Tanzania’s half of Africa’s largest lake sees few visitors, but the region holds many attractions for those with a bent for the offbeat and a desire to immerse themselves in the rhythms of local life beyond the tourist trail. The cities of Musoma and Bukoba have a quiet waterside charm, while most villagers on Ukerewe Island follow a subsistence lifestyle with little connection to the world beyond the shore.
Mwanza, Tanzania’s second-largest city, is appealing in its own way and is the perfect launching pad for a Serengeti–Lake Natron–Ngorongoro loop. Add the forests of idyllic Rubondo Island National Park, deep in the lake’s southwest reaches, for a well-rounded safari experience.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lake Victoria.