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About Kigoma

Kigoma, capital of western Tanzania, nestles on the banks of the beautiful Lake Tanganyika. This strikingly beautiful city is home to 135,234 people. Richly blessed in its natural beauty, the city is shrouded with dense forests and mountains. Kigoma is a major adventure holiday destination, with safaris and two delightful National Parks to explore from.

Cheap flights to Kigoma are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be mesmerized by this beautiful city. Kigoma is home to the Kigoma International Airport (TKQ), which is an enjoyable 15-minute drive from the city center. Kigoma International Airport serves a multitude of airlines - including Precision Air. Popular international flights to Kigoma, Tanzania departure from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Kigoma is approximately 18 hours and 10 minutes.

Why visit Kigoma

Lake Tanganyika

Sightseeing

Kigoma is prehistorically lush, extremely romantic, and rests on the beautiful sapphire banks of Lake Tanganyika; with naturally beautiful landscapes, safaris and two delightful National Parks to explore from.

Music Guitar Talent

Music & Culture

Music is the art of combining vocals and instrumental sounds together to create expressions of an effect or emotion - the people of Kigoma have cultivated this art.

Gong Bao Chicken

Cuisine

The biggest and broadest menu in town, with Indian, Chinese, and local dishes. Try tantalisingly good dishes such as: gong bao chicken, chapatti, mandasi, pilau, and chicken rice.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Tanzania
Currency Tanzanian Shillings (TZS)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.0058 Tanzanian Shillings
Language Kivungo, Kirombo, and English
Hub Airport Kigoma International Airport
Airline Precision Air
Time Zone GMT +3 hours
Travel Adaptor Type D & G

Best time to visit Kigoma

Beautiful turquoise beaches, borders fringed with palm trees, and crystal clear skies embrace the climate of this wonderfully tropical island. Due to its proximity to the equator the island couldn’t be anything less than a radical smile of sunshine and fun. During the balmy dry season, from June to October, the various town and lake activities are easiest to access. Another time to visit this tropical island is from December to February, when it is hot and dry. As a guest you can enjoy a selection of water sports and day trips to tiny, virtually undiscovered local villages, or simply marinate in the tranquil beauty of the island from your open-air room. Fun and relaxation is the rule, and it is the ideal way to start or end a vacation before heading back to the real world. The best time for scuba-diving off the coast of Kigoma is July and August, and February and March. Diving off the north coast is particularly good from June to October, and off the south coast between November and March.

Weather & Climate in Kigoma

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low (°C) 18°C 18°C 18°C 18°C 18°C 16°C 15°C 16°C 17°C 18°C 18°C 18°C
High (°C) 28°C 28°C 29°C 28°C 28°C 28°C 28°C 29°C 29°C 29°C 28°C 27°C
Rainfall (mm) 105 110 140 170 75 20 10 20 25 85 155 140

Overview

Kigoma is the chief port, rail terminal and largest town on the coast of Lake Tanganyika. It had a rich history of involvement in ivory trading in earlier years. Inland fishing and palm oil are a thriving source of income. Kigoma is also one of the main access points for Western Tanzania’s National Parks. It is home to a horde of wild chimpanzees, mankind’s fascinating nearest next of kin.
The massive expanse of water that is Lake Tanganyika, is the longest lake in Africa and the second deepest in the world. It comes as no surprise then that this significant water attraction would facilitate a wealth of adventure activities to be enjoyed while visiting Kigoma. Visitors can enjoy viewing the wildlife from the shore, or beneath the water by scuba diving or snorkelling. Kayaking, boat safaris and fishing also top the list of water based pleasures to be had there. The lake area also offers quad biking and hiking activities.

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders travelling to Kigoma do require a visa for Tanzania.
• Ensure your South African passport has a validity period of at least 6 months.
• Ensure that you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps.
The nearest South African Embassy is in Dar es Salaam. Plot 1338 Mwaya Road, Dar-es-Salaam. Phone: (+255) 22 260 1800. Fax: (+255) 22 260 0684. Email: admin.sahc@gmail.com.

Health & Safety

All travellers should be up to date with routine vaccinations, as vaccinations are required. Most travellers to Kigoma will need vaccinations as well as medication for malaria prophylaxis and travellers’ diarrhoea.
• Vaccinations against Hepatitis A & B and rabies are required.
• Be vigilant at all times.
• There is no risk of yellow fever in Kigoma. The government of Nigeria requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever, if you are traveling from a country other than the US.
• Make copies of bank and credit cards, and other important documentation in case they are lost or stolen.
• Secure valuable, personal belongings within the hotel safe.
• Avoid public or local demonstrations.
• Remain alert when walking around at night, and abide by the local government laws.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Kigoma
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 71.33
Domestic Beer (0.5 Litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 35.66
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.33 R 22.39 R 27.29
Taxi 1 km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 7.49
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 37.50 R 38.00 R 42.80

Where to stay?

When visiting Kigoma by Lake Tanganyika, it is recommended that you combine your safari with a visit to Gombe, Serengeti and Kavati. You may optionally venture out to other wilderness areas in Southern Tanzania, such as Selous and Ruaha, ending with a beach vacation and Swahili cultural tour on the exotic island of Zanzibar.
There are a few exclusive hotels, which is recommended upon hotel tier-ranking. These hotels cater for room service, and you will find luxury furnished rooms, with excellent designer interiors. The main feature of these rooms is a backdrop view to the famous Lake Tanganyika.
There is a forest lodge which offers affordable lodging with an utterly mind-blowing experience. Enjoy every aspect of your African holiday within your refurbished tented camp. A uniquely charismatic canvas lodge, where guests can march in the spectacular scenery of a mountain-side rainforest. Curtain-like waterfalls cascade hundreds of feet downstream, and you can sunbathe on the endless beaches of beautiful Lake Tanganyika.

Getting Around

By bus: all buses depart from the sandy streets behind the petrol station. The bus station is remarkably organized, with all the bus companies having little ticket offices, with destinations clearly marked. Other bus ticket offices are more to the west, on the side of Mwanga.
By train: Kigoma station is the end of the line and is far west as you can ride. Trains go from Kigoma to Tabora, from Thursdays to Sundays.

Main attractions in Kigoma

Rangu Beach

Rangu Beach

Sun City

Sun City

Kaiser House

Kaiser House

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