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CAPRI POINT PENINSULA

 
 

This is a walking tour of 2-3 hours.

The tour is started from Anglican St. Nicholas Cathedral  next to the Main Post Office. The church is open for a possible moment of silence and prayer. [On Sundays a prayer service in English is held at 09:00 am]. The smaller old church built in the English style is now used as a dispensary. 

At the nearby lake are  the busy Kamanga Ferry Stations. During a half hour journey the ferry boats of two companies take passengers and cars across Mwanza Gulf to Kamanga. First one  passes near Capri Point Penisula with its new luxury residences of the rich of Mwanza. The ferry boats  leave about  every hour. At Kamanga at the other side of the bay one could walk a bit and come back with the other ferry. Tourists can ask to climb up to the captain’s steering cabin and get a wide view over  Lake Victoria and the city of Mwanza.

Between the two ferry stations to the north next to the ferry landing in the morning there is a busy fish, vegetable and fruit Open Air Market. To the south of the ferry station is the famous Bismarck Rock, the main logo of Mwanza City. It is named after the German Chancellor (1815-1898) under whom the town of Mwanza was started as an administration center of German East Africa in the 1890s.

Following along the lake shore south and passing well kept lawns one reaches a Chinese Restaurant built partly in African style: the bar is a large round hall with a tree as its middle pole. It is now managed by Chinese and has a complete Chinese food menu. From the restaurant one has a fine view over the lake side of Mwanza.

On the other side of the road there is the State House of the Tanzanian Government for official  visitors including the President of Tanzania.  Once it was the home of the Indian advocate I.C. Chopra. He gave it as a gift to President Julius Nyerere.

Climbing up the road on the right is the new Victoria Palace Hotel with a superb view of all Mwanza from the top.

Descending now the road is leading back to the lake. On the left is a group of residential houses from the German period  (1892-1916), two of them well preserved, one needing renovation.

On the right side of the road is the beautiful Conference and Training Center of the Bank of Tanzania.

At the lake, we turn to the right.  On the right side along the road we see an old house built of rocks from the time of the British, feared as the “Ghost House”. Next is the office of the Saanane National Park Office with an interesting Museum of the Animals of the Lake Region. There is  an entrance is free.

One can visit Saanane Island by boat in a quarter of an hour. The island presents scenic beauty with many rocks, lake views and picnic places. But there are no animals left except for a few Thomson Gazelles (Impala), unlike the advertisement for this new National Park. They will be brought later.  The entrance fee with 30 US dollars for non Tanzanians  is quite high!  

The next stop will be the beautiful Talapia Hotel with its fine restaurants, bars,  swimming pool and the hotel boat called the “African Queen”, overlooking the lake in the direction of Mwanza to the East and South.

 Passing the Yacht Club one can enter the European Cemetery. At the very beginning on the left are graves from the German period, partly of soldiers with readable tombstones written in German. There are about five. Only one grave of a British officer is still marked.  The Goan Indian Fortes family has imposing gravestones, together with some prominent Tanzanians. The cemetery now belongs to the Anglican Church.

Going back towards  the  city center one passes the new luxury Ryan’s Bay Hotel and then one comes to the Railway Station built by the British in end of the 1920s. The distance to the terminal at Tabora is indicated in big figures on the wall using kilometers as a measure. Iron sleepers are used as a fence around the station, on them one can read as year of manufacture in Britain “1927”. When entering the station platform at the gate one steps over two sleepers from the German Central Line marked  “HOESCH 1909”.

The end of the walk is a roundabout  with a big Nile Perch from whose mouth a fountain draws the attention of photographers. This is the new logo of Mwanza!  (Fr. George Pelz, 2012)

 

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