Tanzania: Lake Victoria riviera


We spend a couple of days in Mwanza, a charming town on the Southern shores of Lake Victoria, far from the safari trail. Built on several hills with dramatic views over the lake, Mwanza could be anywhere in the Riviera or the Amalfi coast, except for its colourful African streets and markets.

Its lovely hills are the home of stately villas while the low-lying areas are the stage for all manner of street scenes. A bustling fishing port, the ferries departing for Uganda, markets.

We spend our time wandering the streets, standing out as the only tourists in town, and sampling the only two Asian restaurants. The Chinese Yun Long and a Teppanyaki restaurant (which turns out to be excellent).

Our tranquil stay is only slightly disturbed by the giant Marabou Storks (voted among the top ten ugliest animals in the world, according to Conrad’s latest App) who stomp the grounds of the town as if they owned it. Nightmarish creatures the size of a small person who wander around the port, the parks and the markets like ghouls feeding on corpses.

Could be Portofino…


Our humble (floating) hotel in Mwanza



The monstrous Marabou storks feasting at the fish market


Colonial railway station