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Mwanza City | Mwanza Town

Mwanza City | Mwanza Town

The city of Mwanza is located on the southern shores of the second largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Victoria. With a population of more than 700,000, Mwanza is also considered the second largest city in Tanzania and thanks to its location it is a major port city.

Home to the largest tribe in the country, Mwanza and the region around it are the heart of the Wasukuma tribe who have lived in and around the area for centuries. The other tribes calling this area home include the Wakarewe, Wazinza and Wakara.

“Gone fishing” as a way of life

Lake Victoria is one of the highlights of Mwanza. Its dark bluish waters give it a mysterious feeling and you are left in awe by its sheer size and beauty!


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The majority of people living in and around Mwanza are fishermen. They go out every day with their nets, hoping for the big catch.

The main species of fish in the lake today is the ferocious Nile perch. It was introduced in the 1950s and has slowly but surely wiped out the endemic fish species that used to be found in the lake. Nile perch is exported into many corners of the world and a lot of people make a living from it. Tilapia are also found in the lake and sold locally. When visiting one of the largest fish markets, I got the impression that small sardines are on the rise as well.

Mwanza is known as the “Rock City”

First things first, we are not talking rock ‘n’ roll, we are talking rocks. The obvious reason for this nickname becomes clear the moment you step off the plane: massive boulders everywhere. The landscape in and around town is quite rugged and uneven. Lots of kopjes can also be seen.

To me, the most interesting thing about Mwanza is the architecture. People have mastered the art of building their homes in the most rocky and steep areas.

People tend to favour the rocky areas because of the price of the land. A piece of land in a flat area of town costs a fortune, whereas a piece of land of the same size in between the boulders costs very little. In some parts of the residential areas one house is built right next to the other. In the rainy season, people living in the rocky areas experience problems due to landslides and rivers, but apart from that they have an amazing view of the surrounding areas.

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Best time to Visit Mwanza
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The city centre of Mwanza, where most of the people own businesses, is quite small and navigated easily. It has a peaceful flair about it and the people are very friendly. Being only some two hours away from the Serengeti National Park, Mwanza is a great place to either start or finish a safari.

Boat rides on Lake Victoria, cultural tourism programmes or simply exploring the boulders make this city a must-visit in the area. You will find out more about what to do in Mwanza in our next blog.

Mwanza City Map

Mwanza City FAQ

NO! Lake Victoria, also called Victoria Nyanza, largest lake in Africa and chief reservoir of the Nile, lying mainly in Tanzania and Uganda but bordering on Kenya. Its area is 26,828 square miles (69,484 square km). Among the freshwater lakes of the world, it is exceeded in size only by Lake Superior in North America.


Some of the most popular restaurants in Mwanza that deliver are:

  • #1. Salma Cone
  • #2. Mo & Pragz Kitchen
  • #3. BBQ Tonyt

Some of the most popular restaurants in Mwanza that provide takeout are:

  • #1. Salma Cone
  • #2. Mo & Pragz Kitchen
  • #3. Malaika Restaurant

The cost-effective way to get from Mwanza to Serengeti National Park is to drive, or hiring a 4×4 Safari Vehicle which can cost you up to $200/Day that will include game drive. It may take you about 6 Hours to Serengeti.

The cost-effective way to get from Mwanza to Ngorongoro Conservation area is to drive, or hiring a 4×4 Safari Vehicle which can cost you up to $200/Day that will include game drive. It may take you about 10 Hours to Serengeti.

Yes, the driving distance between Mwanza to Serengeti National Park is 242 km. It takes approximately 5h 15m to drive from Mwanza to Serengeti National Park.

The distance between Mwanza and Serengeti National Park is 205 km. The road distance is 242.2 km

More Mwanza Travel Ideas:

Planning your trip?  Whether you’re looking for things to do in Mwanza such as events and attractions, key traveller information to make your Mwanza visit run smoothly or are planning where to stay in Mwanza, you’ll find everything you need for your Mwanza holiday on Our Website. Mwanza City Travel guide has the information about latest events not to miss while you visit Mwanza – there’s always something going on, so don’t miss out on the latest exhibitions, shows and more on your trip to Mwanza

Discover the best day trips from Mwanza or try one of the best tours Mwanza and nearby regions. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Mwanza with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Mwanza holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Mwanza or planning a longer holiday in Tanzania, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need. 

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