Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Lake Victoria is the source of the White Nile and provides an income for millions of residents along its shores including exporting fish.The Tanzanian section of Lake Victoria is one of the least visited regions in the country, however the towns of Bukoba, Musoma and Mwanza have a number of attractions. Near Mwanza and Musoma are many islands, some have become wildlife sanctuaries, Saanane Island or national parks, Rubondo Island.Bird watching and fishing trips are popular excursions, and boat trips or hikes can be arranged around Lake Victoria.
Rubondo Island National Park
Rubondo Island National Park is on the southwest shores of Lake Victoria. The park includes Rubondo Island and several other smaller islands. A diverse collection of butterflies and bird life can be seen from the lakeshore.The different habitats on Rubondo Island include open woodland, dense forest, swamp and savanna. This variety provides for an array of wildlife. Many of the animals found in Rubondo Island National Park were relocated here in the 1970s because the island was considered a safe haven from poaching.Hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing or relaxing on quiet beaches is a few of the activities to enjoy in Rubondo Island National Park.
Musoma is located on the east shores of Lake Victoria, very near the Kenyan border. Travelers passing through Musoma enjoy the cultural and vibrant life of the local people. The busy market and bustling port are well worth seeing. The views of the lake feature many varieties of boats, from large ferries and transport barges to ngalawa fishing boats and dugout canoes.The surrounding countryside is home to many cultures including the Kuria, Jita, Luo and Taturu.Located near Musoma is the town of Butiama, home of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Museum. Exhibits include documents relating to the rise of nationalism, the independence movement, and the early history of Tanzania. Other items of interest belonging to Nyerere are on display including a copy of Plato's Republic, which Mwalimu Nyerere translated into Kiswahili by hand.
Bukoba is on the western shore of Lake Victoria with a sunny and warm climate all year. This bustling town is the second largest port in Tanzania and now has a university.Bukoba has two main streets that are paved. Jamhuri Road goes from a cluster of old German buildings and government offices to the center of town where the market is located. Government Road goes from the port to the town center. The town of Bukoba began in 1890 when Emin Pasha, a German doctor, arrived and help set up a German foothold in the region.Agriculture is the main source of employment with coffee and matoke (green bananas) as the major crops.
Kagera Museum in Bukoba was established to present a collection of Dick Persson's photography of Kagera's wildlife. The exhibit is titled "Wildlife: The Gold of Kagera". The collection draws attention to the vast diversity of wildlife within Kagera. A similar exhibit has been displayed at the National Museum in Dar es Salaam.The Kagera Museum also features traditional tools and other local tribal items. The Story of Coffee in Kagera is on display along with crop history, artifacts from the Regal Kingdoms of Kagera and traditional crafts.The museum is located on the far side of Bukoba's airstrip in a house donated by the chairman of the board.
Singida is located near the center of Tanzania. It is a pretty town that many tourists travel through between Mwanza and Arusha. Singida is the railhead of the Manyoni-Singida line.The area surrounding Singida has two lakes, Lake Singida and Lake Kindai, that attract pelicans, flamingoes and other water birds. Huge granite boulders also dot the region.The Singida Social Training Center is a place for the community to meet. Singida is a traditional town with the Wanyaturu as its main ethnic group. The townspeople are known for creating beautiful well-made baskets.