Cities: 10 Things You Don’t Know about Mwanza

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Mwanza, or as locals like to call it, rock city, is commonly known for being a getaway to Serengeti. But this city that sits around Lake Victoria is more than just transit to a national park.

Mwanza is full of interesting historical facts, culture, art and much more. Here are 10:

1.

Although Dar-es-salaam is the metropolitan city of Tanzania, Mwanza is the fastest growing city in East Africa and is the second largest in Tanzania.

2.

Mwanza is known as ‘Rock City’ due to the many rock formations in the area. One of the outstanding features of the city is the ‘Bismarck Rock’.

There is a great mystery that surrounds this structure, as people wonder how the rock came to be so perfectly balanced. The Bismarck rock is named after the most famous German Chancellor who also served as Kaiser during the Berlin Conference.The very same conference that divided Africa and Africans into colonial assets, and created boundaries over which modern African countries today are still in dispute about.

3.

The indigenous people are mostly Sukuma, which is the largest tribe in Tanzania.

4.

Kirumba, Eastern, and Central Africa’s largest fish market is located in Mwanza. It should be no surprise that fishing, alongside farming, is the economic generator of the region.

5.

The hangman tree in Mwanza is now a popular tourist destination. However, it used to be  the place where prisoners and criminals were hanged by the German colonial establishment.

6.

The growth of tourism has come from the vast beauty of Mwanza’s surrounding area, and its proximity to the various national parks (Serengeti being the first). When in Mwanza, the distance to Serengeti is only 2 ½ hours!

7.

Maize, cassava, and sweet potatoes constitute about 71 percent of all food crops grown in the region.

8.

There is an island in Mwanza called Ukerere, that is home to the dancing rocks. However, traditionally only men are allowed to visit these structures.

9.

Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake, is partly in Mwanza.

10.

The city received some global attention because of the controversial documentary Darwin’s Nightmare, that highlighted how the Nile Perch was affecting Mwanza’s native sea life.

Since its establishment in 1892, Mwanza has grown and developed rapidly compared to other African cities. It may not be as hyped as Dar-es-salaam or Arusha but it certainly has a lot to offer.

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.