Mwanza - Tanzania

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TOUR PACKAGES FOR UKEREWE ISLAND

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    TOUR OVERVIEW:

    The cultural tourism program at Ukerewe Island, gives you a unique insight view on the daily life in a largest island in Lake Victoria. You can experience the daily problems and challenges that the local community has to cope with. Talk, work and “live” with local people and dinner, overnight and breakfast in home stays with local people. Every tour will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking guide.

    Ukerewe is the largest island in Lake Victoria and the largest inland island in Africa, with an area of approximately 530 km². Ukerewe Island is situated in the Ukerewe District, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to travel.

     Ukerewe Island is situated 45 km (25 nautical miles) north of Mwanza to which it is linked by ferry, but a shorter vehicle ferry crossing of only 3.8 km also links the island across the Rugezi Channel to a dirt road on the eastern lake shore, which runs to Kibara and Musoma. The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by at least a dozen smaller islands.

    The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by 27 small islands surrounding the neighborhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families. Its largest community is Nansio.

     It’s simple lifestyle and rocky terrain broken by lake vistas and tiny patches of forest, makes an intriguing, offbeat diversion.

    The few proper sights include agricultural activities in which the residents farm maize, sweet potatoes, millet, cassava and rice, including the main activity here, fishing. Seen from Nansio are 27 small islands surrounding the neighborhood with 3 of them not occupied by humans and the rest are occupied by fishermen with their families.

    They are visits to Kagunguli, the oldest Roman church built in 1895 located near a hill with the same name; the old school and dispensary which were built between 1902 and 1913 and surviving to date with few repairs all are still in use. The Chief’s palace, Bukindo built from 1922 to 1923, the modest European-style palace of the island’s former king, which is still in use is a must see place if you are in the area and find out from the palace guide why one of its rooms has remained closed more half a century.

    Others include, Irondo point where visitors see amazing views of Mwanza city, Entebbe in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya; a chance to be part of a traditional dance group Buzegwe staff band that is sure to leave you fascinated; a visit to the historic sites, including graves in the area.

    The dancing stone in Ukara, a neighbouring island is also another attraction in the area, including crocodile tree and the knife of truth and learn how the people eke out a living.
    As part of the activities here, visitors are introduced to local fishing, canoeing, biking, and village tour and more are mildly interesting, but the deeply rural life between them is the real attraction.

    Accommodation is available in a few small hotels in Nansio. The list includes: Labima hotel, Kondeni hotel, Holiday Motel, Monarch beach resort and Bwiru cultural thatched simple traditional houses. Camping grounds are available in some villages; the Ukerewe cultural tourism program will be able to guide visitors accordingly.

    WHAT TO SEE / DO IN UKEREWE
    There are many great places to been seen, but among the key sights are the following:

    1. RUBYA FOREST
    Rubya Forest is the largest forest in the district. Is a very peaceful place with fascinating environment. Also in the forest’s area are fishing- activity area and natural beach on Lake Victoria. It takes about 50 minutes on car to reach the place from Nansio.

    Rubya forest reserve there are some rare plants (indigenous) and small animals will spotted, while enjoying a time out with local commuties on their uses as traditional medicine and daily activities, be prepared for an extraordinary cross-cultural experience as you join these Kerewe people with a picnic lunch at the selected viewpoint. After Siesta (lunch relaxed). Late afternoon, drive back to Nansio town for Dinner & Overnight at the very friendly place)

    WALKING TIME: 3 – 5 HOURS (Approximately) DISTANCE: 7-10 KMS
    HABITAT: FOREST, RUSH FOREST AND SHRUBS FOREST DISTANCE

    2. RUTARE HILL
    we can climb Rutare Hill which is great for viewing the scenery of Ukerewe. It takes an hour by bicycle to reach the Hill. This day is half day trek; get ready for mysterious Rutare hill footprint treks to stunning views over the Ukerewe Island with surrounded islands, you will discover the great Lake Victoria and you reach several superb viewpoints on the hill. Dinner and Overnight at the bungalow.

