Welcome to Mtwara, the capital city of Mtwara Region in southeastern Tanzania. Despite being planned and constructed as the export facility for the disastrous Tanganyika groundnut scheme in the 1940s, Mtwara has since grown into a bustling city with a population of around 108,000 people. With its deep-water port that can accommodate ocean-going vessels and range of large municipal buildings, including a post office, Mtwara is a hub of economic activity in the region.
Transportation in Mtwara is reasonable considering its remoteness in southern Tanzania. The city is linked by paved roads with Dar es Salaam and Lindi to the north and Masasi inland and by partially paved roads to Newala in-land to the west. The A19 links it with Mbamba Bay on Lake Malawi in the west. Mtwara also features an airport with a paved runway that can accommodate medium size passenger jets. Precision Air runs a daily morning flight between Mtwara Airport and Dar es Salaam and Air Tanzania offers a flight in the afternoon. The flight time is around an hour. Facilities for landing do not allow for planes to use the airport when it is hidden in mist. Additionally, there is a choice of bus companies which provide daily services between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam, as well as regular buses that connect with Masasi, the biggest town inland from Mtwara.
The port in Mtwara is the third largest ocean port in the country and was built as part of the failed Tanganyika groundnut scheme. The port was neglected for many years, however with the recent economic boom in the region, the government has spent funds for the upgrade of the port. Recently the port has seen added activity due to the construction of the Dangote cement factory and increased gas exploration activities. The port in the future is planned to facilitate exports such as Cashew nuts, Iron, Coal and Gas. The port also has an Export Processing zone to facilitate the manufacturing industry in the area.
Mtwara’s economy is largely driven by its port and the industries that have developed around it. Plans are in place to build a railway linking Mtwara with Lindi and mines at Mchuchuma and Liganga via Songea, which would make Mtwara the port for the export of iron ore and coal. Mtwara also hosts a branch of the Dangote Cement Public Limited Company.
Geographically, Mtwara experiences tropical climatic conditions similar to all Tanzanian coastal cities due to its close proximity to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean. The city experiences hot and humid weather throughout much of the year and has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw). Annual rainfall is approximately 1,024 mm (40 in), and in a normal year the rainy season lasts from November to April/May and the dry season from then until late October.
For sports enthusiasts, Mtwara is the hometown of Bandari F.C. and NDANDA F. C. The city is also twinned with Redditch, United Kingdom.
Come and explore the hidden gem of Mtwara, Tanzania. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine, this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.