Songea is the capital of Ruvuma Region in southwestern Tanzania.[1] It is located along the A19 road.[2] The city has a population of approximately 203,309,[1] and it is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Songea. Between 1905 and 1907, the city was a centre of African resistance during the Maji Maji Rebellion in German East Africa. The city is poised to experience significant economic growth in the near future as the Mtwara Corridor opens up in a few years. Projected to be the sixth fastest growing city on the African continent between 2020 and 2025, with a 5.74% growth. [3]

View of Songea city from Sinyanga Hotel
View of Songea city from Sinyanga Hotel
Songea is located in Tanzania
Location of Songea.
Songea is located in Africa
Songea (Africa)
Coordinates: 10°41′S 35°39′E / 10.683°S 35.650°E / -10.683; 35.650
DistrictSongea Urban
 • Total203,309
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)025
WebsiteRegional website


Songea was a great Ngoni warrior, hanged in 1906 during the time of German repression of the Maji Maji rebellion. Songea had been spared the death sentence because he had surrendered. However he demanded to be hanged along with the other Ngoni leaders. The Germans complied.

After the Second World War, the area was marked for rapid agricultural development linked to the ultimately disastrous groundnut scheme. A railway had been planned from the coast to Songea and actually appeared in 1950s high school geography text books. During the liberation war with Mozambique the Songea area was a restricted zone and occasionally suffered aerial attacks by Portuguese forces. Its remoteness made it vulnerable to ivory poaching, and communications remained unreliable until 1985 when a new British funded road was opened linking it northwards to the road and rail hub of Makambako.

Songea became a municipality in 2006.[4]


Songea is the home to many educational institutions including;

  1. Matogoro Teachers Colleges
  2. Peramiho School of Nursing
  3. Kigonsera High School
  4. Songea Boys Secondary School
  5. Songea Girls Secondary School
  6. Peramiho Girls School
  7. The St. Augustine University


Songea is coextensive with Songea Urban District and is divided into wards. It is managed by the Songea Municipal Council.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Ndembwike, John (2006). Tanzania: The Land and Its People. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: New Africa Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-9802534-4-6.
  2. ^ Google Maps (Map). Google. {{cite map}}: |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ "Ranked: The World's Fastest Growing Cities". virtual capitalist. Archived from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  4. ^ a b "Songea Municipality, Ruvuma, Tanzania Municipal Profile 2010" (PDF). Songea Municipal Council. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2012-09-01.

Coordinates: 10°41′S 35°39′E / 10.683°S 35.650°E / -10.683; 35.650