Mbeya Region Guide
Mbeya is a city in southwest Tanzania. It sits at the base of soaring Loleza Peak, between the Mbeya and Poroto mountain ranges. On the town’s outskirts is Lake Ngozi, a huge crater lake surrounded by dense forest rich in birdlife. Kitulo Plateau National Park, southeast of the city, is known for its colorful wild flowers. Farther south is Matema Beach, a resort town on the shores of the vast, fish-filled.
Geographical Location and Land
Mbeya region borders the Republic of Malawi to the South, Songwe Region to the West, Singida and Tabora Regions to the North and Iringa and Njombe Regions to the East with Kasumulu in Kyela district being the main entrie and exit into the neighbouringcountry of Malawi.
Mbeya Region covers a total area of 35,954 sq. kms, which is 4.1% of the total area of the United Republic of Tanzania excluding sea area of 883,343 sq. km. Out of the Region’s total surface area, 35,201 sq. kms is dry land and 753 sq. kms is covered with water bodies of Lake Nyasa and rivers Kimani,Chimala, Igurusi, Kiwira, Lufilyo, Mmbaka and Zira.
5 Districts of Mbeya region
Mbeya Region Topography
Mbeya region can be classified under the low elevation of the western encompassing Songwe Region and southern Lake Nyasa, the Eastern Rift Valley where the Usangu plains are dominant and areas between these zones there is Rungwe Uporoto highlands. Generally, the altitude ranges between 475m at Lake Nyasa to above 2,000m around Rungwe Peak (2,981m). Mbeya region is divided into three drainage basins namely Rufiji and Lake Nyasa. Mbarali and a small part of Mbeya district are in the Rufiji basin, Rungwe and Kyela districts are in Lake Nyasa basin while Chunya and a big area of Mbeya District are in the Lake Rukwa basin.
Mbeya Region Climate:
The climate of Mbeya region is greatly influenced by physiology and altitude. It is generally tropical with marked seasonal and 14 altitudinal temperature variations and sharply defined dry and rainy seasons. Temperature averages range between 16oC in the highlands and 25oC in the lowland areas.
The Region enjoys abundant and reliable rainfall. Annual rainfall varies from 650 mm in Usangu plains and Chunya to 2600 mm on the Northern shores of Lake Nyasa and in the highlands. The rains normally start in October and go through to May followed by a dry and cold spell between June and September
Mbeya Region Economy:
The economy of Mbeya is based on agriculture, livestock and bee keeping, fishing, commerce and manufacturing. Other economic activities and potentials include mining and tourism. On the basis of current prices,
Mbeya Regional Gross Domestic Product was Tshs 6.76 trillion and per capital income was Tshs. 2,301,974 in year 2016. The Region contributed 7.44% in the national income (GDP) holding a third position national-wide after Dar-es Salaam and Mwanza.
Mbeya ethnic Groups
Infrastructures in Mbeya
Mbeya region is served by Songwe International Airport which is located in Mbeya district at Songwe area. Currently the only carrier which have scheduled flights is Air Tanzania with daily flights to Dar es salaam. There are also other chartered flights to other places such as Ruaha National Park.
TANZAM Highway (T1) which is part of the Great North road (A 104) pass through the region, it connect the region with Njombe region to the East and Songwe region to the West. The B – 345 road connect the region with Malawi to the south from Uyole.Chunya road connect the region with Singida and Tabora to the North-East and North-West respectively.
Mbeya region is bordered by Lake Nyasa to the South East. The lake is used for transport by Mbeya region and the neighboring regions of Njombe, Ruvuma and the country of Malawi. Three ships of which two are cargo ships MV Njombe and MV Ruvuma and one for passengers MV Mbeya II are on final stages of construction and are expected to start operations at the end of 2019.
The TAZARA rail pass through the region and connects which connects it to the Port city of Dar es salaam and Zambia.