    4. DANCING STONE OF UKARA ISLAND
    Ukara Island is the home to ‘dancing stone. It has the cultural and traditional value to the Kara people. The island is also a good place to cycle in where a variety of flora and fauna and beautiful sceneries as well as different tribes can be visited. Down to the village with your local guide then take a leisurely stroll around the farming areas. Visit a local schools, ginnery machine, old church, local fishing camps and markets, local homes, and farmlands
    It takes about three hours to get in the island from Nansio.
    Note: It is impossible to go and come back on the same day because you may be late for the ferry backs to Ukerewe.

    5. CYCLING TOURS IN UKEREWE ISLAND

    Cycling Overview
    Our cycling packages variety from day trips to week long tours across various parts of Tanzania’s western tourism circuit covering a wide range of terrains. From lush, green forests to dry bush lands, remote villages to bustling towns and from lakeside shores to plantations. Let the cold, moist wind blow against your face as you cycle down the island and experience the daytime heat as you cut across the dry, dusty acacia woodlands. Visit Kerewe and Zinza villages, experience the locals’ ways of life and immerse yourself in their culture. Our itineraries are flexible and tailor-made to suite your needs. You can also suggest places of interest and we plan out itineraries that suit their interests. Let us take you on a memorable journey as you experience Ukerewe island on two wheels

    Why you will love this experience
    Ukerewe Island is a good place to cycle in, especially in villages where no more traffic. When you do, you get a chance to view the natural beauty of the villages.
    Cycling is the perfect way to enjoy the incredible landscapes of Tanzania, it’s an amazing and adventurous trip, and you will have the very fortunate opportunity to observe wildlife, plants, local people and the whole environment!

    Escape your dreary winter and experience the sunshine in Tanzania on a two-wheel bicycle!
    Imagine incredible lush green passes, wildlife next to your wheels, and local culture on the journey!

    Lago Safaris-Tanzania offers customized mountain biking holidays for riders, by riders.
    We provide guided day trips as well as incredible multi-day tours.
    We cater primarily towards bicycle lovers who want a unique country tour with delicious food, breathtaking views, skilled guides and most importantly inspiring rides. We strive for excellence and our local biking knowledge is extensive. We will not only take you on the best bike tours, but more importantly, we will show you the authentic lifestyle in Tanzania!

    6. A VISIT TO LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL.
    A visit to local schools is a great way to understand more about the education system of Tanzania. The local children are very keen to ask you some questions about the education system in your country.

    7. CHIEF’S PALACE.
    In Bukindo village is the chief’s Palace which used to be the most magnificent building on the island. In the palace are drums that were used as means of communication between the ruled and the ruler. It takes about 53 minutes to reach the Palace by cycling.

    TOUR PRICE
    The tour prices very based on what you wish to do, and your preferred method of transport (walk, bicycle, motorbike or car). So you had better explain to me what you wish do with me and how we do, and then I will tell you the real price.

    ACCOMMODATION
    There are many nice hotels in Nansio, the town of Ukerewe. I, Tour Guide can make accommodation reservation for you if needed. I know the nice ones such as Monarch Beach Hotel, La Bima Hotel, Kondeni Hotel, and Holiday Motel. I will give you full information of the hotels when needed

    SERVICES DONE BY UKEREWE ISLAND TOURS
    * Guiding Services in Ukerewe.
    • Making accommodation reservation for you if needed.
    • To organize safaris to other attractions in Tanzania, such as Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Rubondo Island, Mount Meru, and so on.

    Discover Ukerewe – An Island in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria
    In the second largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Victoria lies the largest island within Tanzania with 530 km2. The coastal line of Ukerewe Island has numerous coves and is surrounded by a dozen smaller islands. The largest municipality is Nansio.
    Ukerewe is known for a large population of Africans with albinism. Many of the first of them, who live there, were taken to the island by their families as children. Today they can live a safe life on the island, although they are still a suppressed minority in Tanzania.
    Ukerewe is also a paradise for itself:
    With its simple lifestyle and rocky terrain, broken by lake vistas and tiny forest fields, Ukerewe Island, 50 km north of Mwanza, is a fascinating, unconventional break from the mainland. There are a few sights, including Ikulu “White House”, built in 1928 in style, a modest palace of the former king of the island.

