Bukoba, Tanzania Travel Guide
About 50 kilometers from the Ugandan border, lies the small port city of Bukoba. Here the weather is almost always sunny and pleasantly pleasant. However, it may be a good idea to bring a thick sweater for the cool evenings. The enviable climate is due to the city’s location, just one degree south of the equator.
The scenery in Bukoba is equally stunning. The city is located in a valley, shaped like a bowl surrounded by lush trees. Furthermore, Bukoba also has its own white sandy beach, for those who also want a little beach holiday.
A funny little fact: Bukoba is actually a town of friendship with Danish Nykøbing Mors.
Despite its only 100,000 inhabitants, Bukoba is the regional capital of the Kagera region. This is located in northwestern Tanzania. The city is located on the western shore of Lake Victoria, and is also known as the second largest port city by the lake. From Bukoba there are about 50 kilometers to Uganda, which is why the city is a perfect pit stop for those who have to cross the border.
Experiences in Bukoba
According to politicsezine, Kagera Museum is one of the more intimate of its kind. The small building filled with admirable works of art, makes your experience here wonderfully intimate. Among other things, it is the Swedish photographer Dick Persson’s photographs that adorn the small museum. Here he has sketched the wild African wildlife in the finest way.
In addition to the main attraction which is clearly the many photographs, the museum also houses a small exhibition of old tools and beautiful artifacts. Attached to the Kagera Museum, there is a small workshop where jewelry, ngoma drums and bags are made.
Katuruka Heritage Site
2 kilometers south of Bukoba is an area dating back to the Iron Age, the Katuruka Heritage Site. Here the remaining finds from one of the oldest and most important settlements from the Iron Age period in East Africa are stored and protected. Among rubble and other ancient parts of the square, there are several historical treasures.
One of the treasures is the oldest iron smelting furnace, found in East, Central and South Africa. The biggest event of this trip will probably be your guide. They are if anything phenomenal to retell the many myths and stories that date back to the Iron Age, associated with this particular settlement.
The square is associated with the palace of the 17th century King Rugoma Mahe, and it is also believed that the ancient Rain God Mugasja has a history from here. The guides can tell fascinating myths about this and much more.
Bwanjai Rock Art
In northern Kagera you can see the impressive large stones, which over time have been decorated with all sorts of old paintings from the former tribal people. Unlike, for example, Kondoa Rock Art near Dodoma, the stones here are not filled with animal and human sketches.
The patterns signed by Bwanjai Rock Art are somewhat more abstract. Here the stones are adorned with a lot of red dots and unknown symbols. It is not known what the symbols really mean, as the tradition of drawing just that kind of sign has not been continued through time.
Minziro Forest Reserve
Just 20 kilometers from the border with Uganda, lies the 250 km2 forest area Minziro. The landscape here is relatively flat, filled with green grasslands and densely vegetated forest areas, but sometimes there are several rocky hills.
Furthermore, the plant life is something very special, as the forest type is unique on these edges. Most of the area is adorned with the forest type “Baikiaea – Podocarpus” – better known as a seasonal swamp forest. Therefore, you may find that many areas of the site are flooded. However, it depends entirely on when in the year you visit the Minziro Forest Reserve in. The reserve, which is also protected, was published back in the year 1947.
In the forest area there is a palette of very special and beautiful birds. These include the blue Kingfisher, the Turako bird with the fun hairstyle and the little Skov-robin with the orange neck. Among the ready-to-fly animals in the park, there are also as many as 500 different butterfly species.
The large African animals are poorly represented in Minziro, which is believed to be due to poaching. However, three different monkey species are represented. Occasionally the park is also visited by elephants and buffaloes. From Bukoba there is a couple of hours drive to the reserve, so you have to be prepared for a full day trip – however, a very beautiful one of a kind.
Traces of the German
Bukoba was founded back in 1890, as being a German administrative center. The area was then ruled by the Ottoman-German physician, naturalist and governor, Emin Pasha. To this day, the city remains an administrative seat, though for the Bukoba district now. Here sits Kagera’s Regional Commissioner Colonel Fabian Massawe.
If you take a walk around the city, you will spot traces of the German reign. In the southern part of Bukoba are a lot of old German buildings. These include the original post office and a German cemetery.
Most green banana
If you want a cultural taste experience in Bukoba, you should try the dish Matoke . The dish is smoked flux across national borders as it originally originated in southern Uganda where this eating is a national dish. Matoke is made from large green bananas, which are either roasted or steamed. Some then make the dish like mashed banana in while others eat the fruit as it is. The banana is often cooked with meat or smoked catfish and served with beans or peanuts.