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Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

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Johannesburg, South...
posts: 5
Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

Hi I will be travelling from serengetti to bwindi in Uganda and will spend some time in mwanza.please can u advise on the best route to use from mwanza onward.I will be driving my Toyota land cruiser and towing a trailer.does the ferry run to bukoba and if so how do I book space?what costs are expected?do ferris cross the lake to any other destination from which it would be easier to get to bwindi?

13 replies to this topic
Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
posts: 11,724
reviews: 6
1. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

Three times a week from Mwanza to Bukoba. I would suggest that you look on www.mwanza-guide.com and click on How to Get There and it will have all the information you need, including telephone numbers. You can also find things to do and see, and places to stay while you are in Mwanza on this guide.

At one time there were other ferries plying Lake Victoria to other destinations I think one of the ferries sank quite a few years ago and I don't think they replaced the ferry yet. Do take safety precautions and if they overload the ferry, get off. There has been a rash of ferries sinking in Tz in recent months and some have been due to overloading the ferry.

You can drive from Mwanza to Bukoba and onward. I've been told that the road is good, but I've not been on it.

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 5
2. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

Thanks for the info.iwill explore the driving option as well and post results

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
posts: 1,678
reviews: 1
3. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

I could be wrong, but I don't think the ferry takes vehicles, so do ask that question as you get more information.

Wales
posts: 11
reviews: 26
4. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

I have travelled on the ferry and to my recollection it does not take vehicles. The road route is a lot better now, but there are still significant stretches of dirt road. It's 570 km and would take 2 days in good weather. Would not try in the rainy season..

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 4
reviews: 4
5. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

We did it in the opposite direction about a month ago. In first class it's a reasonably comfortable way to travel: you have a cabin for yourself (2 persons per cabin in bunk beds) with a small sink to brush your teeth etc. Cabin and beds are actually very clean, and first class is on a separate part of the ship than the 3rd class so there's not much noise from other people. Earplugs are recommended though because the engines of the ship make a lot of noise. There's a good lock on the door so you feel safe as well, and you get "private" safety jackets in the cabins. Toilets are shared but they're OK.

But the reason you really should do it is just because it's... fun! In the evening you see all the stuff getting loaded on board (the ship was *full* of bananas in the Bukoba-Mwanza direction), and the ride on this historical ship will take you back many decades ago, it feels as if time has stood still on board.

And yes, there has been a terrible accident in the past (MV Bukoba) but apparently it was the only accident in 100 years of travelling over the lake or so, so you shouldn't really worry about safety.

There are no waves on the lake so there's no chance of sea-sickness. The ship does not take cars, only people and (in our case) a lot of bananas.

We got a local company to get the 1st class tickets in advance, because they may sell out. (We used Kiroyera tours, not the most professional company in our opinion, but they were reliable enough for getting the tickets and doing some local Bukoba/Mwanza activities).

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 5
6. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

Hi, thanks for the info on the ferry.do you know if the ferry loads vehicles..?

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 2
7. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

So apparently the ferry is not a ferry if it does not take vehicles ! What about a motorbike ?

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 2
8. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

So apparently the ferry is not a ferry if it does not take vehicles ! What about a motorbike ?

Philadelphia...
posts: 48
reviews: 7
9. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

We took the ferry a month or two ago and I remember seeing a vehicle on board near the bananas. I'm not sure if this was a special exception or what, but apparently it's possible...just not all that common.

You might check with Kiroyera Tours in Bukoba with your question about vehicles, they might know more about what is possible. They are pretty responsive.

Edited: 3:23 pm, February 07, 2013
Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
posts: 11,724
reviews: 6
10. Re: Ferry out of mwanza to bukoba

Philippe, a ferry is a vessel which carries passengers, sometimes they will carry cargo and vehicles; but it is not a requirement for a ferry to carry vehicles. One of the major causes of ferry accidents in that area of the world is overloaded ferries. Often cargo and vehicles are the cause of overloading.

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