Mwanza is a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, in north-western Tanzania. It is the busiest and second largest city after Dar Es Salaam. Since it is located on Lake Victoria, the fishing industry is an important part of the economy. On the lake itself you can see the beautiful Bismarck Rock in the water; a very impressive scene. The Bismarck Rock is Mwanza’s icon and is a precariously balanced boulder atop the lovely jumble of rocks in the lake next to the Kamanga ferry pier. Hence Mwanza’s nickname “Rock City”.
In Mwanza’s town center are colonial buildings like the crumbling hilltop Dr. Robert Koch’s House. The 1935 Indian Public Library, mosques and Hindu temples reflect Indian influence. And the Makoroboi area is full of shops.
Mwanza is surrounded by hills strewn with enormous boulders. Despite its rapidly rising skyline, Mwanza manages to retain a casual feel. In addition to being a stop on the way to Rubondo Island National Park, Mwanza is a great starting or finishing point to or from safaris through the Serengeti.
Lake Victoria surrounding Mwanza
Lake Victoria was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke and with a surface area of approximately 59,947 km², Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water lake by surface area. The lake has a maximum depth of between 80 and 84 metres. The lake includes many species of fish that appear nowhere else, especially cichlids. Invasive fish, such as the Nile perch, have driven many endemic species to extinction.
On Lake Victoria are two island national parks: Rubondo Island National Park and Saanane Island National Park.