Kigoma is a city and lake port in Kigoma-Ujiji District in Tanzania, on the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika and close to the border with Burundi and The Democratic Republic of the Congo. It serves as the capital for the surrounding Kigoma Region and has a population of 215,458 (2012 census).[1] The town is situated at an elevation of 775 metres (2,543 ft).

Kigoma
Kigoma Railway Station
Kigoma Railway Station
Kigoma is located in Tanzania
Kigoma
Kigoma
Location of Kigoma.
Coordinates: 4°53′S 29°38′E / 4.883°S 29.633°E / -4.883; 29.633Coordinates: 4°53′S 29°38′E / 4.883°S 29.633°E / -4.883; 29.633
Country Tanzania
RegionKigoma Region
DistrictKigoma-Ujiji District
Elevation
775 m (2,543 ft)
Population
 (2012 census)[1]
 • Total215,458
Time zoneUTC+3 (East Africa Time)
Area code028
ClimateAw
WebsiteTown website

The historic trading town of Ujiji is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south-east of Kigoma.

TransportEdit

Maritime transportEdit

 
The Kigoma port during the day time.

Kigoma is one of the busiest ports on northeastern Lake Tanganyika since historically it was the only one that had a functioning railway connection (the one at Kalemie in The Democratic Republic of the Congo is not operational at the moment[when?]), a direct link to the ocean port at Dar es Salaam. Kigoma Port in the Kigoma Bay has a wharf of two hundred metres (660 ft) and several cranes and is equipped to handle shipping containers.[2] However, the bay is suffering from silting up as a result of soil erosion from surrounding hills, and the water depths at wharfside has diminished from 6 metres (20 ft) to 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in). This may threaten the economic growth of the port. In May 2007 the Tanzanian Government announced a plan to create an economic zone at the port to stimulate trade and to ensure stable economic growth of the Port for the government in Power in 2015 and 2020.[3]

The MV Liemba sails every week from Kigoma to Mpulungu in Zambia at the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika, stopping at a number of other lakeside towns in Tanzania on the way. The MV Mwongozo sails from Kigoma to Baraka, Uvira and Bujumbura at the northern tip of the lake, although it is not working currently. There are other ships from Congo and Burundi that sail to Kigoma Port every week.

RoadEdit

Current road connections to and from Kigoma are improving. However, travellers should be advised to take extra precautions when travelling. A gravel road links the town northeast to the national road network, and earth tracks link north to Burundi and southeast to Sumbawanga.[4]

RailwayEdit

 
The Kigoma rail station during the day time.

The Central Line of the Tanzania Railways Corporation runs from Kigoma to the Port of Dar es Salaam on to the Indian Ocean coast via Tabora and Dodoma. It was completed in 1915 when Kigoma was part of German East Africa. In Tabora, there is a connection to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, with ferry connections to other Tanzanian lakeshore places, and formerly Uganda. At Tabora, you can also travel by train to Mpanda. For a time in early 2010, the line was closed[5] but service has apparently been restored.[6]

AirportEdit

The city is served by Kigoma Airport which has scheduled service to Bujumbura and Dar es Salaam.


ClimateEdit

Kigoma has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) with a wet season between November and April.

Climate data for Kigoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27
(80)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(83)
28
(83)
28
(83)
29
(84)
29
(85)
29
(84)
27
(80)
26
(79)
28
(82)
Average low °C (°F) 19
(67)
19
(67)
19
(67)
19
(67)
19
(67)
18
(64)
17
(63)
18
(64)
20
(68)
21
(69)
20
(68)
19
(67)
19
(67)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 120
(4.8)
130
(5)
150
(5.9)
130
(5.1)
43
(1.7)
5.1
(0.2)
2.5
(0.1)
5.1
(0.2)
18
(0.7)
48
(1.9)
140
(5.6)
130
(5.3)
921.7
(36.5)
Source: Weatherbase[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Citypopulation.de Population of the major cities in Tanzania
  2. ^ Tanzania Railways Corporation: Kigoma Port. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  3. ^ Daily News, Tanzania: "500m/- set for Kigoma economic zone." Archived 2007-08-31 at the Wayback Machine Monday, May 28, 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
  4. ^ Michelin Motoring and Tourist Map (2000): "No 955 Africa Central and South". Michelin, Paris.
  5. ^ The Economist, Burundi's election; Pretty squalid; East Africa’s weakest new component Retrieved 24 July 2010
  6. ^ The Washington Post, A train ride across Tanzania Retrieved 9 October 2010
  7. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Kigoma, Tanzania". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.

External linksEdit