Tour snapshot

1 ~ 2 hours
Safari Type
Tourist Attractions
Can be Tailor-made:
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Museum / Monument


A small museum in nearby Kalenga – the former Hehe capital – contains the skull, personal effects and other relics of Chief Mkwawa. It was here that he committed suicide rather than succumb to the German forces. A visit to the nearby historical site including magic tree, tombs a cemetery with the graves of some of Mkwawa’s 62 wives, and the site of part of Kalenga’s old defensive wall (the ruins themselves are now nonexistent).

Kalenga, which is situated along the side-lines of the Great Ruaha River, is one among the historical villages of "Iringa". It it is known for being the residence of the famous Chief Mtwa Mkwawa of the Hehe tribe, who resisted German colonization.  Mkwawa fortified the village with a wall 4 meters high and 5 kilometers in circumference. The town was stormed by a German force in 1894, and the fortifications were destroyed. Mkwawa continued to resist until 1898, when he was finally hunted down by the Germans and committed suicide. His head was cut off and sent to Germany, but eventually returned in 1954; his skull is now on display in a small museum in Kalenga.

Chief Mkwawa was a leader of the Hehe people who ferociously resisted the German colonial conquest between 1891 and 1898 in the southwest highlands of Tanzania. After witnessing the defeat of his army against the Germans, Mkwawa committed suicide rather than surrender or face capture.

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