The city of Mwanza is the major Tanzanian port on Lake Victoria and a major centre of economic importance in the region. The lake borders the country’s East African neighbours Uganda to the north west, and Kenya to the north east, and export and transport between the countries is a foundation of Mwanza’s economy. Around the city of Mwanza, the land is primarily devoted to agricultural enterprise. Tea, cotton, and coffee plantations throughout the area produce large volumes of cash crops that pass though Mwanza on their way to market. The town’s industrial harbour and busy streets make it a prosperous, and busy, place to explore.
For visitors, the city makes a good base from which to explore nearby Rubondo Island National Park and the western parts of the Serengeti. Rubondo Island National Park offers pleasant day-hikes and bird watching around the lake shore. Mwanza’s proximity to the western Serengeti makes it a necessary stop for visitors who want to experience a less bust part of the park and see the magic of the Serengeti without the parade of safari vehicles and seasonal crowds. Mwanza is also the centre of the Sukuma tribe, the largest tribe in Tanzania, who have inhabited and farmed the region for centuries. Cultural tourism programmes to their local villages and farms can be arranged through the local cultural centre.