Fun Things to Do in Kigoma | Travel Guide (2024) | Best Places to Visit
Kigoma Travel Guide
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Welcome to Kigoma, a hidden gem nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Kigoma offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience. As the gateway to the world-famous Gombe Stream National Park, where Jane Goodall conducted her groundbreaking research on chimpanzees, this vibrant town attracts wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers from around the globe. Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the bustling markets, where you can sample delicious Tanzanian cuisine and purchase traditional crafts. With its stunning sunsets over the lake, diverse wildlife, and warm hospitality, Kigoma is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic African adventure.
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Things To Do In Kigoma
Kigoma offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the main things to do in Kigoma:
1. Gombe Stream National Park: Explore the famous national park, which is renowned for its population of chimpanzees. Take a guided trek through the lush forest and observe these incredible primates in their natural habitat.
2. Lake Tanganyika: Spend a day relaxing on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or simply soaking up the sun while taking in the breathtaking views.
3. Ujiji: Visit the historic town of Ujiji, located just outside of Kigoma. This is where the famous meeting between Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone took place in 1871. Explore the Livingstone Memorial and learn about the town's fascinating history.
4. Kigoma Hilltop Hotel: Take a trip to the Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, which offers panoramic views of the city and Lake Tanganyika. Enjoy a meal at the hotel's restaurant while taking in the stunning scenery.
5. Rubondo Island National Park: Embark on a boat trip to Rubondo Island National Park, located on an island in Lake Victoria. This park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, and chimpanzees. Enjoy bird watching, fishing, and nature walks on the island.
6. Mugere Falls: Take a day trip to Mugere Falls, located just outside of Kigoma. These beautiful waterfalls cascade down a series of rocks, creating a picturesque setting for picnics and relaxation.
7. Kibirizi Beach: Visit Kibirizi Beach, a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Relax on the sandy shores, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or enjoy a beachside barbecue with friends and family.
8. Kigoma Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting Kigoma Market. Explore the bustling stalls and shops, where you can find a variety of fresh produce, crafts, and souvenirs.
9. Mahale Mountains National Park: Take a boat trip to Mahale Mountains National Park, located south of Kigoma.
Tours And Activities In Kigoma
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Best Time To Visit Kigoma
The best time to visit Kigoma is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, with minimal rainfall. This makes it ideal for wildlife viewing and exploring the national parks in the area, such as Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park. Additionally, the dry season is also the best time to visit Lake Tanganyika, as the water is clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. However, it is important to note that Kigoma can get quite hot during the peak of the dry season, so it is advisable to pack sunscreen and light clothing.
Flight Calendar For Kigoma
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Best Areas To Stay In Kigoma
Kigoma offers several great areas for accommodation. One of the best areas is Ujiji, which is known for its historical significance as the place where the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley met David Livingstone. Ujiji offers a range of hotels and guesthouses that cater to different budgets, and its proximity to Lake Tanganyika makes it a popular choice for those looking to enjoy water activities.
Another great area for accommodation in Kigoma is Majengo, which is located near the city center. Majengo offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, lodges, and guesthouses. This area is known for its vibrant atmosphere, with numerous restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance. It is also conveniently located near transportation hubs, making it easy to explore other parts of Kigoma.
For those seeking a more tranquil and scenic setting, Gombe Stream National Park is an excellent choice. This area is famous for being the home of chimpanzees and offers luxury lodges and tented camps for visitors. Staying in Gombe Stream National Park allows guests to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy activities such as chimpanzee trekking and hiking.
Lastly, Kibirizi is another popular area for accommodation in Kigoma. This area is located near the border with Burundi and offers a range of hotels and guesthouses. Kibirizi is known for its beautiful views of Lake Tanganyika and its peaceful atmosphere. It is a great choice for those looking to relax and unwind while enjoying the natural beauty of the region.
Overall, Kigoma offers a variety of great areas for accommodation, each with its own unique features and attractions. Whether you prefer historical significance, city center convenience, nature immersion, or peaceful surroundings, Kigoma has something to offer for every traveler.
Hotels Map Of Kigoma
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Transportation To Kigoma
There are several transportation options to get to Kigoma:
1. Flight: The easiest and fastest way to reach Kigoma is by flying. Kigoma Airport (TKQ) is served by several domestic airlines, including Precision Air and Air Tanzania. You can fly from major cities in Tanzania, such as Dar es Salaam or Arusha, to Kigoma.
2. Bus: There are long-distance buses that connect Kigoma with other major cities in Tanzania. You can take a bus from Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, or Mwanza to Kigoma. The journey can be quite long and may take several hours or even overnight.
3. Train: The TAZARA (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority) train connects Dar es Salaam with Kigoma. This is a scenic and adventurous option, but the journey can be quite long and may take around 2-3 days.
4. Ferry: If you are coming from neighboring countries, such as Burundi or the Democratic Republic of Congo, you can take a ferry to Kigoma. The MV Liemba is a popular ferry that operates on Lake Tanganyika and connects Kigoma with other ports on the lake.
5. Private car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and drive to Kigoma. However, be aware that the road conditions in Tanzania can vary, and some areas may be challenging to navigate.
It is recommended to check the latest travel advisories and make arrangements in advance, especially for flights and train journeys, as availability may vary.
Nearby Destination From Kigoma
1. Ujiji: A historic town known for its connection to the famous explorer, Henry Morton Stanley.
2. Kasulu: A bustling market town located near the Burundi border.
3. Kibondo: A gateway to the Mahale Mountains National Park, offering stunning wildlife and nature experiences.
4. Kakonko: A small town known for its traditional dances and cultural heritage.
5. Kasulu District: A rural district with beautiful landscapes and opportunities for outdoor activities.
6. Kasulu Airport: A regional airport serving the Kigoma region.
7. Kasulu Hospital: A major healthcare facility providing medical services to the surrounding areas.
8. Kasulu Teachers College: A renowned institution for training future educators.
9. Kasulu Prison: A correctional facility serving the Kigoma region.
10. Kasulu Stadium: A sports venue hosting various local events and matches.