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Kigoma

Travel Guide Africa Tanzania Kigoma

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Introduction

MV Liemba - Lake Tanganyka

MV Liemba - Lake Tanganyka

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Kigoma is a port town on Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. It is a base for visits to the Gombe Stream (famous for Jane Goodall's studies into chimpanzee behaviour) and Mahale Mountains (also chimpanzees) National Parks. It is also a transit point for travellers moving between Burundi and Tanzania. There is a Visa ATM in Kigoma. For FX, the rates offered by the cloth stalls in the market are better than those offered by the banks.

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Sights and Activities

  • If you are a fan of chimpanzees, visit either Gombe Stream National Park or Mahale Mountains National Park.
  • Several miles south of Kigoma is Ujiji, the supposed site of Stanley and Livingstone's 1871 meeting at which the phrase "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" was heard. It was also in Ujiji that, 13 years before Stanley and Livingstone's encounter, Burton and Speke were the first Europeans to set eyes on Lake Tanganyika when they were searching for the source of the Nile.
  • There is a lively fish market by the port.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are several flights per week between Kigoma and Dar es Salaam. They take 3 hours 10 minutes (including a stop in Tabara) and cost TSh198,000 (June 2009).

By Bus

The journey from Bujumbura to Kigoma is unpleasant. Take the Buragane minibus from Bujumbura to Tanzanian immigration - their office in Bujumbura is on Rue Science, just west of the junction with Boulevard Lumumba. It costs BIF8,000 (June 2009) and takes about 3.5 hours to reach Burundi immigration, where you'll spend maybe 30 minutes, then another hour to reach Tanzania immigration, where it terminates. Minibuses from the border to Kigoma take about 3 hours and cost TSh3,000 (June 2009) - the journey is dusty, bumpy, and massively overcrowded.

By Boat

The MV Liemba departs Kigoma for Mpulungu in Zambia once per week.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis to the airport should cost TSh5,000 (June 2009). Taxis from the bus station should cost TSh2,000 (June 2009).

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Eat

Sun City Cafe, on the main street, is pretty much the only place in town offering vegetarian meals. They will also fetch beer from the hotel bar over the road.

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Sleep

Budget

Zanzibar Hill Lodge The hotel is near the east end of the town (i.e. the end furthest away from the lake) - turn off the main road at the National Microfinance Bank and keep walking straight. After a couple of hundred metres, the road curves to the right and that's where you'll find the hotel. A double room with cold shower, TV, fridge, floor fan, and breakfast should cost TSh20,000 (June 2009).

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Keep Connected

Internet

Try Baby Come and Call Internet on the main street at TSh2,000 (June 2009) per hour.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Post

Tanzania Posts Corporation is the national postal services of Tanzania. There are post officies in most major cities and towns throughout the country, which are generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Services are generally quite reliable though not very fast. Prices for international airmal services start at around 500-600 TSHS to other countries in East Africa and 700-900 TSHS to Europe and North America for postcards and letters up to 20 grams. Small packages start at around 2,000-3,000 TSHS, but it's generally better to do business with international parcel services like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 9:09 on Aug 5, 11 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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