Kalema (Karema) is the first almost-major lakeshore centre south of Mahale Mountains. It's probably what Ujiji once was, back in the days of Livingstone: remote, quiet, calm and oddly captivating, if only for the remoteness and the beauty of its Tanganyika shore. Boys laze around, kids play with palm fronds, fishing boats rest haphazardly on the white sand.
It is a functioning Catholic mission station, originally established in 1885. Parts of the main compound – with brick arches that give it an Italian ambience – were originally a Belgian fort. The church built the following year is still in use, but it feels modern after extensive changes.
There's no reason to go out of your way to detour here and there's little for the traditional tourist, but if you're wanting to hop aboard the MV Liemba or disembark after a Mahale trip, this is as good a spot as any.