Kagera Region is located in the northwestern corner of Tanzania. Bukoba, Kagera Region's capital, is a fast growing town with an attractive waterside setting. Situated on the shore of Lake Victoria, Bukoba lies only 1 degree south of the Equator and is Tanzania's second largest port on the lake. The region neighbors Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and lies across the lake from Kenya. This location makes Kagera an ideal place for business and a perfect stop for tourists traveling between any of these nations and Tanzania. You may arrive in Kagera by air from Mwanza, road from Rwanda or Uganda or by ferry from Mwanza.
The regional commissioner of the Kagera Region is General T. Kiwelu.
Kagera Region is situated in the northwestern corner of Tanzania. The regional capital is Bukoba Town, which is about 1,500 km from Dar es Salaam by road. Kagera Region shares borders with Uganda to the North, Rwanda and Burundi to the West, the Kigoma and Mwanza Regions to the South and Lake Victoria to the East.
Kagera Region lies just South of the equator between 1o00’ and 2o45’ South latitudes. Longitudinally it lies between 30o25’ and 32o40’ East of Greenwich. This includes a large part of the waters of Lake Victoria. Kagera Region covers a total area of 40,838 km². Out of the total area, 28,953 km². is land and 11,885 km². is covered by waters of Lake Victoria, Lakes Ikimba, Burigi, and Ngono and Kagera rivers. Kagera region is Tanzania’s 15th largest region and accounts for approximately 3.2% of the total 883,749 km². land area of Tanzania. Kagera lies at 3,750 feet above Sea level. It has reasonably fertile old soils but over use in some parts of the region has lead to soil exhaustion and a need for the use of fertilizer.
Kagera comprises six administrative districts: Bukoba Urban, Bukoba Rural, Muleba, Karagwe, Ngara and Biharamulo.
Until recently, the Bukuba Rural and Bukoba Urban Districts were combined as the Bukoba District.
Kagera region was formally known as West Lake region. It was renamed Kagera region after the war between Tanzania and Uganda when Idi Amin attempted to annex the region in 1979. The region takes its name from the Kagera River, which flows from Rwanda through northern Tanzania before it penetrates the waters of Lake Victoria, to emerge as the river Nile, the longest river in the World. This makes Kagera River to be a source of the river Nile.
For a period of about five centuries Kagera Region had nine different Kingdoms and a highly hierarchical society. It was during this time that coffee was introduced as a cash crop and bananas were introduced as a staple food. Women of the time were thought to be inferior to men and were treated as virtual slaves. Kings lived in elaborate palaces and were respected as the direct link to god of their kingdoms. The demise of these kingdoms came after Tanzania gained its independence and president Nyerere saw them detrimental to creating National unity. These kingdoms are Kihanja, Karagwe, Kiziba, Misenye, Bugabo, Kyamtwara, Ihangiro, Bukara and Biharamulo. The regimes of these kingdoms were blended into the Germans who colonized Tanganyika in 1890 who are reported to have liked the Haya, the ethnic group of Bukoba and Muleba Districts. Later the British took over from the Germans. Kagera region is considered to be the first area where Lutheran missionaries settled. Roman Catholic and other denominations also now enjoy a large following in the region, which is evidenced by the physical presence of the impressive cathedrals, mosques, jamats and churches found everywhere in the region.
Kagera Region comprises five Administrative Districts: Bukoba, Muleba, Karagwe, Biharamulo and Ngara. It has six Councils, which include Bukoba Town, Bukoba Rural, Karagwe, Muleba, Biharamulo and Ngara. According to the 2003 National Census, the population is at 2,003,888 with an annual growth rate of 3.1%.
Kagera is considered to be one of the loveliest parts of Tanzania given its staggering scenic beauty, variety of nature, friendly inhabitants and strong cultural history. Bukoba is located in the heart of Africa just next to the equator on the Tanzania western shore of Lake Victoria. It is the major commercial center of Kagera Region.
Kagera Region hosts Biharamulo, Burigi, Ibanda and Rumanyika and Orugundu Game Reserves, a National Park situated on Rubondo Island and a wildlife sanctuary based on Saa Nane Island.