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Tanzania’s second-largest city, and the lake region’s economic heart, Mwanza is set on Lake Victoria’s shore, surrounded by hills strewn with enormous boulders. It is notable for its strong Indian influences, as well as for being a major industrial centre and a busy port. Yet despite its rapidly rising skyline, Mwanza manages to retain a casual feel. In addition to being a stop on the way to Rubondo Island National Park, Mwanza is a great starting or finishing point for safaris through Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, ideally as a loop by adding in Lake Natron.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mwanza.