Mwanza Travel Guide

  • Bismarck's Rock
    Bismarck's Rock
    by lotharscheer
  • Serengeti family safari
    Serengeti family safari
    by Markjames547
  • Mwanza
    by kombizz

Mwanza Things to Do

  • Shrike safaris

    Definitely something to try, if you can afford it. While you are in Mwanza you may organize your safari to Serengeti ( only 2 hrs drive to the entrance gate). The less expensive excursions to reserves and parks are specialized, of a shorter duration, and worthwhile. If there's one trip that will change your perspective on life, it's an African...

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  • Uganda

    If you have a lot of time on your hands, I definitely recommend a trip to Uganda. It is the most beautiful country with warm and friendly people and I can fully appreciate why people call it the rising star or the pearl of Africa. Because of its nice infrastructure, Uganda is a good country to be a tourist in, and forget all the rumours about it...

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  • Safari

    It goes without saying that you must go on a safari when you stay in Tanzania. It's a wonderful experience and Mwanza is a perfect starting place. Off course you should see Serengeti which is more spectactular than I ever dreamed of. Ngorongoro is also worth a visit, but don't forget Lake Manyara, which is a fabulous national park, so much...

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  • Strolling around town

    It may sound stupid, but I think a lot of people don't give themselves time enough to simply walk around Mwanza and take in the smells, sound and colours of the city. Go have an ice cream at Salma's cone, go down to the dukas buy the market, check out the numerous tailors in town, buy cheap jeans in the dukas, take a detour into the smaller streets...

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  • Saa Naane

    If you have some time to kill, or just feel like getting away from the city for a couple of hours, then take the boat to Saa Nane Island just outside Mwanza. Saa Nane is a small island with a horrible zoo but fantastic surroundings, and a lot of Tanzanians go there for the weekend to unwind. The zoo has some monkeys, a lion and 2 hyeenas kept in...

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  • Sokoni

    You should definitely go to the market when you are in Mwanza. They have EVERYTHING here! Whether you're looking for food, spices, drums, fertility masks, kangas or masaai jewellery. It's so much fun walking around there at this huge market, but watch out for your bag, because it's crowded and you don't exactly blend in when you're an mzungo! Be...

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Mwanza Restaurants

  • A successful attempt to make pizza

    There are few western food restaurants in town, but this a the better one. Very popular with wealthier locals, NGO staff AND travellers. Nice place and good atmosphere!From profits they support a street kids project.Pizza's are around $3-$4

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  • Enjoy good food and a spectacular view...

    Situated on the outskirts of Mwanza, overviewing the lake, Hotel/Restaurant Tilapia offers a wonderful place to relax after a dusty and noisy day in town. Start off with a sun-downer and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake. Continue with a grilled tilapia and finish off with a cup of coffee or chai. Or go downstairs to the chinese or indian...

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  • Pizza

    If you feel like relaxing with a pizza you should go to Kuleana's next to New Mwanza Hotel. They 'specialize' in pizzas, but you can also get chapati, doughnuts, eggs, bread rolls, cake, chips and omelettes + juice, sodas, coffe and tee. It's not exactly a culinary experience, but nevertheless you always seem to find yourself sitting at Kuleanas at...

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Mwanza Nightlife

  • The fancy option

    I must shamefully admit that I have never made it to the yacht club, but I have only heard good things about it. Apparently, they serve some of the best sea food in town, and on friday nights it should be a good place to go dancing and partying. Go see for yourself and let me know! You can't show up in too shabby clothes, so leave the dirty tank...

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  • Brazil in Tanzania

    I have only once been to the capricabana, and I must say that I wasn't too impressed with it. The surroundings are fine, though, but almost no one goes there, and only if there is a private party in the neighbourhood, will there be ANY activity in there. An exception is if there is a concert - they have had a few very good concerts, and then it is...

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  • Rumours

    The Rumours is a really good place to go if you want to have a good night out and go dancing or drinking. It's a bar/nightclub, mostly with locals, but also wazungo and Indians go here, so if you want to meet a lot of new people, this is a good place to start. Go there around 11 or 12 at night and the dance floor will usually be filled. Drinks are...

