"Experience the 'Real' Africa in Mwanza" Mwanza by Metten
Mwanza Travel Guide: 69 reviews and 37 photos
Dusty, run down, filthy and uncharming.
This was my first impression of Mwanza when I arrived in April 2003. I was in Tanzania between March and September doing ethnographic field work in Sengerema in Mwanza Region. Mwanza was my first stop before Sengerema and I must say, that I honestly hated it when I first came. The picture changed drastically, though, and Mwanza quickly became my favourite weekend destination and place to unwind.
To the tourist, Mwanza may not seem like a place where you want to spent time when there is so much beauty in the national parks just waiting to be explored, but Mwanza actually has a lot to offer and gives you an idea of what the "real" Africa is about. City-wise that is.
And Mwanza is probably as real as it gets - dirt roads with holes as big as elephants, overcrowded buses, small dukas on every corner, crazy traffic, small bars, people everywhere, vibrant colours, smells and sounds. Mwanza is a typical big city of Tanzania, but is altogether very different from Arusha, Dar and Moshi. It has all the big city features like restaurants, hotels, internet cafes, hospital, big market, bars, clubs, banks and supermarkets, but has a more chaotic and "local" touch to it than the other cities. And that is exactly what makes it charming. Add to that, there are literally no tourists so you have a splendid opportunity to get in contact with people.
Mwanza may not be the most pretty city in Tanzania, but the surroundings are absolutely beautiful. Situated on the hilly banks of Lake Victoria with amazing rock formations and green hills and slopes, Mwanza is everything but ugly and dusty.
It is also a good starting point for trips to the beautiful Rubondo Island, wonderful Ukerewe, Uganda and of course the Serengeti. Mwanza really has it all, and is a wonderful place to stay if you want to get a feeling of what the real Africa is about.
- Pros:not touristy, wonderful climate, friendly people, excellent opportunity to see different sides of African culture
- Cons:infrastructure, health hazards, crime
- In a nutshell:Mwanza has it all
Bring your own impregnated mosquito net. You will be able to buy mosquito nets at almost every duka, but chances are,... more travel advice
Salma's Cone was one of my favourite places to go for lunch or snack. It's the only place in town where they serve ice... more travel advice
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