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 road forks, turn left/west. After 29km’s you reach NAMANAYERE. From Namanyere, keep straight (north west). After 56km’s you reach KATONGOLO. 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.
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 the traffic circle at Namanyere. Turn right at the traffic circle. Follow the instructions above from Namanyere.
- By Bus: If you are traveling from the south you would travel by bus from MBEYA to SUMBAWANGA (daily). There are bus services with Sumry Bus from SUMBAWANGA to KIRANDO (every day except for a Sunday). You would 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).
From the north there are daily buses from MPANDA to CHALA / NAMANYERE and then from NAMANYERE to KIRANDO.
- Fly to Sumbawanga & road transfer: There are flights with AURIC AIR, (Auric Air Services), every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from DAR ES SALAAM. With prior notice, we will arrange a road transfer, which is about 3 hours by car. Auric Air will also arrange inducement flights and Private Charters directly to Kipili.
- Charter flight to Kipili: There are several companies, (including Auric above,), who will do private charters right here to Kipili. We will collect you from the strip (10 minutes by car).
- The MV Liemba: The historic MV Liemba, 100 years old and still churning up the water. She leaves KIGOMA on the north of Lake Tanganyika, every other Wednesday. She sails right by, in front of the Lodge on Thursday evenings and stops in the bay of KIPILI. With prior notice, please contact us and we will arrange collection from the Liemba by boat to Lake Shore. 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.
What to pack?
This is by no means an extensive list, but hopefully it will jog your memory:
- swimming costume
- rain jacket (between November and March – see seasons below)
- 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
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.
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!