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Kigoma is a city in Tanzania. Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Capital of the Western Region. Main railway terminus on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Important harbour. Population of 130,142 (2002).

The city has little infrastructure. Its roads are still mostly unpaved, electricity and water supply are erratic.

Get in[edit]

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.

Air Tanzania had daily flights from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam. It took about 3 hours. Costs were around USD290 if booked early. It seems Precision Air has begun servicing the route (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), when Air Tanzania stopped their services by cancelling their flight on 6 October 2014. Always confirm you flight at least one day before it should go. Airport transfer to Kigoma railway station (city center) should cost no more than TZS10,000 (Oct 2014).

A twice-weekly overnight sleeper is also avalible 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 39,700 Shillings while first class tickets start at 54,900 Shillings.

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.

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

Get around[edit]

Use Tuk-Tuks. Within the city limits do not pay more than TZS1,000.


  • Ujiji, the nearby former Arab slave trading settlement, the famous meeting place of Stanley and Livingstone.
  • Gombe National Park for chimpanzee viewing
  • Lake Tanganyika


Gombe National Park - Chimp Viewing. The permit is $100 for 24 hour. If you get their around 12 pm, you can do an afternoon trek and then next morning, a morning trek. Public taxi from Kigoma to Gombe National Park takes 4 hours, costs $3.50 each way. Private taxi for three people is $150 round trip, and $250 for a bigger boat for more than three people, takes about 2 hour each way. Private taxi can get you back in one day.

The market in the center of town is small and not too vibrant (perhaps it's because it is the low season?)

Swim in the lake - super warm and clear jade color water

Mahale Mountains National Park - Chimpanzee trekking and a most secluded getaway.



  • Sun city, offers decently priced Palau with chicken.



  • St. Martha Nzimano, (On Kiezya Rd), (), [1]. GPS coordinates: -4,873570, 29,631475. Basic clean accomodation with good value for the money. Run by the diocese of Kigoma Community Centre. Currently closed for renovation (Oct 2014), check via mail before getting there. Double room from TZS 25,000.. (-4,873570,29,631475) edit
  • Lake Tanganyika Hotel, (Just off Stanley Rd), +255-282803052 (, fax: +255-282803051), [2]. A new (opened in 2000) and modern hotel on the shore of Lake Tanganyika at the southern outskirts of Kigoma. Clean, comfortable with a bar that serves simple but good food (all meals are priced at TZS18,000). The Spaghetti Bolognese are the best option. The bar lacks Tonic Water and Bitter Lemon. If you ask nicely you can bring your own softdrinks and mix with their alcohol. Also they did not have ice cubes nor offer cocktails. Double room around USD80.  edit
  • Jakobsen Beach & Guesthouse (, Kigoma (past Katonga fishing village), [3]. For peace and quiet. Self-catering. About 10km from Kigoma (30 minutes). $20.  edit

A guest house close to Air Tanzania's main office. Spacious and clean. Single room is $10. There's a restaurant next door with good food. A meal is about $3


Get out[edit]

The MV Liemba sails in direction Mpulungu (Zambia) and has a very erratic schedule. It usually leaves every other Wednesday.

Buses go as far as Bukoba (about 20 hours) although for points south such as Mpanda and Sumbawanga you must change in Kasulu, at least in the rainy season.

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