On the southern circuit lies Mtwara region an old historical town rich in Makonde carvings. For a friendly ecosystem Mtwara is perfect for such tours and safari. Mtwara has increased in size rapidly over the last few years due to the oil and gas developments in the area. It is the most southerly Tanzanian town before the Ruvuma River marks the border with Mozambique. Mtwara itself is a rarely visited southern part of the country. There excellent beaches and world class diving in Mnazi Bay Marine Park. This is possibly the best in Tanzania. There is also the historic old town of Mikandani to visit. Mtwara is home to the Makonde tribe who are famous as wood carvers. The Makonde plateau may be visited as a day trip from Mtwara.
Mtwara region is the major Makonde carvings center in the world. Its uniqueness is the presences of sand dune, the highest in eastern Africa with unique vegetation and coastal forests, with a variety of species with different status (rare, endemic, etc.). The giant Ruvuma river estuary, home to crocodiles, hippos, terrapins and fish is another attractive place to visit. The river and riverine ecosystem is potential a site for eco – tourism.
On tourism industry, Mtwara boasts of having two game reserves. These are Msanjesi (44,425 ha) and Lukwika / Lumesule (21,025 ha) both of which are in Nanyumbu district. The region is also blessed with beautiful beaches with pristine, attractive clean water and sand such as Msimbazi, which is one of the finest unspoilt beaches in East Africa.
It also has a marine park at Mnazi bay – Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park has a total area of 650 square kilometers sea.
The region also enjoys huge mangrove forests, with the second largest mangrove forest in Tanzania having a total of 9 species. On fish, the region has more than 400 fish species. This makes the area to be a potential site for commercial and subsistence of fishing. On marine mammals, the region is home to whales and dolphins’ visits to the area are done seasonally.
. Snorkeling & Diving
. Fishing and sailing.
. AfriMak Arts Crafts Group
WHEN TO GO
Best time to visit Mtwara: June- December