5 Top Tourist Attractions in Mwanza

Set along the shore of Lake Victoria, Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania and serves as the major center when it comes to economic activities in the country. It is home to Saanane Island, one of the 16 national parks in Tanzania.

Bismarck Rock, Mwanza, Tanzania
Bismarck Rock, Mwanza, Tanzania

If you are visiting Mwanza, we highly recommend you included these top tourist attractions in Mwanza so you can fully enjoy your holiday in Tanzania. [Check out our Border Crossing Guide from Uganda to Tanzania]

Top Tourist Spots in Mwanza, Tanzania

Saanane Island

“First government-owned zoo in 1964.”

The island was named after its previous owner, which is Mzee Saanane Chawandi with a total area size of 2.18 sq km. Saanane Island is one of the top tourist attractions in Mwanza, it comprises of three majestic islets and the aquatic environment.

Saanane Island, Tanzania
Saanane Island, Tanzania

Due to its natural attractions, tourists may enjoy several activities such as boat cruise, sport fishing, meditating, and rock hiking. Going to Saanane Island will only take you around 5-minute boat ride from Park offices, as well as a 15-minute walk to the city center.

Saanane Island, Tanzania
Saanane Island, Tanzania

Bismarck Rock

Tourists may find visiting Bismarck Rock as a convenient one, as it is open for 24 hours. This gigantic rock formation sits in the Lake Victoria with close proximity to the Kamanga Ferry Station.

Bismarck Rock
Bismarck Rock

Bismarck Rock is one of the top tourist attractions in Mwanza whereas, tourists may find this famous landmark as the perfect spot for taking photos to keep travel memories with you. Renting a boat just to witness and appreciate this iconic rock formation in 360 degrees is possible.

Lake Victoria

“Africa’s Largest Tropical Lake”

Bordering the three nations Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is as huge as 68,000sq km with a maximum depth of 262 and 276 ft. Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, this lake features more than 200 specifies of fish.

Lake Victoria in Tanzania
Lake Victoria in Tanzania

Since Lake Victoria is one of the top tourist attractions in Mwanza, you can also find the Ssese Islands here, specifically at the northwestern section of the lake. To your surprise, aside from the Ssese Islands, some of the 3,000 islets can be found in Lake Victoria are as follows:

  • Maboko Island
  • Rubondo Island
  • Ukerewe Island
  • Ngamba Island
Lake Victoria in Tanzania
Lake Victoria

Maasai Market

If affordable local accessories, blankets, and handmade shoes excite you the most, hop on to Maasai Market in Mwanza! In here, you will find some of the well-crafted items by artisans great for souvenirs to your family and friends. Prices are absolutely cheap, and if you are culture enthusiasts, never leave Mwanza without visiting the Maasai Market. This market serves as the ideal spot for cheap finds as well as appreciating the arts and crafts by Maasai, located at the footbridge Mwanza, Tanzania.

Maasai Market | Photo by Bukulu Steven under creative commons

Sukuma Museum

An open museum built in 1968, Sukuma Museum houses varieties of artifacts, blacksmith tools, rotating cylinder, royal drum pavilion, traditional healer and everything that depicts the history and culture of Sukuma.

This is also the venue for the Bulabo Dance Festival every year, a dance contest that includes animals during the performance. The dancers apply traditional medicines to protect themselves from any injury while performing. The museum is open for on the spot performance and Sukuma drumming lessons that come with a price.

Don’t worry about the language barrier when visiting the Sukuma Museum, as there are English-speaking guides at the museum.

We highly recommend these top tourist attractions in Mwanza during your stay in Tanzania as every destination is worth-visiting!

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