Kigoma Region

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Kigoma Region
Mkoa wa Kigoma (Swahili)
From top to bottom:
Lake Tanganyika in Kagongo Ward, Kigoma District, Kigoma High Court and Mango row in hisotric Ujiji
Tanzania's Sunset Region
Location in Tanzania
Location in Tanzania
Coordinates: 4°52′56.64″S 29°39′41.4″E / 4.8824000°S 29.661500°E / -4.8824000; 29.661500
Country Tanzania
Named forKigoma
 • Total37,040 km2 (14,300 sq mi)
 • Rank8th of 31
Highest elevation
1,917 m (6,289 ft)
 • Total2,470,967
 • Rank10th of 31
 • Density67/km2 (170/sq mi)
Ethnic groups
 • SettlerSwahili, Arab, Congolese & Burundians
 • NativeHa, Vinza, Jiji & Holoholo
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code028
ISO 3166 codeTZ-05[2]
HDI (2021)0.520[3]
low · 19th of 25
WebsiteOfficial website
Symbols of Tanzania
Livingstone's turaco
Large striped swordtail
Frontosa Kigoma
East African Satinwood

Kigoma Region (Mkoa wa Kigoma in Swahili) is one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions. The regional capital is the city of Kigoma. Kigoma Region borders Kagera Region, Geita Region, Katavi Region, Tabora Region, DRC and Burundi According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 2,127,930, which was higher than the pre-census projection of 1,971,332.[4]: page 2  For 2002-2012, the region's 2.4 percent average annual population growth rate was tied for the fourteenth highest in the country.[4]: page 4  It was also the sixteenth most densely populated region with 57 people per square kilometer.[4]: page 6  With a size of 45,066 square kilometres (17,400 sq mi),[5] the region is slightly smaller than Estonia (45,227 square kilometres (17,462 sq mi)).


Most of Kigoma Region showing the Malagarasi River.

Kigoma Region resides in the northwestern corner of Tanzania, on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The region lies at about 5° south and 30° east of Greenwich. The region is bordered to the north by both Burundi and the Kagera Region. To the east, it is bordered by the Geita Region and Tabora Regions, to the south by the Katavi Region, and to the west by Lake Tanganyika, which forms a border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[6]

Uvinza Salt mined in Uvinza District.
Nyerere's house marker in Kitongoni.
Swahili home in Kigoma.
Kigoma harbor from Kibirizi
Lake Tanganyika view from Kigoma Ward

The region's total area is 45,066 square kilometres (17,400 sq mi),[7] of which 37,037 square kilometres (14,300 sq mi) is land and 8,029 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi) is water.[6] The region's total area is just 161 square kilometres (62 sq mi) less than that of Estonia. As of 1998, approximately 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) was in forests and 12,000 square kilometres (4,600 sq mi) was suitable for grazing or farming.[6]

Kigoma Region is on a plateau that slopes from the northeast at about 1,750 metres (5,740 ft) down to 800 metres (2,600 ft) at the shore of lake Tanganyika.[8] The topography in the north and east is gently rolling hills that gradually become steeper as they get closer to the Albertine Rift margin.[8] The most important river is the Malagarasi, with the Luiche and the Ruchugi being the two other major rivers draining the region.[8]


Stanley meeting Livingstone

In precolonial Africa the region was a source of ivory and slaves.[9] Tabora and Ujiji were Arab staging areas for shipments to the coast.[10] It was visited by the early European explorers Richard Burton, John Speke, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley. In fact, Stanley met Livingstone in Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 27 October 1871.[11] In colonial times, the Kigoma area was known as the Western Region and the capital was Tabora.[9]

Administrative divisions[edit]


Kigoma Region is divided into six districts, each administered by a council except Kigoma and Kasulu which administered with two council each.:[4]

Districts of Kigoma Region
Map District Population
Buhigwe District Buhigwe District Council 254,342
Kakonko District Kakonko District Council 167,555
Kasulu District Kasulu District Rural Council 425,794
Kasulu District Urban Council 208,244
Kibondo District Kibondo District Council 261,331
Kigoma District Kigoma District Rural Council 211,566
Kigoma-Ujiji Municipal Council 215,458
Uvinza District Uvinza District Council 383,640
Total 2,127,930


Kigoma Region has a total population of 2,127,930.[12]

Ha people are the largest ethnic group living here. Other major populations are those of Wabembe, Wamanyema, Watongwe and Wavinza, Sukuma and Haya. Approximately 150,000 refugees from Burundi and almost another 80,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo reside in three refugee camps in the Kigoma Region, named Nyarugusu, Mtendeli and Nduta.

Notable people from Kigoma Region[edit]


  1. ^ "Matokeo ya Sensa". (in Swahili). Dodoma, Tanzania: National Bureau of Statistics (Tanzania). Archived from the original on 31 October 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  2. ^ "IS0 3166". ISO. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  4. ^ a b c d Population Distribution by Administrative Units, United Republic of Tanzania, 2013 Archived 2013-06-12 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Statistical Abstract 2011, Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c "Kigoma region: Socio-Economic Profile" (PDF). Planning Commission, Dar es Salaam, and the Regional Commissioner's Office, Kigoma. December 1998. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 May 2004.
  7. ^ "National Sample Census of Agriculture 2002/03: Volume Vq: Regional Report: Kagera Region, Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, December 2007, page 1" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  8. ^ a b c Planning 1998, p. 2
  9. ^ a b Head of Regional Office, Kigoma (2011), "2.0 Historia Fupi ya Mkoa (Short History of the Region)" (PDF), Taarifa ya Miaka 50 ya Uhuru wa Tanzania Mkoa wa Kigoma (Information concerning 50 Years of the Independence of Tanzania: Kigoma) (in Swahili), Office of Prime Minister, pp. 4–7, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-27
  10. ^ Dugard, Martin (2004). Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone. New York: Broadway Books. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7679-1074-3. [not the first edition]
  11. ^ Dugard 2004, p. 266
  12. ^ "2012 population and housing census: population distribution by administrative areas" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics. p. 103. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 12, 2013.

External links[edit]