Travel Guide Africa Tanzania Kigoma



MV Liemba - Lake Tanganyka

MV Liemba - Lake Tanganyka

© netandmatt

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.



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.



Getting There

By Plane

The small Kigoma Airport is in the eastern suburbs and has services from Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, organization at the airport is very simple.

By Train

A twice-weekly overnight sleeper is also available from Dar es Salaam via Dodoma and Tabora, the journey takes two nights from Dar es Salaam and one night from cities further inland. A ticket for second class sleepers costs TSh 39,700, while first class tickets start at TSh 54,900.

The German colonial 1 Kigoma railway station is located directly in the city centre.

By Bus

Kigoma is at the end of road B381, leaving the national road B8 at Kasulu. Roads are passable and steadily being improved. Traversing the country takes 3-4 days.

By Boat

The ancient MV Liemba, built in 1913 by Germans, still plys up and down Lake Tanganyika between Kigoma and Mpulungu on the southern shores of the lake in Zambia, stopping at several places along the coast. There are first, second and third class on board.



Getting Around

By foot, taxi, or little motorcycle taxis for an inner city ride.




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.
Leaders Lodge.




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.
Diocese of Kigoma Community Centre (On Kiezya Rd), ☏ +255 28-280-2520. Single/double rooms with common bathroom. Basic accommodation but good value for the money. Not far from the railway station and the post office. TSh 2500/3500. edit
Lake Tanganyika Hotel (Just off Stanley Rd), ☏ +255 282803052, fax: +255 282803051, ✉ [email protected]. A modern hotel on the shore of Lake Tanganyika at the southern outskirts of Kigoma. Clean, comfortable with a lively bar that also serves simple but good food.
Aqua Lodge, Katonga road, ☏ +255 764-980788. Fan rooms From TSh 10,000.
Poyongo Lodge, Uiji road. From TSh 10,000.
Leaders Lodge (Leaders), Kigoma,Tanzania, ☏ +255 687331343. Bed and Breakfast & Free Fast Internet access (Wi-Fi) 20000.
Jakobsen Beach Guest House. Some 5 km from the town center, Jakobsen Beach offers various different accomodation options. The houses and tents are scattered over a vast area, connected with dirt tracks. The coastline is wonderful, and Zebras come for a visit regularly. Food is not offered, but kitchens are available. from TSh 40,000.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Major tourist areas and cities have internet cafes and many hotels offer (free) wifi nowadays. Connections can be slower at more remote places.
Also safari oriented places offer some sort of internet connections as well, by computers or wifi.


See also International Telephone Calls

The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).

There are four cell providers in Tanzania: Zain (the major one), Zantel, Vodacom and Tigo, who all offer roaming facilities. Connections are good in Tanzania, even in places such as Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and some parts of the Serengeti (the western and northern region of the Serengeti not). You can buy the prepaid cards in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. You can even buy a cell phone while in Tanzania. The price for a simple cell phone ranges between $55 and $80.

Avoid roaming charges with you home cellphone and turn it off. Instead, use a local SIM card or just wifi.


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.

Accommodation in Kigoma

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kigoma searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 11. Last edited at 13:02 on Dec 7, 20 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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