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Ville de Kalemie
Motto: Build our Nation, Spirit of Patriotism
Ville de Kalemie is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ville de Kalemie
Location in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Country Democratic Republic of the Congo
Province Katanga
Population (2012)
 • Total 146,974
Time zone Central Africa Time (UTC+2)
National language Swahili

Kalemie, formerly Albertville or Albertstad, is a town on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The town is next to the outflow of the Lukuga River from Lake Tanganyika to the Lualaba River. Kalemie's twin town is Steinheim in Germany.


  • History 1
  • Climate 2
  • Economy 3
    • Airport 3.1
      • Airlines and destinations 3.1.1
    • Mining 3.2
    • Transport 3.3
      • Rail 3.3.1
      • Water 3.3.2
  • Language(s) 4
  • Sports 5
  • Kalemie Port 6
  • Town partnerships 7
  • 2005 earthquake 8
  • References 9


The military post of Albertville was founded on 30 December 1891 by Captain Jacques of the Congo Free State. It was located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the Lukuga River. Sergeant Alexis Vrithoff was killed on 5 April 1892 when defending Albertville against an attack by Arab slavers. The station was besieged by the Arabs based at Kataki from 16 August 1892 until 1 January 1893. After the Arabs left the territory, the original Albertville was gradually abandoned, and the name became attached to the military post of M'Toa to the north of the Lukuga, the site of present-day Kalemie.[1]

In 1914 Albertville was the base for the Belgian forces in the East African campaign. The railway reached Albertville in 1915, and in 1916 the port was constructed and the coalworks at Greinerville opened. At the end of 1940 a South African military base was established at Albertville, later British, to manage troops in Kenya and Abyssinia.[1]

Albertville was attacked by mercenaries under Major Mike Hoare during operations against the Simba Rebellion in August 1964.[2] In 1971, as a result of Zairianization, Albertville changed its name to Kalemie. The Town also hosts the major University of Kalemie, which maintains a library.


Kalemie has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen: As).

Climate data for Kalemie
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 122


Kalemie serves as an important Town in the Katanga province, Manufactures include Cement, food products, textiles.


Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation[4] Beni, Bunia, Bukavu, Goma, Kinshasa-N'djili, Kongolo, Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi


The Town consequently serves as a distribution centre for such minerals as copper, cobalt, zinc, tin, and coal.



Kalemie lies at the centre of railway lines to Nyunzu, Kindu, Kabalo and Lubumbashi. The construction of a railway Kalemie to Bukavu through the town of Baraka to open up the Kivu region was proposed.


Kalemie lies at the centre of water lines to Kigoma, Tanzania, Mpulungu, Zambia, Uvira, DRC and Bujumbura, Burundi.


Although French is the official language, the main in Kalemie is a dialect of Kiswahili found in Tanzania. This dialect is spoken along the east side of Congo (including the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga and Oriental, Western Kasai and Eastern Kasai) and almost all the way across to the Katangan border with Angola is called Kingwana.[5]


Lubumbashi is home to football clubs Tanganyika, FC Etoile Jaune (Yellow Stars) and many more.

Kalemie Port

The port at Kalemie was built to connect the Great Lakes rail line (from the Kabalo junction on the Lualaba River) to the Tanzanian lake port and railhead at Kigoma, from where the Tanzanian Central Railway Line runs to the seaport of Dar es Salaam. The port was built with a 130 m wharf and 3 mobile cranes, giving it a capacity of 500 tonnes per day with two shifts. Currently, the cranes are not functional, and vessels cannot reach the wharf due to silting up of the lake next to it. The buildings of the port also require rehabilitation.[6] Moreover, the railway line for 100 km west of Kalemie is 'very degraded' and not fully operational.

Kalemie Port is also used by boat services to the northern Lake Tanganyika ports of Kalundu-Uvira and Bujumbura in Burundi, and southwards to Moba and Mpulungu in Zambia.

Kalemie Port is operated by the railway company SNCC which also operates the railways in DR Congo (except for the Matadi-Kinshasa line) as well as boat services on the eastern waterways in the country.

Town partnerships

Kalemie maintains partnership links with the following places:

2005 earthquake

The Lake Tanganyika earthquake struck on December 5, 2005. The epicentre was approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) below the surface of Lake Tanganyika, some 55 km south-east of Kalemie. At least dozens of houses were destroyed.[8]


  1. ^ a b Auzias & Labourdette 2006, p. 211.
  2. ^ S.J.G. Clarke, 'The Congo Mercenary: A History and Analysis,' South African Institute of International Affairs, Johannesburg, 1968, p.43-45
  3. ^ "Climate:Kalemie". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation timetable (August 2013)
  5. ^
  6. ^ UNJLC
  7. ^
  8. ^ BBC news website.


  • Auzias, Dominique; Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2006). Congo: république démocratique. Petit Futé. p. 211.  

External links

  • "Villes de RD Congo - Kalemie" (in French).  
  • Web site of Kalemie / Bukavu / Kalima area

  • Accident history for FMI at Aviation Safety Network
  • Airport information for FZRF at Great Circle Mapper.
  • Airport information for FZRF at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
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