Mwanza is a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, in northern Tanzania. It’s ringed by green hills. They city is known for unusual rock formations like Bismarck Rock, near the Kamanga Ferry Terminal.
Best Time to Visit
The best time of year to visit Mwanza for warm-weather activities is from mid June to mid September.
Top Places to Visit in Mwanza
- Lake Victoria
Named after Queen Victoria this is one of the great lakes of Africa, bearing the titles of the continent’s largest lake by area, world’s largest tropical lake, and second largest fresh water lake after lake Superior. A boat trip on Lake Victoria should be a high point on everyone’s list while in Mwanza. Seeing the lake and the surrounding area from the boat will give you a better feel of how life around Lake Mwanza looks. There are also quite a few paths where you can walk along the shore.Do try to interact with the locals, even if there’s no common language. Tanzanians are friendly people, curious to find out more about other countries. If you’re looking for a place to relax, there are a few restaurants along the shore where you can enjoy a drink while admiring nature.
2. Bismarck Rock
Mwanza’s icon, Bismarck Rock is one of the most famous rocks in town, a precariously balanced boulder atop the lovely jumble of rocks in the lake next to the Kamanga ferry pier. The little park here is a brilliant sunset spot. The Bismarck rock is a precariously balanced rock that is located in lake Victoria and the city of Mwanza. During daytime, you might find kids bathing and playing in the water close to the area. Join them if you’re brave enough.
3. Saa Nane National Park
If you ask local Tanzanians about places to see in Mwanza, they will most probably recommend Saa Nane National Park. This is the rocky island that hosts impalas and monkeys. Although with 70 bird species it does make a worthwhile short excursion for birders. For non-citizens, the visit ends up not being very cheap, yet many travelers decide to take the trip. You will get there by boat and the entry fee is not among the cheapest entry fees for a national park. Locals enjoy it, as they benefit from much lower prices and they get to see some wildlife, while still in the city.Last entry is at 5pm.
4. Sukuma Museum
Located east of Mwanza in Bujora village, Sukuma Museum is a good place to visit during clear and cool days. It’s an open-air museum that displays a lot of traditional Sukuma dwellings. You can also see the Royal Drum Pavilion on the premises and the Round Church built in 1958. It’s like using teleportation to get from one part of the country to the other. The museum was founded by a missionary priest and it’s still related to the church. Because of that, the schedule of the museum on Sundays is influenced by the time of the service.
5. Maasai Market
Passing by the footbridge, you will observe Mwanza Maasai Market. It’s for sure not the biggest one in the country, but you can find some nice things done locally. The beaded jewelry is high-quality and hand-made by locals.This is also the place to find some local medicine and other small things related to Maasai culture. It’s best if you have a translator with you, as many people will only speak Swahili. This is not only a place for shopping but also a place for observing art and crafts made by Maasai. It’s colorful and very diverse.