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The Indian Ocean coast seen from Mtwara.
The Indian Ocean coast seen from Mtwara.
Mtwara is located in Tanzania
Coordinates: 10°16′25″S 40°10′58″E / 10.27361°S 40.18278°E / -10.27361; 40.18278
Country  Tanzania
Region Mtwara Region
Population (2012 (est))
 • Total 1,270,854
  World Gazetteer
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Mtwara (Portuguese: Montewara) is the capital city of Mtwara Region in southeastern Tanzania. In the 1940s, it was planned and constructed as the export facility for the disastrous Tanganyika groundnut scheme, but was somewhat neglected when the scheme was abandoned in 1951. The city is spread out over a large area planned to accommodate up to 200,000 people. The present population is around 80,000. As part of the development associated with the failed Tanganyika groundnut scheme, Mtwara features a deep-water port that can accommodate ocean-going vessels, and a range of large municipal buildings, including a post office. Recent improvements in the port made it possible for big container ships to berth there.


Mtwara has reasonable transport links considering its remoteness in southern Tanzania. It is linked by paved roads with Dar es Salaam and Lindi to the north and Masasi inland and by partially paved roads to Newala in-land to the west. Beyond Masasi the road is newly paved for some 60 km towards Tunduru and the Unity Bridge which provides a crossing point to Mozambique. The A19 links it with Mbamba Bay on Lake Malawi in the west. It features an airport with a paved runway that can accommodate medium size passenger jets. Precision Air runs a daily morning flight between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam and Air Tanzania offers a flight in the afternoon. The flight time is around an hour. Facilities for landing do not allow for planes to use the airport when it is hidden in mist. Mtwara serves as the access point for a small but growing tourism industry based in nearby Mikindani. New roads of a good standard were being built in 2013 within the city. Most of the roads have never been sealed. There is a choice of bus companies which provide daily services between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam. Also regular buses connect with Masasi, the biggest town inland from Mtwara.

Iron ore and coal[edit]

Mtwara might be the port for the export of iron ore[1] and coal. There are plans to build a railway linking Mtwara with Lindi and mines at Mchuchuma and Liganga via Songea.[2]

In 2003, it was proposed to bring coal from the Ludewa and Njombe regions by rail to the port of Mtwara in Southern Tanzania.[3]


There are a number of clubs and bars in Mtwara, playing a range of music from bongo flava to western pop.


Mtwara is the hometown of Bandari F.C.. Large production of cashewnut in mtwara region (CDJKL) changed to the appellation of W180-200 in 1998 and NDANDA F. C.

Sister and twin cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iron & Steel". National Development Corporation. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Tazara hopes rise on investment plan". Railway Gazette. 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  3. ^ RailwaysAfrica

Coordinates: 10°16′25″S 40°10′58″E / 10.27361°S 40.18278°E / -10.27361; 40.18278