Kigoma is a small port city in western Tanzania, on the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. It is near the Burundi border, and the Democratic Republic of Congo lies on the opposite side of the lake. For a city with such a small population, Kigoma gets pretty busy. The city is connected by railroad to the country’s other main towns, including Dar es Salaam and Dodoma.
Kigoma is situated on the hills surrounding Lake Tanganyika. These hilly regions are covered with forests and vegetation, creating a pleasant environment. Many tourists who visit Kigoma come here for the lake, Mahale Mountain, or Gombe National Park. These parks are famous for their large concentration of chimpanzees.
Livingstone Museum and Memorial
Ujiji, Kigoma, is famous for its slave and ivory trade history during the colonial period of Tanzania. The self-dedicated missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, went to Ujiji with the mission to introduce Christianity to Africans and free them from oppression. The Livingstone Museum and Memorial are built in Ujiji in his honor. You can learn about the country’s history here with the help of guides.
Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is famous for its large chimpanzee population. The visitors can track and spot chimpanzees with the help of expert park rangers and have a close and personal experience with these ancestral primates. The hike through the forest can be pretty challenging, so prepare yourself. Wear good shoes and bring some water or maybe a pair of binoculars. They’ll surely come in handy!
Lake Tanganyika is the second largest lake and the longest freshwater lake in the world. The lake spans most of Tanzania’s western border. The lake and its surroundings are ripe with palm trees and fields of crops, and the flora found along the lake marvel every visitor to the place. Hippopotamuses and crocodiles are abundant in numbers, and the varied birdlife adds to the lake’s beauty. The magnificent deep blue water of the lake is perfect for swimming, boating, and snorkeling.
Cruising Tanganyika aboard MV Liemba
MV Liemba is a 100-year-old German cargo and passenger ship that runs along the eastern shores of Tanganyika, between Kigoma and Mpulungu, Zambia. It was even transformed into a warship and had a part in World War 1. Liemba runs once a week to Kigoma and back. It is a unique vessel with a unique history; sailing on Liemba is like being aboard a floating museum! You can also visit the small islands in the lake when you sail with Liemba.
Bangwe Beach is a famous public beach in Kigoma Bay. The serenity of the place makes it a perfect relaxing spot, especially for families with kids. It is also one of the best places on Lake Tanganyika to watch the sunset. Kick back and relax, have a cold drink or something delicious to eat, and enjoy watching the sunset on the breeze of a summer afternoon. As a bonus, there’s also a big beach dance party every weekend!
The Ujiji Village market
Ujiji Village, situated right outside Kigoma, is the oldest known town in Western Tanzania. The old market in Ujiji is one of the oldest markets on the continent, historically famous for the ivory trade. While the newly constructed railway led to a decline in the Ujiji old market’s economy, the village remains an important historical location.
As mentioned above, Kigoma is a terminus on the Tanzania railway that directly links Dar es Salaam in the far east. Other modes of transportation are also available in the city. Kigoma Airport, for example, is a small airport with scheduled flights to Bujumbura and Dar es Salaam. Being a port city, Kigoma connects Tanzania to its neighbors around Tanganyika. Vessels and boats are widely available.
The road situation in Kigoma is substandard, to say the least. Although they are being constantly constructed and repaved, the Kigoma road system is still behind compared to the other cities in Tanzania. Many roads are tarmacked, but some gravel and dirt roads remain.
The ideal time to visit Izmir is from May through August. This region has a Mediterranean climate most of the year. aDue to Kigoma’s tropical savanna climate, there’s a substantial amount of rain from November to April. So, the months after the wet season are preferable, especially June to September. During this period, the temperature averages around 26 degrees Celsius. During Summer, there are significantly fewer mosquitoes, which can be quite a bother near the lake.
The weather is warm and pleasant during the peak season, making it ideal for sightseeing. October is also a good option, because the weather is warm but not hot, with cool evenings.