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Sumbawanga Airport | Tanzania Airport

Sumbawanga Airport | Tanzania Airport

Sumbawanga Airport

Sumbawanga Airport is an airport in western Tanzania serving the town of Sumbawanga in Rukwa Region. The government has sought funds from the European Investment Bank for the upgrade of the airport. 


The name Sumbawanga, originates from a Fipa word,  Sumbu- wanga which simply means-  ‘Throw- away witch craft”.   The word was formerly used by a chief or “ MWENE” of Wafipa tribe  who was ruling the area between 1914-1920. Sumbawanga was regarded as a home to “witch craft” and traditional healers. And through such beliefs it gained its popularity. T

he Mwene used to tell all Wafipa who wanted to follow him from Kisumba to throw away witchcraft into river lwiche  if they wanted to stay with him. Before that, the word sumbawanga never existed at all. So the history of Sumbawangatownship began from 1929, at a time when the “BOMA” was shifted from Nkasi to the old Sumbawanga. In 1930-1940 this township was under the Authority of Native Africa Authority, later on in 1950 the Ufipa district council was established and was based at IZIA,  BANGWE and MAZWI areas  along the Mpanda -Tunduma highway.

Due to rapid growth of township, the government decided to raise the status of the township into a town council and later  on  01/07/2005 the sumbawanga town council  was further lifted into a municipal council and  is surrounded by Sumbawanga district council and Nkasi.

For all your travel need in Tanzania, Airport transfers, Mountain Kilimanjaro and Meru Climb, Safari to Serengeti and all Tanzania Nationa. parksWhatsApp: +255 759 694 668 or email:

Kilimanjaro airport transfers to Ngorongoro Simba Camp site

Beautiful beaches on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the Kalambo river waterfalls, the unique environment of Lake Kwela, the oldest Mv. Liemba and several historical sites.


The magnificent waterfalls are found at Kapozwa village in Kalambo district council, one of the four councils that form the famous Rukwa region. The impressive waterfalls situated in Kapozwa village across the border with neighbouring Zambia, a  two and half hour’s drive from Sumbawanga municipal.

This spectacular jet of waterfalls drops in a singleuninterrupted stream of 235 metres  down into the gorge below and then on into Lake Tanganyika.

They are the second highest falls in Africa and the twelfth highest in the world. The falls, whose perfect view is only on the side of Tanzania,  is one of the most desired and valued tourist destination in the south-western Tanzania, is the only place in Africa where there are several rich records of human inhabitation and activity. The waterfalls which are number two after the Tugela Falls in South Africa, lure tourists in the country.

Sumbawanga Airport and Tourism FAQ's

What is the distance between Sumbawanga and Mbeya?

Mbeya is located in Tanzania with (-8.9,33.45) coordinates and Sumbawanga is located in Tanzania with (-7.9667,31.6167) coordinates. The calculated flying distance from Mbeya to Sumbawanga is equal to 141 miles which is equal to 227 km.

If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Mbeya and Sumbawanga is 386.99 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometers/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 03 hours 27 minutes. Please check the avg. speed travel time table on the right for various options.
Difference between fly and go by a car is 160 km.

What is the distance between Rukwa and Mbeya?



Mbeya is located in Tanzania.

GPS Coordinates8° 54´ 33.8400” S
33° 27´ 38.7720” E
Altitude1711 m
GPS Coordinates (DMS)6° 57´ 55.3320” S
31° 15´ 45.5040” E
Altitude913 m


Certainly! Here are some nice places to consider visiting as a day trip from Sumbawanga: 1. Kalambo Falls: Located about 90 km south of Sumbawanga and is one of the highest and most stunning waterfalls in Africa. 2. Lake Tanganyika: It is the second deepest freshwater lake and is found along the Tanzania – Zambia border. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.

3. Katavi National Park: Located 150 km southwest of Sumbawanga, it is home to a variety of wildlife including elephants, hippos, lions, buffalo, and crocodiles. 4. Lwafi Game Reserve: It is about 30 km from Sumbawanga and offers a chance to see wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, and antelopes. 5. Laela Wildlife Management Area: It is located 65 km south of Sumbawanga and provides an opportunity to see wildlife on foot safari as well as cultural activities with the local people.
I hope this helps!

