for the village in the Ruvuma Region
Ruvuma Region
Ruvuma is a region in Tanzania. It is named after the Ruvuma River which forms most of its southern boundary with Mozambique. It is also bordered to the North by the Morogoro Region, to the Northeast by the Lindi Region, to the East by the Mtwara Region and to the Northwest by the Iringa Region. ...

 see Tabora, Ruvuma

Tabora is the capital city of Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

's Tabora Region
Tabora Region
Tabora Region is one of the regions of Tanzania. Its capital is Tabora town. Tabora region is famous for its distinguishable honey and timber activities....

 with a population of 127,880 (2002 census). Tabora region is one of the largest geographical regions of Tanzania.


Tabora was founded by Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 traders in the 1850s (known then as Kazeh) and became a centre of the slave trade. In 1871 it was devastated by the forces of the Wanyamwezi ruler Mirambo
Mtyela Kasanda, better known as Mirambo , was a Nyamwezi warlord, from 1860 to 1884. Mirambo started out as a trader, and owned trade caravans traveling from the Great Lakes region in western Tanzania to the coast, mostly dealing with ivory and slaves...

. Although the German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

 protectorate was proclaimed over the region in 1885, as late as 1891 travellers reported it to be a lawless town and the German colonial administration did not gain control of it until later that year. As a major station on the Central Line
Central Line (Tanzania)
The Central Line is the most important railway line in Tanzania apart from TAZARA. It runs west from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika via Dodoma...

 it became the most important administrative centre of central German East Africa.

During the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War I)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions which started in German East Africa and ultimately affected portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign was effectively ended in November 1917...

 of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 colonial armed forces of the Belgian Congo ('Force Publique') under the command of General Charles Tombeur
Charles Tombeur
Charles Tombeur was a Belgian general who commanded the Force Publique in the Belgian Congo during the First World War. He captured Tabora after some heavy fighting....

 captured the city on 19 September 1916 after some heavy fighting. The Arab name of the town was restored after 1919.

Of a more recent character is a noteworthy visit by John Legend
John Legend
John Roger Stephens , better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer, musician, and actor. He is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.Prior to the release of his debut album, Stephens' career...

 in August 2008 to Tabora and the Millennium Development program run by the UNDP close to Tabora.

Socio-economic situation

Tabora and its people mainly rely on agricultural activities either as sustenance farmers or as small-scale tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 farmers. Tabora also hosts a ballast
Track ballast
Track ballast forms the trackbed upon which railway sleepers or railroad ties are laid. It is packed between, below, and around the ties. It is used to facilitate drainage of water, to distribute the load from the railroad ties, and also to keep down vegetation that might interfere with the track...


Food and culture

Tabora's streets are lined with century-old mango trees planted by Omani traders. Tabora is known as the fruit capital of Western Tanzania, and markets are often filled with local produce.

Tabora has many small local restaurants offering typical Tanzania restaurant food like Ugali (a thick maize porridge), chips or rice with either beans, beef or chicken. For breakfast or lunch there is usually chipsi-mayai (chips and egg) which is basically a couple of eggs fried together with some chips. Although the food is bland, it is usually served with Tanzanian chili sauce which gives the meal some character.

A local specialty is pumpkin in peanut butter sauce. This goes with the rice pilau served widely throughout the region.

For snacks there are local sambusa (samosa), some goat meat on a stick or some freshly roasted corn of the cob, all widely available in Tabora. There is a choice of fruit in the large regional market of Tabora, including pineapple, watermelon or bananas.


Tabora does not have many tourist attractions. It is well off the beaten track, with few tourists. Of note is Fort Boma, erected at the end of the 19th century by the Germans and still in use by the military of Tanzania. Another colonial remnant is the railway station.

15 kilometres south-west of Tabora is Kwihara, formerly known as Kazeh and an important town in the slave trade until the Germans started developing Tabora. Kazeh's best-known visitors were David Livingstone
David Livingstone
David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr...

 and Sir Henry Morton Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, GCB, born John Rowlands , was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly uttered the now-famous greeting, "Dr...

, who were highly impressed by the town of Kazeh. There is a small museum dedicated to Dr. Livingstone, the Livingstone Museum, with entry fee of 2,000 Tanzanian shillings.

Another day trip from Tabora is Igombe Dam, a local forest reserve.

Tabora's best tourist attraction is the house of William H. Macy who spent the early years of his childhood in Tabora. His house, built in the style of the early German imperialists who colonized the area, has been preserved along with numerous other possessions of the Macy family.


Tabora is the administrative capital of Tabora Region. In the evening there are various options including Club Bubbles and Club Royal. Located a mere 1 km apart, this region of the city remains active until church services begin on Sunday mornings.


Dirt roads connect Tabora to the capital Dodoma
Dodoma , officially Dodoma Urban District, population 324,347 , is the national capital of Tanzania, and the capital of the Dodoma region. In 1973, plans were made to move the capital to Dodoma...

 and to Mwanza in the north. Salt flats in the west prevent a direct road from connecting to Kigoma.

Tabora is a junction on the Central railway line
Central Line (Tanzania)
The Central Line is the most important railway line in Tanzania apart from TAZARA. It runs west from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika via Dodoma...

 which goes west to Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake...

 and north to the port of Mwanza
Mwanza is a mid-sized port city on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in northwestern Tanzania. With an urban population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan population of 2 million, it is Tanzania's second largest city, following Dar es Salaam and ahead of other major Tanzanian cities of Arusha,...

 on Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake....

. Trains leave three times a week in any direction, making Tabora a perfect stopover.

Tabora also has its own airport, with daily flights to Kigoma and from there to Dar Es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam , formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: ...


Tabora is small enough to walk from one side of town to the other. Bicycle taxis, motorbike taxis and regular taxis are available.

External links

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