Lindi Town – History, Economy, Geography, People and More

Lindi Town – History, Economy, Geography, People and More

Lindi is a coastal town in southern Tanzania and regional capital situated at the endpoint of Lindi Bay, along the Indian Ocean in the country’s southeast. The city is 450km (280 mi) in the south of Dar es Salaam and 105 km (65 mi) in the north of Mtwara, a southernmost town on the coast of Tanzania, and shares a name with the surrounding Lindi Region, among the most prominent regions in the country and most sparsely populated.


Swahili people founded Lindi Town in the 11th century, who traded on the coast with many people around the Indian Ocean as part of the Swahili civilization. There is no record of the prior name for the Swahili town. It was potentially named after the ancestors of the native Mwinyi. During the 17th century, the area was later given a new name by Omani Arab colonialists as Lindi to mean “deep channel”. People from Oman dominated native people and utilized the area to sell and transport slaves and ivory to the world market.

After the Germans’ arrival and later the British rule, the town became an administrative capital for the southern province up to 1952 when the British relocated to Mtwara City for the potential for a favorable harbor compared to Lindi Bay. A decade after independence in 1971 during the Nyerere administration, Lindi Town was made the regional home for Lindi Region. Yet, the next year in 1972 because of the socialism policy, there was the abolition of urban councils replaced with rural development, it negatively affected the town’s economy. By 1978, there was the reintroduction of urban councils.


The primary economic activities of Lindi Town Include fishing, salt production, coconut production, and local government and municipal administration. The town’s population was 78,841 according to the national census of 2012.


The town sits at the mouth of River Lukuledi. Lindi Bay, still has rudimentary port facilities, supporting one or two tiny cargo boats and a passenger boat at a time, and can’t accommodate ocean-bound ships. The region used to be an essential sisal-producing area, especially in Kikwetu, around the Lindi airstrip, 25km north of the town. Around 2012, Lindi was eventually connected to Dar es Salaam by a continuous tarmac road, making accessing the city possible during the rainy season.

View of one of the streets in Lindi town
View of one of the streets in Lindi town

An ancient tarmac road connects Lindi Town to Mtwara City, goes through Mikindani, a historic Swahili community in Mtwara Region. Rondo Forest Reserve, is a crucial site for biodiversity located at Rondo Plateau, situated in the southern area of Lindi Region. a portion of the Coastal Forest mosaic, Rondo Plateau rises sharply above sea level to approximately 885m or 2,9000 ft thus enjoying a unique microclimate.


Lindi Town is split  into 18 administrative wards:

  • Makonde
  • Ndoro
  • Mitandi
  • Mikumbi
  • Mwenge
  • Rahaleo
  • Matopeni
  • Nachingwea
  • Wailes
  • Rasbura
  • Jamhuri
  • Mtanda
  • Msinjahili
  • Ng’apa
  • Mingoyo
  • Tandangongoro
  • Mbanja
  • Chikonji

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