Katuruka Heritage Site

Lake Victoria

A stop on the Bukoba Tours circuit, this site preserves the oldest-known iron-smelting furnace in east, central and southern Africa (from 500 BC; long before equivalent techniques were known in Europe). While the site itself is essentially just old bricks and some small nuggets, there are interesting shrines to King Rugomora (r AD 1650–75) and Mugasha, the god of storms and water. Your guide will tell you some fascinating legends about them.

A replica of the king’s thatch burial house holds a small archaeological museum.

The trip here is a chance to see deeply rural Tanzania. From Bukoba, take a Maruka-bound dalla-dalla to Katuruka (Tsh1500, 45 minutes). The ticket booth is 200m off the road.