In Sumbawanga, one can use several modes of transportation to move around the city. These include buses, taxis, and motorcycle taxis locally known as “bodabodas.” 

Buses are often the cheapest and most convenient mode of transport as they cover most parts of the city and neighboring villages. Taxis are also available but are relatively expensive and mostly used by visitors or during emergencies. 

Bodabodas are widely used, especially in areas with limited public transport, and are mostly suitable for short distances. However, they can be risky and dangerous, especially in busy areas or on poor roads.

Sumbawanga, Tanzania is a great destination for adventure-seekers, nature-lovers, and those who want to experience the authentic culture of Tanzania. It’s not known as a popular destination for tourists, but it offers unique experiences that are not always available in other places, such as visiting local markets, exploring wildlife reserves, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the region.

Sumbawanga is suitable for all types of travelers, including couples, young people looking for fun and families. However, it may not be the ideal destination for those looking for a beach holiday, as it’s inland and surrounded by mountains.

For couples, Sumbawanga provides a romantic and adventurous getaway, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, or visiting local communities.

For families, Sumbawanga offers a chance to experience wildlife up close and learn about different cultures. Kids will enjoy seeing various animals at Katavi National Park as well as exploring the colorful markets.

Young people can also have fun in Sumbawanga, as there are plenty of opportunities for adventure, including rafting and kayaking on the nearby river or hiking through the nearby mountains.
Overall, Sumbawanga is a great destination for travelers looking for a unique and authentic experience, away from the usual tourist crowds, and those interested in exploring Tanzania’s cultural and natural wonders.

Sumbawanga, like most of Tanzania, is a safe place for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, visitors should take some precautions to ensure their safety and security. It is advisable to always be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuable items, and stay in well-lit and populated areas. Additionally, it is always a good idea to follow the local customs and dress appropriately for the culture. Overall, Sumbawanga is a beautiful and peaceful destination, and you should feel safe and welcome during your visit.

In Sumbawanga, the best areas to find accommodation are primarily located around the town center or near the airport. Some of the top recommended areas are: 1. Town Center: This is the main hub of Sumbawanga, and you can find various budget hotels, guest houses, lodges, and private apartments.

2. Ntendo: A residential area located approximately 1.5 KM from the town center, it has some quiet and peaceful accommodation options for travellers.
3. Airport area: The Sumbawanga Airport area has a few hotels and guest houses that are convenient for travellers who need to catch an early or late flight.

4. Matanga: A neighborhood located approximately 3 KM from the town center, it has various guest houses and lodges that offer a relaxed and affordable stay.

1. Lake Rukwa: Lake Rukwa is the largest lake in southwestern Tanzania, known for its clear blue-green water and abundant bird and fish species. Visitors can take a boat ride or go fishing in the lake, and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding it.
2. Kizumbi Hill: Kizumbi Hill offers panoramic views of Sumbawanga town and the surrounding area, making it a popular spot among tourists. The hill also has a historical significance as it was used as a lookout point during the Maji Maji rebellion.
3. Lwiche National Park: Lwiche National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, and hyenas. Visitors can take a game drive or a guided walk to explore the park and spot some of the animals.
4. Malangali Falls: Malangali Falls is a stunning waterfall located near the village of Malangali, about 40 km from Sumbawanga. The waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and provides a great opportunity for visitors to take a refreshing dip in the cool water.
5. Sumbawanga Cathedral: Sumbawanga Cathedral is a beautiful and historic church located in the heart of the town. The cathedral features impressive architecture and stained glass windows and is worth a visit for its religious and cultural significance. 6. Matema Beach: Matema Beach is a popular destination located on the shores of Lake Nyasa. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, or take a boat ride to explore the lake and its surrounding scenery.
7. Kapalamsenga Forest: Kapalamsenga Forest is a protected area known for its rich biodiversity and conservation efforts. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the different plant and animal species and their importance in the local ecosystem.
In this website, you can find many other destinations to visit in Tanzania, so you can have a look in the “USEFUL LINKS” sections in this page for other places that could inspire your trip.