Welcome to Iringa, a picturesque city located in the heart of Tanzania. With a population of over 150,000, Iringa is the administrative capital of Iringa Region and has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The name Iringa is derived from the Hehe word lilinga, meaning fort, which speaks to the city’s significance as a military stronghold in the past. Today, Iringa is known for its stunning landscapes, unique crafts, and diverse wildlife, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

The city is situated at a latitude of 7.77°S and longitude of 35.69°E and stretches along a hilltop overlooking the Little Ruaha River to the south. It is in the Udzungwa Mountains, and the altitude of the town’s environs is more than 1,550 metres (5,090 ft) above sea level. The town spreads along ridges and valleys to the north, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Iringa is one of the coldest regions in Tanzania due to its geographical location, which has attracted a lot of tourists from colder regions abroad, especially Western Europe.

Iringa has a fairly dry subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) that borders on a tropical savanna climate (Aw) with a wet season from December to April. The months of June, July, and August can see low temperatures near freezing. The climate is perfect for exploring the city’s many natural wonders and experiencing the local way of life.

The city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The Isimila Stone Age site, which lies about 20 km (12 mi) to the southwest, contains archaeological artifacts, particularly stone tools, from human habitation about 70,000 years ago. Iringa Region is home to the Hehe people. After their defeat at Lugalo by the Hehe, led by Chief Mkwawa, the Germans built a military station at Neu Iringa to avenge the death of their commander Emil von Zelewski and to teach the Hehe respect for German authority. The fortress and headquarters of Chief Mkwawa was in the nearby village of Kalenga, Alt Iringa.

Iringa has several institutions of higher education, including Tumaini University, Iringa University College, Mkwawa University College of Education (a constituent college of the University of Dar es Salaam), and Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU)). There are also secondary schools like Tosamaganga high school, Malangali high school, Iringa girls secondary school, Ifunda technical school and Ruaha Secondary School.

Iringa has a well-established industrial base, including food processing and logistics industries. Most of its electricity comes from the nearby Mtera Dam. Iringa is a minor transport hub for regular bus travelers. It is a center for trucking services to Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Songea, and Dodoma and other regions of Tanzania. It is also a servicing town for trucks going to neighboring countries such as Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Burundi and other EAC countries.

Iringa is known for its woven baskets, made from local reeds. The baskets are used across Tanzania and exported internationally, making them a popular souvenir for tourists. The city is also known for the award-winning Neema Crafts Centre, which produces high-quality handicrafts made by people with disabilities.

Iringa municipality has seven FM radio stations, including Trap Gang Radio, Ebony FM, Country FM, and Nuru FM (youth entertainment and commercial radios), Overcomers Radio and Radio Furaha (Christian stations), and Kibra Ten Radio (a Muslim station). There are other radio stations elsewhere in Iringa region, such as Kitulo community radio in Makete and another FM radio station in Njombe. Iringa has one TV station: Municipal Television, a multi-age TV station with diversified programs.

Ruaha National Park
One of Africa’s largest national parks, the Ruaha National Park, is located near Iringa. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. Visitors can go on a safari to see these animals up close and explore the park’s many natural wonders, such as the Great Ruaha River and the Usangu Game Reserve.

In conclusion, Iringa is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, immersing yourself in the local culture, or experiencing the natural beauty of Tanzania, Iringa is the perfect destination. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

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