Bukoba – History, Ports, Economy, Airport, Climate and More

Bukoba – History, Ports, Economy, Airport, Climate and More

The city of Bukoba has a population of 128,796 based on the 2012 census and is located on the shores line of Lake Victoria to the northwest of Tanzania’s United Republic. It is Kagera‘s regional capital and the Bukoba Urban District administrative seat. Bukoba Airport and the standard ferry connection to and from Mwanza, and roads merging up to Rakai District in Uganda make the city accessible by car. Meanwhile, plans are underway for a standard gauge railway construction to fulfill Uganda’s high ambitions. 

History of Bukoba

In the aftermath of the deadly battles of Tanga and Jassin, the Entente won the Battle of Bukoba, its first victory in German East Africa.   The British goal was to destroy the wireless station in Bukoba. Because Bukoba lies on the shore of Lake Victoria, the British decided that the raid should take the form of an amphibious assault. 

The Battle of Bukoba

On the 21st of June 1915, the British launched the raid from Kisumu in British East Africa. The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 25th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, or the 25th ‘Frontiersmen,’ were among the units participating in the raid. As an irregular skirmish force, it was formed by Colonel Daniel Patrick Driscoll in response to his acquired knowledge during the Second Boer War and was primarily constructed from his peacetime paramilitary group, the Legion of Frontiersmen. Driscoll recruited several big-game hunters to his force, including 64-year-old Veteran Frederick Selous, who died in battle at the age of 65.

On reaching their objective at Bukoba, the attackers accidentally landed in a large swamp and were pinned down by machine guns and rifle fire from the German Army. Finally, the British forces managed to escape the swamp but were halted by German snipers. Despite heavy fighting in the town for another two days, casualties were low on both sides. In the end, the Frontiersmen captured the city on the 23rd of June. As a symbol of victory, Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell, a unit member, climbed the flagpole and removed the German Imperial Ensign.


The German Bukoba fort and the wireless station were incinerated entirely, with thirty-two thousand rounds of ammunition and hundreds of rifles apprehended. With General Stewart’s permission, the Frontiermen were given access to loot the town in conformity to their ”irregular unit” code. All hell broke loose as the 25th Frontiermen raped, robbed, and burnt most of the city with such impunity that the events of that day were nicknamed the ”Sack of Bukoba. In shame and embarrassment, a high Commander denied the claim of looting by the Frontiermen.

The destruction of the wireless station during the raid backfired because it took away the ability of the British to intercept German transmissions.  Henced Bukoba was deserted.

Wilbur Dartnell

After the just-ended battle in Bukoba, the 25th Frontiermen were ordered to guard the Uganda Railway between Nairobi and Mombasa, which was under consistent attack by the heavy German artillery. During this period of loss of lives of noblemen and other soldiers, Wilbur Dartnell was awarded the Victoria Cross for a battle near Maktau on the 3rd of September 1915.

On the 3rd of September 1915, near Maktau, Kenya, the enemy was so strong and vigorous during a mounted infantry engagement that it was difficult to get the badly wounded soldiers out. Lieutenant Dartnell, being subjected to a leg wound and seeing his follow comrades being slaughtered and knowing that the injured stood no chance of survival, insisted on being left behind to help save as many lives as he could. He fought effortlessly and died in his heroic attempts.


Bukoba City

Located on the southwestern shores of Lake Victoria, Bukoba sits just one degree south of the Equator.

In the United Republic of Tanzania, you can find Bukoba city at Lake Victoria’s South Western shores line in the northwestern region. The biggest town in Kagera also doubles as the regional capital standing as the gateway to the area.

Ports in Bukoba

As it stands, Bukoba is Tanzania’s second-largest port on Lake Victoria, followed by Mwanza.


The National Electric Utility Company called TANESCO supplies electricity to Bukoba. 

Economy of Bukoba

At the Bukoba Central Business District, you can find Kagera’s Regional Commissioner’s residency and head officer, Col. Fabian Massawe.

The city is smooth, flat, and compact, forming a bowl as hills surround it. A bus stop, an airport, and a ferry that transport travelers from Bukoba to Mwanza on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during nighttime hours through Kemondo Bay. The ferry transport service was suspended in 2014 after the ferry broke down beyond repair. 


The Airport in Bukoba
The Airport in Bukoba

Bukoba Airport

The Bukoba airport is situated southeast of the city. You can check the roadside signpost on Sokoine Road.

Air Auric is air-bound two to three times a day to Mwanza. With the expectations of more Flights in 2010, the Airport expansion was on the way following the Air Terminal review capacity growth milestone, which happens every quarter of a year. Air Tanzania (ATCL) also has programmed flights to Bukoba within the week, connecting flights from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam.

Transport in Bukoba


The bus station opens every day from 7 am in Kampala, with the bus going to Bukoba leaving at 11 am from Kampala daily. The town boasts of an outstanding market center, a beautiful white sandy beach, a swimming pool, a tennis court at the port, and three banks, two of which you can use a VISA card at the ATM center.

Like any other district council in the region, Bukoba possesses municipal directors and local government officials due to its municipal Council status.


In the Tanzanian Premier League, the football club Kagera Sugar represents Bukoba. Also, Bukoba is home to numerous charity Organizations such as Jambo Bukoba and SHEAR in Africa. Both of whose objectives are based on education.

On Jamhuri road, You can find the Kaitaba Stadium located in the southeast of Bukoba.


Bukoba is a tropical monsoon climate region, although it is milder than most climates with the same classification due to its altitude.  During the two rainy seasons, it can get severely cold, especially at night, but never as deadly as the winter season in Europe.

Bukoba Climate Data
Bukoba Climate Data

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