    The actual attraction is the deep rural life between these sights. This is unusual in its very successful agriculture, the stable for centuries.
    Also the ferry ride to Ukerewe is an experience, as you can experience the daily life of the people and their activity at first hand.
    Since 2018 Ukerewe Nansio can be reached by a fast boat (1 hour from Mwanza to Nansio, one way about $10) or as before 2 to 3 times a day with a ferry with a 3 hour drive from Mwanza.

    Visit Ukara Island
    Visit Ukara island in the North of the larger Ukerewe island to see the world wandering dancing stone, Crocodile tree plantation, the knife of truth and KUCHALA POINT and learn how the people of Ukara performe their daily activities.
    The prediction of your personal matter by visiting the Ukerewe’s highly praised traditional healer clearly you can experience the Ukerewe ways of life.
    full day tour

    2. Visit Bukindo, Kitare, Irondo, Bwiru and Kagunguli Villages
    Stretch your muscles by visiting the Old Bulding at Bukindo village to explore the drums, which were used as a means of communiction and royal tools such as spears and the King’s chair. Listen the informative talk from your guide about the history of the former governance before Independence.
    Continue your tour heading to Kitare village to explore where the Chiefs of Ukerewe were buried and see a cemetry grave of Michael Lukumbuzya the last King of the Ukerewe Island and later became Tanzanian ambasodor in Canada. Other Chiefs graves were capsized in Lakes water. Here you have the chance to climb Murutanga hill the first highest hill on the island also the view point of different places.

    Irondo village: If you are a fan of swimming & canoeing, culture and panoramas then this is for you. Wanders through a coconut plantation and a view point of Kweru & Irugwa islands, Majita across Lake Victoria, Ukara, Sizu, and Kirita islands. Then, with your guide leading the way rest and watch the birds or the local fisher folk perform their daily activities.
    A visit to Kagunguli will give you a chance to see the church aged more yam 100 years and still working, explore the first primary school and the first dispensary at Kagunguli village also a cemetry graves of first Christian King Gabriel Ruhumbika and Anicet Kitereza the author of Ukerewe history and the Kerewe Bible translator.
    Finally visit Bwiru village, a warmly welcome is followed by the Kerewe traditional dancing. Here you will spend a day and night with the local people to share the unforgettable hours with Kerewe people locally Wakerewe and get a privileged view of a traditional Wakerewe house and royal tools like shield and spears.

    3. Visit Halwego Village & Rubya Forest
    Here your imagination will move into overdrive as you here tales of the use of the cave by warriors in ancient tribal wars. A panoramic view of the different Ukerewe village, a picnic site with a breath taking view.
    Rubya forest a visit to Rubya forest will give you a chance to enter the enchanting Rubya forest and succumb to its charms as you relax and enjoy the wonder of nature.

    4. Village Tour – Hamyebe
    Take a journey through Nansio town of this Ukerewe district headquarter and visit the first missionary’s settlement in Hamyebe village, climb to the top of an escarpment Kahangara hill and see breathtaking views. Germans grave, Boma and a Cross erected by Kerewe Roman Catholic to mark 100 years of Roman Catholic Church on Ukerewe Island.
    short trip

    5. Go for fishing with a local Fisherman – half day activity, on request
    Explore the lifestyle of the native fisher men by joining them on a half day fishing tour. You will fish from a small wooden boat and try to see who can make the biggest catch of Tilapia or Nile Perch. At the end of this trip, someone will prepare your catch for you. So you can enjoy the fresh fish of the Lake Victoria either for Lunch or for Dinner.

    half day activity, on request

    6. Cook a traditional Kerewe Food
    The indigenous Kerewe people (FURAHISHA GROUP) of this area invite you at BWIRU VILLAGE. Here you can sample local foods, learn firsthand how to cook Kerewe food, see the Kerewe traditional dancing and listen to the traditional music of this tribe.

    7. Visit the old Cotton Ginery
    The first East African Cotton Ginery was built in 1905 in Ukerewe. Since that time this ginery was operated with firewood and no electricity. It’s a interesting historical site within on Ukerewe Island.
    half day tour, on bicycle