Kilwa Island Cultural Tourism

Welcome to Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara ruins — a UNESCO World Heritage sites — which was once the East Africa trading city port linking Mwanamutapa Kingdom (Zimbambwe) with the Middle East, Persia, Indonesia and China. The cultural influence of all these communities can be witnessed at Kilwa today.

Kilwa is located 300Km South of Dar es Salaam. The following activities are on offer to our esteemed visitors:

Cultural insight into the Swahili coast culture

* Dhow boat trip around Kilwa Island

* Kilwa historical tour

* Walk around the ruins and Coast people’s settlements while enjoying a cool breeze from the Indian Ocean.

* Traditional fishing experience

* Hippo pool tour

* Bird watching

* Canoeing safari

* Mangrove forest tour

* Beach experience

* Salt farm tour



Half-day tour options

Option 1

On the Island of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara visitors can explore the ancient palaces, mosques, sultan’s burial sites and forts ruins. The ruins depict German, Indian, English and Arabic architecture, the slave market, slave prison and the loading bay for slaves. On a half day, visitors can proceed to Old port, a slaves hanging tree, salt farm and hippo pool.

Option 2

Visitors can opt to explore the area using local canoe where traditional fishing can be practiced and get magnificent view of Kilwa ruins from the ocean. While canoeing near the Mangrove forest try to explore water birds, kingfishers and many other bird species found in the area. Proceed to salt farm and learn how locals harvest salt from the Indian Ocean water. After your half day tour, relax and take a delicious local lunch with locals. Remember, this is a home of sea foods.

Full-day tour

You will visit the ruins and the local fishing village where you will freely interact with local people and then proceed to the hippo pool for watching hippos and birds. Canoe down the Indian Ocean to get a nice view for the Kilwa Island decorated by mangroves, coconut, palm trees and the ruins that will take your memories back to explorer’s time. Learn local ways of timing and locating fish do the actual local fishing and try to catch a fish that will be prepared for your lunch or dinner. You are on the border of the Indian Ocean, take part of your time to enjoy the breeze on the fine white sand beach

Multiple-day tour

Kilwa can be explored for a number of ways. There are diverse activities that can take up to 7 well planned days or more. A visit to Kilwa can be combined with safari to Tanzania. Local guides of Kilwa and tour operators can help visitors to craft itineraries that combine Kilwa with Selous Game Reserve, Uluguru Mountains, various Marine Parks of Indian Ocean, Mikumi National Park and the rest of other popular attractions found in southern Tanzania.


Getting there

Kilwa Island Cultural Tourism Enterprise is located in Lindi region 300 km south of Dar es Salaam. One can board daily buses leaving Dar es Salaam (Mbagala Rangi Tatu) to Kilwa Masoko. The travel takes 4 to 5 hours.

Flight options are available by local charters that can take you from Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Dar es salaam and Arusha. You can also access Kilwa by boat from Mafia and by road from Selous Game Reserve via Liwale route or Kibiti road.

For further information contact:
Tanzania Tourist Board or Kilwa Island Tourist Information Office
Tel: + 255 (0) 715 463 029
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

Tanzania Cultural Tourism Programme
Museum Buildings, Boma Road
P . O . Box 2348
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: + 255 27 205 0025
Cell: + 255 786 703 010 / 713 230 134
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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