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Mwanza Transportation

  • By Bus to Bujumbura

    Nyehunge Express has every day a bus going close to the Rwanda and then close to the Burundi (3 km) border leaving from the Nyrgezi bus terminal 11 km out of Mwanza at about 5 am then going to the ferry close to town center where you can also bord at about 6 am arriving a bit after 2 pm. You can get the ticket at the former bus terminal close to...

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  • With the bus to Rwanda

    Every morning there's a direct bus to the border settlement of Rusumo, from where you can take minibuses to f.e. Kigali. It will takes all day and you might need to stay overnight close to the border.Since the buses depend on the ferries, they will leave at fixed times (usually 8am).I missed the bus and the next one in the right direction finished...

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  • Between Dar/Dodomo and Mwanza: the...

    I took a train from Dodoma to Mwanza and enjoyed it a lot! The scenery was beautiful, the cabins convenient and cold drinks and meals were cheaply sold.Actually going straight to Mwanza from Dar/Dodoma v.v. railing is the only really comfortable option besides of flying, unless you're fond of 2 full days in a bus on dusty rough roads with 100...

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Mwanza Shopping

See all 6 Shopping in Mwanza
  • CDs and tapes

    If you're looking for cheap CD's go to the CD shop apposite New Mwanza hotel. Here, they will have a smaller selection of new and (mostly) old music. You can also buy CD's to burn yourself, and tapes and videos. In the shop behind Salmas Cone is even better. They have most of the newest hip-hop, soul and r'n'b and will be willing to burn CD's for...

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  • Clothes and shoes

    Go off the main road and head towards the dirty small streets with all the dukas. Here, they sell all sorts of shoes and sandals and clothes. Not all of it is nice, but sometimes you're lucky and will be able to find OK jeans, funny blouses and fabulous shoes for practically no money. For a nice pair of (new) shoes, you should pay something like...

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  • Local things

    If you take your time you will find a lot of small dukas that sell local crafts, clothes and art. The road leading down to U-turn have a couple of really good dukas that sell nice things like bags, batique, local jewellery, sculptures, drums etc, but prices are a bit high. Most of the things you can get much cheaper down at the market, but if you...

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Mwanza Local Customs

  • Taking photos

    Be considerate when you think about taking pictures of people. Especially in more rural areas. People don't like it when you take pictures of them so make sure to ask in advance. Otherwise you might end up being chased by angry Tanzanians! I'm not kidding. A friend of mine practically had to run for her life after having taken some pictures at a...

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  • Greetings

    Greetings are very important in Tanzania - not least in Mwanza region where the Sukuma have all sorts of greetings for every occasion. If you greet someone older than you, you should always use a 'shikamu' which means something like 'I hold your feet'. It is a way of showing yor respect and it is always a good idea to say it to any one older or...

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  • Think about what you are wearing

    It seems obvious, and you probably know already, but don't wear clothes that are too exposing. Tanzania is a country with a lot of Muslims and a lot of muslims live in Mwanza. Furthermore, christian tanzanians also disregard this kind of clothing. There are not many tourists or wazungo in Mwanza, but the people here ARE used to the western kind of...

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Mwanza Warnings and Dangers

  • Malaria

    It can't come as a surprise that this region is an endemic malaria region. Lying by the lake it's superb breeding ground for mosquitoes and there's a good chance you'll catch malaria if you stay for more than a couple of months. I'm sure you know this already and have brought the right medication and profylaxis - if not, you can buy it in any duka...

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  • After sun-set

    There are a lot of street children in Mwanza, and they (or others) will rob you if you don't take a few precautions. First of all, never walk around with valuables in your hands. THey will hit you on the hand, grab whatever you have and run away. Secondly, and more important NEVER walk on the streets of Mwanza after dark. It sounds ridiculous, but...

