre.
The Mwanza region was first under the Sukuma Kerewe Kara and Zinza empire until the Germans came and colonized Tanganyika, where Mwanza region was a district. Then after World War 1 East Africa came under the supervision of UN peacekeepers.
The British then established leadership in Tanganyika and then later the province was divided into the Lake Province and the Western Zone. After independence, all the provinces were made regions. Mwanza region stayed part of its original province until 1963 when it was officially given the status of a region.
Attractions in Mwanza
Natural attractions are in abundance in Mwanza especially if you allow yourself the time to get a short way out of the city to see some stunning sights. You can visit Ukerewe Island for lush forest and unspoiled beaches or take a boat trip out to Saa Nane Island which is a popular relaxation spot for Tanzanians themselves due to its gorgeous landscape and peaceful idyllic surroundings. Theres also Bwiru in Mwanza where you can watch the sun set on the dancing rocks - a beautiful experience not to be missed.
Of course there are also the better known attractions of Lake Victoria otherwise known as Victoria Nyanza and Rubondo National Park which is home to a fantastic beach and a wealth of birdlife. For cultural attractions here in Mwanza, head to Halwego Handebezyo Museum and Bujora Museum where you are able to learn about daily life in Mwanza.
Activities in Mwanza
Activities that are popular with visitors to Mwanza include swimming and fishing in the infamous Lake Victoria. You can also go on safari in this lesser known region of Tanzania to spot wildlife such as elephants, hippos, crocodiles and antelope. To get to see the real Mwanza, allow yourself time to visit the markets often raved about by return visitors. Here you can buy all sorts of products from spices and drums to Maasai jewellery.
Most visitors to Mwanza opt to relax by spending time by Lake Victoria and resting on its sandy beaches, bird watching or even swimming in the lake. However you can also relax by participating in wildlife photography.