Welcome To Kigoma Town Tanzania

Kigoma is the main port, rail terminal, and largest town on the coast of Lake Tanganyika. It had a tumultuous history of involvement in slave and ivory trading in the yesteryear but declined once the western abolition campaigns started together with a falling population and silting up of the harbor, leaving it largely dependent on the Tanzanian mainland trade, although fishing and palm oil are still thriving sources of income.

In the past, Kigoma has been in competition with nearby Ujiji, but over the last decades Kigoma has gained a strong economic foothold in the region and its port is of central importance to the activities of the area.

The bustling town of Kigoma is the regional capital of western Tanzania and a central port in the area. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma is surrounded by rugged mountains and forests that make it a pleasing and beautiful location.

Historically, the town was the final stop of the Central Line railway, built in the 20th century to transport agricultural goods from the African hinterland to the East African Coast. The town makes a good overland base for visits and chimpanzee safaris to both Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park.

It is also one of the main access points for Western Tanzania’s National Parks, Gombe Stream, and Mahale Mountain, home to troops of wild chimpanzees; mankind’s fascinating nearest genetic kin. Road connections to the outside world are poor and ill-maintained although bus and rail links still variably function but cater towards the locals – not tourists. Proper maintenance records and liability transport insurance are non-existent and not best suited for international visitors.

Kigoma is also the central Administrative district of Tanzania’s western Province making it of the busiest town in the western part of Tanzania. Kigoma town is close to Ujiji town where   Henry Morton Stanley explorer and Journalist met Dr. David Livingstone the missionary.  Kigoma also doubles as an access route or gateway to the famous Gombe stream national park famous for chimpanzees trekking and other wildlife, the town also gets to you Mahale mountains national park another beautiful national park where chimpanzees can be trekked and viewed.

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 classes onboard.

Attractions In Kigoma Town.

Lake Tanganyika.

Lake Tanganyika is yet another attraction in Kigoma town, the world’s second deepest lake is shared by Tanzania, Burundi, Congo, and Zambia, but the largest part is in Tanzania and  Kigoma offers the best points to experience the beautiful lake.  The presence of Lake Tanganyika creates an amazing harbor leading to the development of scenic hotels on the shores as well as springing up beaches and activities such as boat cruises, and scuba diving among others.

kigoma town


Kigoma has beautiful beaches on the shores of Lake Tanganyika where several travelers and tourists go and relax to enjoy the clear waters as well as delve into it for a nice swim.  The beaches offer several activities such as snookering, and boat cruises that take place at Lake Tanganyika. some of the known beaches in Kigoma include Jakobsen’s Beach, bangwe Beach among others.


Gombe Stream National Park

Kigoma town offers a gateway to Gombe Stream National Park home to Tanzania’s chimpanzees, the park is accessible by taking a boat from  Kigoma town. Gombe National Park besides primates offers a huge bio-network filled with lots of vegetation trees and plant species.


Mahale Mountain National Park.

This national park is traced to Lake Tanganyika it derives its name from the Mahale mountain ranges and is also the second protected area after Gombe National Park which is home to the chimpanzees also known as humans’ distant cousins. It is also known to have lions and chimpanzees existing in the same place.

Lake Tanganyika

Accessing Kigoma town

The Town is pretty much accessible, from Arusha the tourism capital, one can charter a flight to Kigoma airstrip, depending on where you are coming from, one can also drive to Kigoma by road.