Ukerewe map drawn by a local artist

Ukerewe map drawn by a local artist


More than 10 people killed in Ukerewe by Bandints

Yesterday night Bandits invaded Izinga Island in Ukerewe district. They are believed to be burglers and robbers. In their first attempt, they failed to camouflage and natives came at them not knowing they were fully and havily armed. The bandits shot at the innocent people, killing six instantly and wounding many others.
Casualties were afterwards/in the morning, rushed to Nansio Hospital where other five died. One died on the shore before he could be ferrid to the hospital.
Several other badly wounded people have been hovered by helicopter to Bugando referral Hospital for more intensive treatment.

D. Shayo

Ukerewe Tourist Association

Profile of Ukerewe tourist Association.
Ukerewe Tourist Association was formed in May 2004 by a group of businesswomen and men. As the name says, the Association works for development of Tourism in Ukerewe District. The objectives being: –
 To develop the tourism potential in the district together with stakeholders to raise the district’s income for the benefit of her communities.
 To promote tourism through development of marketing materials and networking with stakeholders, donors and authorities within and outside the district.
 To develop income generating activities in order to be able to pay for the running costs of the association.
UTA is currently running a nursery for various fruit tree seedlings. The project was financed by DADPs Ukerewe.
Members are by Agost 1, 2009 a total of thirty-three businesswomen and men, mainly engaged in hotel guesthouse, restaurant and entertainment businesses. Others are employees and peasant villagers. All stakeholders within the district are invited to be members, either as individuals, groups, associations or villages’ governments. The association invites non-residents and residents from other districts to become associate members.
Since its establishment the association has been engaged in implementing a study tour to other similar organizations in Tanzania, visits to parts of the district with tourist potential, training of members, implementation of the first, and partly the second phase of the Bicycle Tourism Program.
The study tour went through Serengeti and Ngorongoro, to Mto wa Mbu, Arusha and Lushoto in the Usambara Mountains. In Mto wa Mbu and Lushoto was visited local organizations promoting tourism in their areas with different set-ups. In Arusha the Cultural Tourism Program at Mto wa Mbu was visited, PROTS Tourism Institute, and Authorities dealing with tourism promotion. It was an important experience for the participating members and the experience is used whenever a new intervention or idea is discussed.
In February 2005 a visit to the Island of Ukara (which is the second biggest of the 34 islands forming the district) was organized in order to understand better the tourism potential here. The understanding led to good relations with leaders of the community and is promising for future developments.
A training day for members was organized In May. The topic was the ‘bicycle tourism’, which is the first project the association is implementing.
The bicycle project was initiated by Gallu Beach Hotel in 2003. Since then a number of bicycle routes has been tried out together with visiting tourists. The idea has proved to be very viable. Hence, in 2005 the association has got funds from the District Council to implement part of the first and second phases of the bicycle tourism project and more. These include: –
 Participation and exhibiting in the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair at Arusha in 2005
 Awareness creating meetings in 10 villages through which the first and second routes pass.
 Erecting of signposts in these routes, sufficient to lead-through non-guided tourists and other visitors who are new to these places.
 Conduction of a three-day seminar for all the members. Mr. Vedastus Izoba, owner and principal of the renowned Professional Tour-guide School in Arusha, facilitated this.
 Collection of information regarding these two routes.
 Preparation and development of a brochure for the first route.
 Participation and exhibiting in the Mwanza East Africa Trade Fair in 2007
 Uploading a considerable amount of information to our website
 Visiting tourism related companies in Mwanza.
The basic idea behind the activities of the association is:
That it is possible to develop a kind of tourism; one which will benefit a major part of the communities involved.
That is why bicycle tourism is chosen as the first priority to implement. When the tourists go by bicycle they will be in close contact to the environment, the surrounding nature and the communities they pass by. They will make stops on the road, they will buy from local shops, order food from stalls, visit families etc. Further they will need services like bicycle hire, guiding, bicycle repair as well as lodging, boarding and entertainment.
No single stakeholder can provide all services. Ukerewe Tourist Association will therefore try to facilitate, so that as many stakeholders as possible will gain from these activities. One step to this is to bring awareness of the ideas to the local communities and their leaders.
Income generating
To run an association is not free of costs. There is transport to meetings, telephone calls, typing and photocopying etc. to be done. At a certain stage there will also be need for a permanent office and employees. Currently the activities of the association are being housed in kind by Felista Bwire, the treasurer. The association has discussed how to generate these funds, because donors obviously cannot pay for all of them. Ideas like selling postcards and getting booking commissions and various fees has been mentioned. An idea of facilitating volunteers to work in the district for a fee has also been discussed. Basically the association does not want to compete with activities undertaken up by members. To date, the association has facilitated seven volunteers who pay to the association $ 199 each for this service. They also purchase materials for their volunteering for a value of $140 each.
The association is seeking funds to have made a long term business plan. Further, the association is seeking funds for paying a consultant. We are also looking forward to creating joint projects with other organizations in order to spread the tourism concept in a broader scope.
Ukerewe Tourist Association sees that there is a lot of untapped potential for local tourism and for involvement of the communities. Therefore the association works on having a living network within and outside of Ukerewe District.
Further the association thinks that one-way-tourism is a viable way to future tourism development in the Lake Zone.

