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    The Best Things to Do in Kigoma in 2023/2024

    11 minutes read
    colobus monkey in mahale mountain national park at kigoma
    Red colobus monkey in mahale mountain-national park at kigoma

    The Best Things to Do in Kigoma in 2023/2024

    Kigoma, a hidden gem in western Tanzania, offers a broad spectrum of activities tailor-made for all travellers.

    Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or culture admirer, Kigoma caters to everybody’s interests. As we gaze into the upcoming years of 2023/2024, the city promises enriching experiences.

    Chimpanzee Trekking in Gombe Stream National Park

    One of the most iconic activities in Kigoma is the chimpanzee trekking in Gombe Stream National Park. Embark on guided treks through the thick forests, following in the footsteps of Jane Goodall’s pioneering research. 

    Witness wild chimpanzees’ incredible behaviour and social interactions in their natural habitat. Some of the highlights of this tour are the following:

    Intimate Wildlife Encounters

    Venture on a remarkable journey within the heart of Gombe Stream National Park, where the captivating daily lives of its chimpanzee community unfold before you. Through the unique habituation process, you’ll have the rare chance to observe these incredible primates up close.

    Dive into the intricacies of their social dynamics and behaviours, gaining profound insights into the complex yet fascinating world of Gombe’s chimpanzees.

    Scenic Trails and Breathtaking Views

    Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Gombe as you traverse lush forests and follow well-marked trails that wind through picturesque landscapes. Along the way, be treated to panoramic views of the stunning Lake Tanganyika and the surrounding terrain.

    The trek offers glimpses into the park’s diverse ecosystem and an opportunity to appreciate the rich biodiversity, from the varied flora to the captivating fauna.

    Research and Conservation Initiatives

    Become a part of Gombe’s legacy of scientific discovery and preservation as you delve into the world of groundbreaking research initiated by Jane Goodall. Your visit supports ongoing conservation efforts within the park, contributing to protecting its unique ecosystem.

    Learn about the critical role of ecotourism in maintaining the delicate balance of Gombe Stream National Park, ensuring a sustainable future for its wildlife and the invaluable work of researchers dedicated to its conservation.

    Explore the National Parks

    Kigoma is a gateway to one of Tanzania’s smallest yet charming parks – Gombe Stream National Park. Famous as a sanctuary for chimpanzees, the park offers the thrill of observing these primates in their natural habitat. Additionally, the lush green scenery of the park, interspersed with hiking trails, is the perfect place for adventurers and nature lovers.

    Walk Through History

    Kigoma’s rich history is given voice through its varied landmarks and attractions. One such significant historic site is the MV Liemba, a ship steeped in tales dating back to World War I. The story of this old German vessel adds a distinctive layer to the tapestry of Kigoma’s past.

    Immersing yourself in these historical expeditions facilitates a deeper understanding of Kigoma’s past and reveals the complexities and intrigues of its vibrant history. To fully appreciate these experiences, consider embarking on custom tours tailored to your interests and curiosities.

    Custom tours offer an adventure into Kigoma’s past, packed with engaging narratives and visits to important landmarks. These journeys, crafted around your preferences, allow you to delve deep into the intriguingly diverse history of Kigoma, bringing alive the city’s heritage in the most authentic manner.

    Whether you are an avid history reader or a casual traveller looking to understand Kigoma’s cultural backdrop, these custom tours present a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the region’s rich historical landscape.

    Experience Lake Tanganyika

    Kigoma is a city adorned with natural beauty, further enriched by its lovely green spaces. Whether it’s the sprawling parks or the tree-lined streets, these green spaces provide residents and visitors with cool, tranquil places to retreat from the busy city life.

    Spend a lazy afternoon reading under a tree or enjoy a scenic stroll – the green spaces in Kigoma present an oasis of calm in the bustling city. Their presence significantly contributes to the overall charm of Kigoma, making it an irresistible destination for nature lovers and peace seekers alike.

    Explore Mahale Mountains National Park

    Another must-do activity in Kigoma is exploring the breathtaking Mahale Mountains National Park. This remote park is renowned for its rugged landscapes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife. 

    Embark on hiking adventures through the park’s trails, which lead you to stunning viewpoints overlooking Lake Tanganyika. Discover hidden waterfalls, encounter diverse bird species, and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature. 

    The highlight of visiting Mahale Mountains National Park is the opportunity to trek to see the resident chimpanzee population. Interact with these intelligent wildlife in their natural habitat and observe their behaviours up close. It’s a truly magical and awe-inspiring experience.

    Primate Paradise

    Go on a special journey in the Mahale Mountains National Park. This is where you’ll find the beautiful homes of chimpanzees. You’ll have a singular chance to see wild chimpanzees in their natural homes. 

    You can watch how they behave and how they get along with each other.

    The green forests in Mahale make just the right setting for this special place where primates live. 

