Incredible Facilities, in Amazing Surroundings-The BEST way to see Lake Tanganyika


Where are We?


Lake Shore Lodge is in South Western Tanzania, in the Rukwa Region, near a tiny little village called KIPILI.

Our GPS co-ordinates are:  S 07.26.056, E 030.35.448.


How to get here?


    • By road:  From SUMBAWANGA, drive north 71km’s to CHALA.  At Chala, the new-nearly tar road – veers, left/west, (you will se our sign for guidance).  From Chala, after 29km’s you reach NAMANAYERE.  (A note of caution – as of APRIL 2017, THERE ARE EXTENSIVE ROADWORKS AROUND NAMANYERE AND IT RELATIVELY EASY TO GET LOST AROUND THIS POINT.  IF IN DOUBT, PULL OUT THE GPS OR ASK A FRIENDLY SOUL TO POINT YOU TO THE TRAFFIC CIRCLE OR “KEEPIE LEFTIE” SHOWING THE ROAD TO KATONGOLO/KIRANDO.  From Namanyere, keep straight (north west).  After 56km’s you reach KATONGOLO.  There is a small fork in the road here, (you will see our sign for guidance).  Turn left/west and drive 6 km’s into KIPILI village.  Drive through Kipili and turn right at our sign board.  Drive up and over the hill.  After 1,3 km’s you will see our gate.  The road from Sumbawanga to Chala to Namanyere, is being tarred and is improving daily!
      If you are driving from the north, from MPANDA, head south & after 38km’s you reach SITALIKE (the northern boundary of Katavi National Park).  Keep heading south, through Katavi.  You will exit the park after 50km’s.  Once you leave the park after another 31km’s you reach PALAMAWE.  Here turn right/west towards NAMANYERE.  After 22km’s you reach Namanyere.  The same rules apply here as above.  You will need to turn RIGHT off the new tar road at Namanyere, but as yet it is not signposted so please be careful not to continue straight..  Follow the instructions above from Namanyere.  Most of this road now is brand new tarmac, so enjoy it!


    • By Bus:  If you are traveling from the south of Tanzania, you would travel by bus from MBEYA to SUMBAWANGA (daily).  There are bus services from several bus Company’s from MBEYA TO SUMBAWANGA, daily.  Making bookings online or in advance is futile, so the only thing to do is to arrive at the Mbeya bus Station and make the booking for the next day.    Once in Sumbawanga, (which is the centre of the Universe), once again, get to the Bus Station and make a booking on a bus to KIRANDO.  There are a handful of companies that will be only to happy to bring you down the hill.  After departing from SUMBAWANGA, after about 3-4 hours, depending on the driver and the number of stops for passengers and punctures, you will need to get off in a small village called KATANGOLO, which is just before Kirando.  Once in Katongolo either phone us on +255 684 540 792 / +255 783 993 166 for collection (advance notice is appreciated please) or rent a “piki-piki” (a local motorbike) to bring you here.  This last bit is just over 7 km’s and will cost around Tsh 7,000/= per person.
      From the north there are daily buses from MPANDA to CHALA / NAMANYERE and then from NAMANYERE to KIRANDO.


    • Fly from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya & road transfer:  Fastjet flies twice daily from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya.  Air Tanzania now also flies from Dar to Mbeya, on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. You are welcome to book directly using either company links here, if you need any further assistance, please contact us directly and we can assist you with logistics.  With prior notice, we will arrange a road transfer, which is about 7 hours by car.


    • Charter flights from Dar es Salaam to Kipili:  Between June and December, we now offer Flying Safaris to Lake Tanganyika.  This is a 7-night package, based from Lake Shore, which incorporates a day fly-in/fly-out to Mahale Mountains National Park and a day fly-in/fly-out trip to Katavi National Park.    The plane at your service is a Cessna 210, which can take 4 passengers only, so early bookings are essential.  The package runs from Friday to Friday, or Saturday to Saturday.  See our Air Safari page, or contact us directly for more details.


  • The MV Liemba:  The wonderful,& historic MV Liemba, 100 years old and still churning up the water.  She leaves KIGOMA on the north of Lake Tanganyika, whenever she feels like it, but always on a  Wednesday.  If she sails, she usually arrives in Kipili around 22:00 on Thursday evenings and stops at the new port of KIPILI.  With prior notice, please contact us and we will arrange collection from the Liemba by vehicle to Lake Shore, it is only 2 km’s away.  The Liemba then continues southwards to MPULUNGU in Zambia and then turns around and returns to KIPILI on a Saturday or Sunday depending on the amount of cargo that is loaded and unloaded along the way.  A note on this: Sadly, at present, for some reason, currently her sailings are very erratic and impossible to predict. There is no machine available to man, that can help with this prediction.  Try calling Winton on +255 754236447 or +255 784236447 and with any luck his crystal ball will be working!


What to pack?


This is by no means an extensive list, but hopefully it will jog your memory:


  • sunscreen
  • swimming costume
  • hat
  • rain jacket (between November and March – see seasons below)
  • torch
  • good books – we have a small library and invite book-swapping too
  • mosquito repellent
  • you would be nuts to come here without a camera


Climate and Water Temperatures


We are fortunate to have been asked to curate a fancy weather station, from the Mac Arthur Foundation, NY, which was installed in April 2017.  To see what the weather is doing here, feel free to check out our current conditions here:  Kipili Weather Station

There are no real distinct seasons here temperature-wise.  The only variation in weather, is WETHER, it rains or not.  The rainy season generally starts in November and it rains up until March / April.  The rains are usually electrical storms, which brew for about an hour (spectacular to witness), then it rains for about 2 hours and then it clears up and things look beautiful, clean and fresh.


Year round temperatures outside vary between 24 -32 Celcius.  There is often a gentle breeze off the Lake, which regulates temperatures wonderfully, especially in the shade.


Late evenings, the temperatures might get down to a “very chilly” 22-24 Celcius, so bring a light jacket for dinners on the beach!


What fish do you see?


Lake Tanganyika has 280 (and counting), species of Cichlids.  These are the colourful little fellas, which have adorned fish tanks for decades.  They are spectacular to observe when snorkelling and diving.  They are lively, colourful and amazingly diverse.  To find out more about these beautiful fish, visit Cichlid Press to find out more and order amazing books from the most learned man on Lake Tanganyika, Ad Konings.


We also get bigger critters, like the Tanganyika Perch (Lates Angustifrons), who is the cousin of the Nile Perch (Lates Niloticus), and can get to 100kg and over 200 cm in length.  Bring bigger tackle!


Lake Shore Reviews

Wanna see the CHIMPS??

Lake Shore has a NEW itinerary to link with Mahale National Park.

Mahale is famous for the habituated CHIMPANZEE population. It is the trip of a lifetime.

Our New boat, LAKE SHORE WANDERER, makes this possible.

Please contact us to find out more and make a booking!

Welcome to Lake Shore: Please click below for details

Click to open a larger map

Hope to see you soon!