Prepared by Deus Shayo, August 2009


©D. Shayo 2009

©D. Shayo 2009

The Chief's Palace - Bukindo Ukerewe

The Chief's Palace - Bukindo Ukerewe


Visit Bukindo village and explore the drums found at the Chief’s Palace. The palace was built by an engineer one Tonelo from Italy who was employed by the Chief to build it in 1922-1928. Explore the drums which have been used as a means of communication. They are many years old!

It is a village where chiefs are buried. Explore where the last chief before independence (MICHAEL LUKUMBUZYA) was buried. He died in Canada. Learn how he went to Canada while he was a ruler of the Kerewe people.

Visit Olwego Handebezyo cave and View Point where you can overview Ukerewe Island. There is a cave that was used for hiding during ethnic wars. The place has also been used for storing surplus and a good picnic point. Watch people working in different places when you are at this point. Watch birds and other wild small creatures as well.


Swim and fish in Lake Victoria, sun bath, sunrise and sunset. You can also camp here. Welcome and eat fresh Tilapia fish. There is a coconut plantation which is a gift to the village from the second president of Tanzania, Hon. Ally Hassan Mwinyi. Watch and participate in the traditional dances at night in Buzegwe village where IRONDO POINT is found. At Irondo you can participate in fishing and sailing with the natives. There is a “View Point” where you can see Kweru, Ukara Island and the mountain ranges of Majita on the mainland far ahead on the East.

Here is the place where the missionaries arrived and started their settlement. Learn the problems that faced them in establishing Christianity. 27 believers were killed by order of the Chief, Lukonge. Discover the remaining foundation of the “BOMA” where they lived. The Roman Catholic Church planted a cross on a hill to mark 100 years of Christianity in Ukerewe Island. This was done in 1995.
There are many historical villages like Namagondo Village where the engineer Tonelo lived. The buildings area now part of a primary school.

This is found in Kagunguli Village. In the church graveyard is found a cemetery of the author Anicet Kitereza who wrote the history of Ukerewe. His books are used in the University of Dar es Salaam nowadays. Meet people of Ukerewe who lived with him.

This is a pine forest plantation. In Rubya you swim in Lake Victoria. There is a very beautiful natural beach with white sand. Visit people’s activities where lumbering, agriculture and fishing are taking place. Camping is possible and facilitated. There is also a rest house.

UKARA Island where you will explore the DANCING STONE. This is a huge stone that dances under commands of an old man. Beautiful and pleasing songs lead to the dancing of this world wide wondering stone. The origin of this stone is a legend where two brothers had a conflict – one ran found a cave, he jumped onto the stone and entered the cave and did not come out again. The other fellow ran back to the village and informed the family members about their conflict and the disappearance of his brother. When the family members and their friends went to witness they found he left his foot prints on the stone. They advised him to sing pleasing and beautiful songs so that he might come out but the response was the dancing of the stone. He is believed to be in the stone to date and when the old man sings the stone still dances.


The Kuchala View Point etc.


In the far West of Ukerewe there are wonderful caves under huge rocks. People esp. of the Pentecostal assemblies of God members meditate in this caves for up to seven days without food. It is a lonely quiet place that is known to very few people, even the natives. Here there are a variety of birds, occasional hippos and small monkeys.

©D. Shayo 2009

Ukerewe Map

Uk Map
©Mr. Kaswa


Ukerewe is a district located in Lake Victoria, Mwanza Region, and north of Tanzania. The district comprises more that thirty Islands. The biggest Island is called Ukerewe. Some of the other islands are Ukara, Bwiro, Kweru, Irugwa, Sizu, Kamasi, Gana, etc., which are permanently inhabited and equipped with necessary facilities like schools and dispensaries.
You are welcome to enjoy the hospitality of the people of Ukerewe, and the island’s culture and nature, greenish vegetation everywhere, being surrounded by the blue glittering waters of the famous Lake Victoria which is the second among the biggest lakes in the world. Discover the island with the natives of Ukerewe.

Learn the history of Ukerewe Island if it is man made or a natural island from the beginning. Learn why the island is named Ukerewe. This is very interesting to hear and learn about.

Get to know how the people of Ukerewe got their informal education. Learn about the administration system of the clan of Wakerewe who speak “Kikerewe” language. The way the chiefs came into power. The way the Kerewe people conducted their marriages.

Learn which the respectful animal to the Kerewe people is.

Ukerewe Island has also wild life animals like monkeys, hippos, lizards, salamanders, birds and fishes.