    They encourage you to check out the wide range of plants and animals and the beautiful settings in the park. Mahale Mountains National Park is a safe place for chimpanzees.

    Turquoise Waters of Lake Tanganyika

    Enjoy the quiet peace of Mahale and take in the fantastic view of Lake Tanganyika. It’s the second-deepest lake in Africa. The clear waters make the area’s clean beaches and pretty shores look even better.

    It’s the perfect place to relax. You can jump in the blue-green waters to swim or snorkel. You’ll see many different fish and other water animals below the surface. All these things make Lake Tanganyika an excellent place to visit.

    Landscapes and Hiking Trails

    Set out on a journey through Mahale’s hilly landscapes. This total of nature previous activity place offers breathtaking hiking trails that expose the park’s varied and bold scenery. As you wander these paths, get ready to admire the expansive views of the Mahale Mountains and the vast beauty of Lake Tanganyika.

    Surrounded by dense forests and the quietness of the natural environment, Mahale Mountains National Park provides an irresistible experience. This mingles outdoor history with adventure for those yearning for a strong bond with nature.

    Visit Ujiji Town and the Livingstone Memorial

    Ujiji Town is historically significant as Henry Morton Stanley met David Livingstone in 1871. Pay a visit to the Livingstone Memorial, which commemorates this historic encounter. 

    Explore the town’s vibrant market, where you can browse local crafts, interact with friendly locals, and sample traditional Tanzanian cuisine. Ujiji Town offers a fascinating insight into the local culture and history of the region.

    Some of the highlights of this trip are:

    Historic Ujiji Town

    Step back in time as you explore the historical significance of Ujiji, a town steeped in the legacy of a bustling trading hub. Wander through the streets and discover the iconic Old Slave Market, a poignant reminder of the region’s past. 

    Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture, experiencing the architectural heritage that tells the story of Ujiji’s rich history. From its role as a trading centre to the echoes of its cultural tapestry, Ujiji offers a captivating journey into the heart of East African history.

    Livingstone Memorial Site

    Start a historical journey as you stand where Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley met in 1871. The Livingstone Memorial Site shows this crucial meeting. 

    You can look around the museum with items and displays about what happened during that historic meeting. Learn about the lives of these famous people. The Livingstone Memorial can help you understand an essential moment for exploring Africa.

    Relax on Lake Tanganyika’s Beaches

    A visit to Kigoma would only be complete with spending some time relaxing on the pristine beaches of Lake Tanganyika. With its sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, the lake provides the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking.

    Take in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as you soak up the sun and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the lake. Lake Tanganyika is also great for snorkelling, kayaking, and other water activities.

    Experience Local Culture and Traditions

    Enjoy Kigoma’s vibrant culture and traditions by engaging with the local communities. Visit traditional villages and interact with the cordial residents, who warmly welcome you into their homes.

    Learn about traditional dances, music, and handicrafts, and understand the local way of life. Participate in cultural activities, such as drumming sessions or conventional cooking classes, and savour the flavours of authentic Tanzanian cuisine.

    Take a Boat Safari on Lake Tanganyika

    Enjoy an exciting adventure with a boat ride on the beautiful Lake Tanganyika. You’ll see the unique beauty as you move along the shore. 

    Keep an eye out for many types of animals that live here. You might see hippos sunbathing, crocodiles swimming, and colourful birds flying. The peaceful mood of the lake is perfect for taking in incredible views. 

    See tall mountains and water sparkling in the sun. It’s a very calm scene. Also, stop at some of the smaller islands on the lake. 

    Spend time relaxing, swimming in the clear water, and having a nice picnic lunch. Lake Tanganyika offers these special moments of natural beauty for everyone to enjoy.

    Explore the Kigoma Market

    A trip to Kigoma is complete with a visit to the busy Kigoma Market. Walking through the colourful stalls, you’ll see and smell many things. Bright fruits and vegetables, scented spices, and handcrafted goods are everywhere.

    Talk with the local sellers. This can make your trip feel special. They can tell you about their goods and why they’re essential to their culture. Try to bargain for souvenirs. This makes shopping more fun.

    The market isn’t just for shopping. It’s also a great place to enjoy local street food. Try the grilled corn, tasty samosas, and fantastic fresh fruit juice. Eating these delicious foods in a busy market makes exploring Kigoma’s lively culture even better.

    Enjoy a Sunset Cruise on Lake Tanganyika

    Have a nice day in Kigoma with a relaxing sunset boat ride on Lake Tanganyika. Get on a dhow, a traditional boat. The sails catch the last sunshine as you smoothly sail on the quiet water. 

    As the sun goes down, a beautiful show of colours begins, warming the sky. Feel the calm wind on your face and listen to the sounds of the lake. It’s like a calming music that makes the peaceful mood even better. 