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  • Drunk Drivers

    It's a problem all over Tanzania, but nevertheless it is important to be aware of. A lot of taxi drivers in Mwanza start drinking heavily after 7 pm, which results in them being extremely drunk at around 9. This doesn't stop them from driving, though and it can be difficult to find a sober cab driver. Still, it is probably more safe to have a...

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Mwanza Tourist Traps

  • Be aware of Police Traps

    When me and my gf went to see the Bismarck's Rock, on our way along the shore, there was a shield leaning against a rock on our path written in suaheli. Shortly after passing this sign a big female police officer appeared, demanding us to follow her and sit down under a tree. Around were few more police officers, few guys without uniform and an all...

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  • Ideas through web-pages

    Maybe these links will provide you with other ideas of what mwanza looks like, and what you might do in Mwanza:www.fizzylogic.com/wasukuma/mwanza.htmlwww.mwanzacommunity.org/mwanzaregion.htmlwww.tanserve.com/towns/Mwanza.html

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  • A museum in Tanzania?!

    Oh, yes! Mwanza has a museum, which is actually a big thing considering Tanzania's general lack of museums. Outside Mwanza is the Sukuma Museum, showing tools, buildings, clothes, medicines etc. of the sukuma - the dominating tribe in Mwanza Region. Being an ethnographer, I must shamefully admit that I haven't been there, but some of my friends...

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Mwanza What to Pack

  • Mosquito Net

    Bring your own impregnated mosquito net. You will be able to buy mosquito nets at almost every duka, but chances are, they wont' be impregnated with GAO (toxic mosquito repellant) and that's really crucial. Furthermore, if you go camping or to some of the non-touristy parks or guest houses in the cities, there won't be nets. And I can't say this...

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  • Flash light

    Finding the toilet in pitch darkness can really be annoying so make sure to bring a really good flash light. Power cuts are really more the rule than the exception in Tanzania, so be sure to have a flash light next to your bed. Especially in rural areas, these cuts can last several days, and as it gets dark around 7 it's really nice to have a torch...

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  • Adapter and Stabilizer

    I'm sure you already know this, but remeber an adapter, as the sockets look quite different from the European. Also, if you plan on staying for a long time in a rural area, consider bying a stabilizer to save your computer from the electric spikes. They can burn down your computer completely. Can be bought in Dar, Arusha and perhaps even Mwanza

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Mwanza Off The Beaten Path

  • Geita

    If you feel like getting away and seeing something completely different, go to the gold mines in Geita. Geita is a beautiful area and very different from Mwanza. You can arrange for the trip to the mines through Serengeti Services (ask for Vinay) or by arranging it with some of the miners from South Africa or Australia. You will always find them...

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  • Want a masaai necklace?

    Mwanza has a miniature masaai market, where you can buy masaai necklaces, rings, headbands, jewellery, medicine etc. It's not much and you may be a bit disappointed about the selection, but you can get some good offers here, and face it - if you're not going to Arusha Region this is the only chance you have of bying a Masaai souvenir.Ask the locals...

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  • Kuleana Orphanage

    Sounds like a weird idea to visit an orphanage? Well, maybe it is, but it is also an experience that gives you a very good idea of what life is like for many children in Mwanza. At Kuleanas, street children are offered education, food, a place to stay as well as medicine, and the staff tries to reintegrate some of the children back into their...

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Mwanza Favorites

  • Enjoy the waterfront

    just out of town on Station Road you can find some nice places to eat and drink while retiring on the terraces and look over the water.One of them is the Yacht Club.

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  • Saa Nane Island: have an afternoon break

    This island is called a zoo. It opened in the early 90's after they caught a large variety of wild animals in Serengeti NP and brought them to this tiny island. Nowadays most of the animals died. You can see some smaller antelopes, nice birds, interesting reptiles and if you're lucky crocodiles, while 2 hyena's, a chimp and a lion live in horrible...

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  • Bismarck Rock

    . This eroded rock is probably the most famous sight.It looks like it could get out of balance every moment but it's there already for thousands of years. Rather stunning!By the way everywhere around Mwanza outcrops like this appear, very nice scenery!

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