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Kigoma is a city in Tanzania. Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Capital of the Western Region. Main railway terminus on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Important harbour. Population of 136,000 (2007).

The city has little infrastructure. Its roads are still mostly unpaved, electricity and water supply are erratic.

Get in[edit]

Map of Kigoma

The small Kigoma Airport is in the eastern suburbs and has services from Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, organization at the airport is very simple.


The rail station.

A twice-weekly overnight sleeper is also available from Dar es Salaam via Dodoma and Tabora, the journey takes two nights from Dar es Salaam and one night from cities further inland. A ticket for second class sleepers costs TSh 39,700, while first class tickets start at TSh 54,900.

The German colonial 1 Kigoma railway station is located directly in the city centre.

Road bus[edit]

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 plys up and down Lake Tanganyika between Kigoma and Mpulungu on the southern shores of the lake in Zambia, stopping at several places along the coast. There are first, second and third class on board. Additionally, there are small ferries from Kalemie, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well. Departures are generally 1-2 times per week.

As of 2022, the Liemba has reportedly been out of service for about 5 years.

Get around[edit]

By foot, taxi, or little motorcycle taxis (TSh 1000-2000 in 2014) for an inner city ride.


  • Ujiji, the nearby former Arab slave trading settlement, the famous meeting place of Stanley and Livingstone.
  • Gombe National Park for chimpanzee viewing
  • Lake Tanganyika
  • Mahale Mountains National Park.



  • National Bank of Commerce. Has a Visa Card ATM.


  • Leaders Lodge.



  • Diocese of Kigoma Community Centre (On Kiezya Rd), +255 28-280-2520. Single/double rooms with common bathroom. Basic accommodation but good value for the money. Not far from the railway station and the post office. TSh 2500/3500.
  • 1 Lake Tanganyika Hotel (Just off Stanley Rd), +255 282803052, fax: +255 282803051, . A modern hotel on the shore of Lake Tanganyika at the southern outskirts of Kigoma. Clean, comfortable with a lively bar that also serves simple but good food.
  • 2 Aqua Lodge, Katonga road, +255 764-980788. Fan rooms From TSh 10,000.
  • Poyongo Lodge, Uiji road. From TSh 10,000.
  • Leaders Lodge (Leaders), Kigoma,Tanzania, +255 687331343. Bed and Breakfast & Free Fast Internet access (Wi-Fi) 25000.
  • 3 Jakobsen Beach Guest House. Some 5 km from the town center, Jakobsen Beach offers various different accommodation options. The houses and tents are scattered over a vast area, connected with dirt tracks. The coastline is wonderful, and Zebras come for a visit regularly. Food is not offered, but kitchens are available. from TSh 40,000.


The post office.

Go next[edit]

The MV Liemba sails in direction Mpulungu (Zambia) and has a very erratic schedule.

Buses go as far as Bukoba (about 20 hours) although for points south such as Mpanda and Sumbawanga you must change in Kasulu, at least in the rainy season.

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