    The sky changes into a range of pretty colours, which the calm water underneath mirrors back. This magic moment is one you will remember. It perfectly captures the peace and beauty of sunsets on Lake Tanganyika.

    Take a Historical Tour of Kigoma Town

    Take some time to relax on your day in Kigoma with a calm sunset boat ride on Lake Tanganyika. Hop onto an old-style sailboat called a dhow. Watch how the sails catch the sun’s final rays to make a beautiful picture as you move along the quiet waters.

    As the sun goes under the horizon, prepare for a fantastic show of colours. The changing colours make a warm, dreamlike light across the vast sky.

    The waters mirror the colours, making everything around you even calmer and prettier. Feel the soft breeze touch your face, creating a quiet mood with the sounds of the lake. This magical and unforgettable moment is a perfect way to end a day of discovery and peace in Kigoma.

    Go Bird-watching in the Kigoma Region

    If you like watching birds, you’ll love Kigoma. This area is like heaven, with many types of habitats and lots of birds. Remember your binoculars because there’s much to see. Explore lovely forests, peaceful wetlands, and pretty lakesides, each with different kinds of birds.

    Look for bright African fish eagles, cheeky grey parrots, and gorgeous malachite kingfishers. These are just some of this region’s many local and migrating birds.

    If you want a better bird-watching trip, join a guided tour. Helpful local guides will lead you. They can show you these fantastic birds and tell many interesting facts about Kigoma’s bird life.

    Visit the Historic Kigoma Railway Station

    Step back in time when you visit the Kigoma Railway Station. This train station dates back to the 1900s and played a big part during the colonial era. It served as a main transportation spot.

    When you see the station building, you’ll be amazed by its old, grand design. This tells us about the great skill people had back then. You can also learn more about the railway’s history in Tanzania at this station. It offers a lot of good information on this.

    At the station, you can learn about the problems people faced when they built this important train route. You can see how it helped the area grow over time.

    The Kigoma Railway Station tells a story about an older, different time. It lets visitors link with the past and learn about how transportation helped make Tanzania what it is today, both in how people live and how money is made.

    Explore the Nyantagata and Kagoma Hot Springs

    Close to Kigoma, you’ll find the Nyantagata and Kagoma Hot Springs. They offer a unique nature experience. People believe these hot springs can heal, so many locals and visitors come here to feel better. 

    Soak yourself in the soothing, warm waters that are full of minerals. These waters can help wash away your worries by filling you with fresh energy.

    The quiet calm of nature surrounds the hot springs. This offers a break for your body and a peaceful place for your thoughts. 

    Take your time to think in these natural hot springs, which feel like a spa. The quiet place helps you feel peaceful all around. Visiting these hot springs is a refreshing experience you will remember.

    Experience Traditional Fishing Techniques

    Kigoma is famous for its lively, traditional fishing communities. They let you dive into their ancient techniques. Step into the world of local fishermen by going with them on their old-style fishing boats. 

    You can help in the old-time customs of throwing nets or fishing with a line. Share stories with the fishermen. Their stories tell you about their lives and why fishing matters to their culture.

    Value the green fishing habits that have been taught for many years. See how they balance making a living with taking care of nature. This hands-on activity connects you with the local culture. It helps you understand how important fishing is for the communities in Kigoma.

    Discover the Kigoma Crafts Market

    Check out the colourful culture of Kigoma at the Kigoma Crafts Market. This place is a treasure trove for hand-made gems and unique gifts. Wander around stands filled with complexly carved wooden figures. Each figure shows off the artist’s talent and imagination.

    Lose yourself in a sea of colours as you look at bright fabrics and traditional jewellery. Each piece tells a tale of the area’s rich past.

    Talk to local artists and admire the work that goes into each piece. This helps keep traditional crafts alive. 

    You don’t just get a piece of Kigoma to take home by supporting these skilled people. You also help keep the community’s culture alive. It makes your trip to the Kigoma Crafts Market a unique and memorable experience.

    Enjoy a Traditional Tanzanian Dance Performance

    Wrap yourself in traditional Tanzanian dances’ lively beat and fun steps by watching an amazing cultural show. See the excellent skills of local dance groups as they make the area’s rich history come alive.

    The stage gets colourful with bright costumes, making the show even more fun. Feel the exciting music that fills the air, creating a beat that matches the heart of the local culture.

    The smooth moves of the dancers tell stories. These stories are deeply tied to the history and traditions of Tanzania. Dive into this cultural show, where the mix of excellent performances and old stories makes your Tanzanian experience unforgettable.

    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, Kigoma offers diverse activities and attractions that cater to every interest and preference. From wildlife encounters and cultural experiences to historical landmarks and natural wonders, there is no shortage of things to do in Kigoma. 

    Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Kigoma has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Kigoma in 2023/2024 and embark on an unforgettable journey in this captivating region of Tanzania.

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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