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Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, at the end of the little known coast

During your visit to Tanzania, if you want to see the most beautiful places in the country, don't forget to head south to visit Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara.

Songo Mnara

Like the Serengeti national park, the protected zone of Ngorongoro, the mythical Kilimanjaro, Kandoa, Stonetown on Zanzibar or the enormous game reserve of Selous, you will discover during your visit to Tanzania that the little known site of Songo Mnara is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To get here you need to head south from Dar Es Salaam towards the border with Mozambique. Before you get there, following the Indian Ocean coast road, you will arrive in Songo Mnara.

On this little island you can visit beautiful ruins set against a backdrop of blue seas stretching out to the horizon. Few tourists take the time to come here and it is true that Songo Mnara is far away from the usual tourist circuit in Tanzania. But if you can come here it is well worth the visit. There will very few visitors here which will make it all the more enjoyable.

Kilwa Kisiwani Fort

Kilwa Kisiwani

Like neighbouring Songo Mnara, Kilwa Kisiwani is also a small island whose ruins are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Up until 1840 the Kilwa sultan ruled over one of the most important Swahili sultanates. The ruins you will visit date back to this era. You will see several mosques including the great mosque of Kilwa, the ancient prison, the Mkutini palace and the Husuni Kubwa palace. Kilwa Kisiwani is also really worth a visit if you have the time. The visit should be combined with a visit to Songo Mnara.

Like most people who make the effort to visit these little islands, you will not regret the journey.

David Debrincat
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Updated 20 April 2016
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