For residents and visitors of Mwanza City, in northeast Tanzania, there may not be a place in the city and its neighborhoods which could outmatch Kageye historical village as a tourist destination, an ideal spot for family or group picnics, and a site for educational tours.
After a 15 minutes drive from Mwanza Airport along Igombe and Kayenze road, one reaches Kageye village, situated on a tranquil and scenic beach on Lake Victoria.
On arrival at the village, a visitor will recognize that the main activity in the area is fishing, as many colorful fishing boats are anchored along the beach and sardines are dried on the sand.
However, the main landmark at Kageye is a site which has got a historical story to tell. This is what makes the lakeshore village a must destination for somebody interested in the history of the Arab slave trade and the introduction of Islam and Christian religions in north-west Tanzania in the 1870s.
At that time Kageye was part of the smallest Sukuma tribal chieftaincy. Now it is one of the oldest historical sites in Tanzania. Kageye hosts a monument in memory of innocent Africans who died during the dehumanizing slave trade. It was at Kageye where the slaves captured in Uganda and northwest Tanzania were enchained by the Arabs before embarking on a gruesome journey to slavery bondage through Bagamoyo and Zanzibar.
It is also at Kageye where several white explorers and missionaries who succumbed to death due to the harsh tropical diseases are buried.
The names of the fallen explorers and missionaries are engraved on their tombstones. Slaves, helpers to the explorers, tribal chiefs and members of the chief’s court were also buried at Kageye.
Other attractions are the ruins of the chief’s palace, grain grinding stones and a replica of a tent where the British explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, stayed during his quest for the source of River Nile.
Kageye was developed as an historic site by a Catholic priest, David Clement, whom later handed it over to the government of Tanzania. Unfortunately, it seems that now this rare tourism nugget needs urgent rehabilitation and promotion.