Cheap Flights to Mwanza, Tanzania

  • Area Total                         : 9,467 km² (3,655 sq. mi)
  • Area Codes                         : 028
  • Currency             : Tanzania Shilling (TZS)
  • Population Total             : 2,772,509 (2012)
  • Official Language             : English. National: Swahili
  • Time Zone             : EAT (UTC+3)
  • Airport : Mwanza International Airport (MWZ)

‘MWZ’ is one of Tanzania’s primary regional airports located around 10km from Mwanza and close to Lake Victoria’s shores. Passengers can rent vehicles or take a taxi or a dalla-dallas to reach the city.

From South Africa travellers can fly to Mwanza with:

Alternatively flights from Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg to Nairobi with the following airlines are available:

  • South African Airways
  • RwandAir
  • Kenya Airways
  • LAM
  • Emirates
  • Comair

Followed by a connecting flight from Nairobi to Mwanza with:

  • Auric Air
  • Etihad
  • Kenya Airways
  • Precision Air

Reasons to Visit Tanzania:

  • The second largest city in Tanzania, Mwanza is idyllically set on the shores of the beautiful and vast ‘Lake Victoria’, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. Most noticeable are little houses built on a hill in between massive boulders. It’s a major port city renowned for coffee, tea and cotton farms and a key nucleus for agricultural business. Meander downtown to glean the city’s history of leftover British, German and Indian influences entrenched in olden buildings and delicious cuisines.
  • It’s the perfect destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts with the lake, islands, surrounding lush rolling hills and national parks for safaris. Find absolute tranquillity in a boat on the lake, awaken to the sounds of nature and the sun rising over ‘Lake Victoria’ or be captivated with the surrounding beauty and the sun setting from ‘Bismarck Rock’. Take a day tour to view spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat at one of many surrounding wildlife parks.
  • The city affords over 10 hotels that include establishments such as the ‘Tilapia Hotel’ with lake views, rooms a bit out-dated but clean and comfortable and friendly, attentive staff. The ‘Malaika Beach Resort’ located on the lake with outstanding vistas provides serenity, excellent service, a superb breakfast buffet and is close to the airport. There a number of comfortable less expensive hotels for travellers on tight budgets and a few B&Bs.
  • Cuisines for visitors to indulge in include Indian, Chinese, Tanzanian, Street Food and International. For great local food, ‘DVN Restaurant’ has an olden café look and ambiance and is almost hidden away in Nyamagana Road, behind the ‘St Nicholas Anglican Church. It’s open from 07h00 to 17h00 Mondays to Saturdays where excellent meals are cheap and delivered speedily. Located in Bantu Street is ‘Salma Cone’ that attracts many with its mouth-watering aroma of barbecue kebabs. It’s great for sitting outside in the evenings and besides food, serves ice cream and thirst quenching juices. It’s open from 09h00 to 22h00.

When to Visit Tanzania:

Mwanza has plenty to offer all year through but for hiking and safaris, the winter months from August to November with cooler temperatures and less rainfall are ideal. Temperature highs average around 28/29°C with lows pleasantly around 18°C.

The low and rainy season from December to April affords splendid vistas of the landscape with wild orchids blooming.

Places to Visit Tanzania:

  • A popular attraction is ‘Bismarck Rock’ that sits in the lake next to the ‘Kamanga’ ferry pier. It’s a perilously balanced boulder on top of a cluster of rocks and the small park affords marvellous sunset vistas.
  • Strolling around Mwanza affords views of many mosques and Hindu temples, particularly around Temple Street where the city has a strong Indian influence with Indian trading stores and pan shops.
  • The main fish market in the city is ‘Mwaloni Market’ but also sells vegetables and fruits, the majority of which are shipped in from surrounding villages on small boats.
  • The open-air ‘Sukuma Village Museum’ is located in Bujora village where traditional Sukuma dwellings can be seen and more.
  • Right in the heart of the city is ‘Robert Koch Hill’ that has a battered German-built mansion atop it where a few Maasai have taken up residence. Providing them with a small donation will allow you to look around. Best going during the day and not advisable for ladies to go alone.
  • The ‘0.76 km² ‘Saa Nane National Park’ is a rocky island 500m off ‘Capri Point’ that’s home to impalas, monkeys and around 70 bird species.
  • A must do is booking an unforgettable full day tour to the well-known ‘Serengeti National Park’ that’s suitable for all ages and traverses off the beaten track. Included is breakfast, a picnic lunch, entrance fees, local taxes, fuel surcharge, bottled water and an English speaking guide. Game to be viewed comprises crocodiles, zebra and wildebeest at the ‘Grumet River’ as well as herds of elephant, buffalo and big cats.
  • The ‘Maswa Game Reserve’ situated along the south-western border of the ‘Serengeti’ is during the dry season an imperative refuge for water provision for many animals from the ‘Serengeti’ with the Mongomawe, Semu, Mbono and Simiyu rivers forming a main drainage course. Visitors can look forward to viewing lion, leopard, East African impala, Coke’s hartebeest, plenty of zebra warthogs and loads more. At certain times during the year, the great migration passes through the park’s borders.
  • Take a dalla-dallas and a 1.5km walk to view ‘Jiwe Kuu’ (big rock). It’s also known as ‘Dancing Rocks’ and is an interesting rock formation with round boulders on top that over the ages amazingly haven’t rolled off.
  • Sleep in a Banda as the sounds of wild animals keep you from sleep at the ‘Rubondo Island National Park’ that provides a wealth of wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and birds. Relax at camp while watching hippos in the water, just metres away and listen to the elephants strolling through the camp at night. Walking is not permitted without a guide and swimming is a definite no. There’s a facility to order food if not staying at the resort or if staying in a Banda, a kitchen is available for cooking.

Getting Around:

Dalla-dallas (bus):
Ideal for travelling to adjacent towns or the airport is utilising the public bus system. These buses are called ‘dalla-dallas’ and although slow and packed, they’re inexpensive.

Taxis:
Taxi ranks are located all over the city but hard to spot as they’re not distinctly marked. An alternative is taking a ‘pikipikis’, a small motorcycle easily noticed at most intersections.

Walking:
Mwanza is great to explore on foot during the day.

Car Hire:
Car rentals in the city include ‘Sixt’ and others.

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