Travel Guide Africa Tanzania Mwanza



Sun setting on Mwanza, Lake Victoria

Sun setting on Mwanza, Lake Victoria

© rd wrld1yr

Mwanza is a port city on the shores of Lake Victoria, in the northwest of Tanzania. With around 1.2 million inhabitants living within the city limits and around 2 million in the metropolitan region, it is the second largest city in the country.



Sights and Activities

The Bismarck Rock is a rather odd looking rock in the Victoria Lake close to te ferry station/Nasser road.



Getting There

By Plane

Mwanza Airport (MWZ) has flights to/from Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Arusha, Bukoba, Karagwe, Rubondo, Fort Ikoma, Grumeti, Kigali, Klein's Camp, Kogatende, Lobo, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Pemba, Sasakwa, Seronera, Southern Serengeti, Tanga, Tarime, Zanzibar, Karasabai, Kilimanjaro, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Musoma and Shinyanga.

By Train

Tanzanian Railways has a line running from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam via some places in the Mwanza district and Kwimba. The second branch runs from Tabora to Mwanza port on Lake Victoria.

By Bus

There are daily buses to the border of Burundi (Kabanga) and Rwanda (Busoro). There are also buses to the Kenya border, Dar es Salaam and Kigoma. There are daily buses from Mwanza going to and from Dar es Salaam. Transport company Shabibi bus lines are one of best and reliable choices. The journey takes around 17 hours to reach Dar es Salaam and the fare is TSh 45,000. you could do a stopover in Dodoma which is around a 9-hour bus ride from Mwanza. There is a paved road from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam via Shinyanaga.

By Boat

To arrive from Uganda you can take a bus form Kampala to Bukoba (in Tanzania) and from Bukoba you can either take the ferry Monday, Wednesday or Friday evenings or the bus (several every day around 6-7 AM).

The ferry MS Victoria depart Mwanza going to Bukoba every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evening. A bed in 2nd class 6-bed sleeper cost TSh 23,500.

There is a ferry across the Mwanza gulf that leaves from the city (the Kamanga ferry) and another about 32 km south of the city. The southern one is recommended for driving because the roads on the western terminal are rumored to be much better.



Getting Around

Daladalas (public "buses") are a good, cheap way to get from the city to the surrounding areas. Costing only TSh 300 for a trip, they are crowded, slow, and thrilling sometimes. You may want to ask someone which one you need to take as there are no transit maps.

Taxis can be an option, although there aren't any official labels on them as there are in the capital. White licence plates means that the vehicle is registered for commercial use, and yellow mean private. Not all taxis have white licence plates, but some do. The taxis should be white cars with white licence plates. Use at your own risk.

Pikipikis are the little motorcycles that will take one or two people on as a fare. There are usually a few sitting at intersections. These are very dangerous because of influx of vehicles in Mwanza and again, use at your own risk.




Great Lake Victoria's fresh water talapia fish is a must eat food. A good number of fish industries exist. They export Nile perch fish fillet (sangara fish) to Europe and South Africa. Street food. Oranges, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, cassava, roast maize, taro are all available on the street from vendors for TSh 100-1000. Also available are mandazi, bagias, and other local fried breads in some areas. Vendors are usually walking around, so they may be harder to find.




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 Mwanza

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

Mwanza Travel Helpers

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This is version 6. Last edited at 8:32 on May 18, 18 by Utrecht. 9 articles link to this page.

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