Kilwa Kisiwani & Songo Mnara

Kilwa Kisiwani & Songo Mnara, photo by Wikimedia Commons
Kilwa Kisiwani & Songo Mnara (photo by Wikimedia Commons)
 

Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara are UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in southeast Tanzania.

Kilwa Kisiwani was once a thriving Arab city-state on an island in the Kilwa Bay, but it has declined over time and today is a set of scenic ruins that cover much of the island.

Songo Mnara, at the northern end of the island, includes the remains of five mosques, a palace complex, and some thirty-three domestic dwellings constructed of coral stones and wood within enclosing walls.

The town of Kilwa Masoko, on the mainland side of Kilway Bay, is the primary travel hub for the area, including arranging tours to the islands.

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Overall Atmosphere: Combination
Combination Atmosphere destinations combine elements of both cultural and natural destinations, where this combination is itself essential to the travel experience. Common examples are Archaeological Sites (where culture is usually experienced outdoors), Scenic Local Markets (where indigenous cultures interact outdoors), Hotsprings and Vineyard Areas (where nature provides the raw materials but humans create the surroundings), and Unique Cultural Landscapes (where humans and nature interact in innovative ways, as in the elaborate rice terracing systems of Asia).

Combination Interests typically fall somewhere in the middle of the three types of primary interests in terms of
(a) how climate-dependent they are
(b) how accessible and physically demanding they are.
Featuring both cultural and natural attractions.
Recommending Sources:
   World Heritage Site
   Lonely Planet

 

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Kinasi Lodge

Located in Utende, 800 metres from Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center, Kinasi Lodge boasts a spa centre and a private beach area. Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine Reserve is 6 km away. Free private parking is available on site. Average score from 7 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$196

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Didimiza Guest House

Didimiza Guest House is located inside the Rufiji Mafia Kilwa Marine Reserve along a private and deserted beach in the Utende area on Mafia Island, which forms part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago. Average score from 4 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$40

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Chole Mjini

Chole Mjini offers unique tree house accommodation on Chole Island in the heart of the Mafia Island Marine Park. The property has a dive centre. The partly open and thatched tree houses are locally crafted and offer magnificent sea views. Average score from 8 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$104

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New Utende Hostel

New Utende Hostel is set in Utende, 1 km from Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Some units have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. All rooms come with a private bathroom. Average score from 8 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$23

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Chole Foxes Lodge

Offering a garden and barbecue, Chole Foxes Lodge is set in Chole. Free WiFi is provided . Chole Foxes Lodge also includes a sun terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, with packed lunches available on request. Average score from 5 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$35

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See all hotels in Kilwa Kisiwani & Songo Mnara.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Resort

Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Resort

Set a few steps from Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center in Utende, Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Resort welcomes guests with a restaurant and bar. Free private parking is available on site. Some units have views of the sea or garden. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$30

$30-
Chole Foxes Lodge

Chole Foxes Lodge

Offering a garden and barbecue, Chole Foxes Lodge is set in Chole. Free WiFi is provided . Chole Foxes Lodge also includes a sun terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, with packed lunches available on request. Average score from 5 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$35

$35-
Didimiza Guest House

Didimiza Guest House

Didimiza Guest House is located inside the Rufiji Mafia Kilwa Marine Reserve along a private and deserted beach in the Utende area on Mafia Island, which forms part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago. Average score from 4 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$40

$40-
Nakefa Lodge

Nakefa Lodge

Featuring air conditioning, Nakefa Lodge offers accommodation in Lindi. KLB Church (Karisa La Biblia) is 700 metres from the property. Free private parking is available on site. All units feature a flat-screen TV. Average score from 4 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$40

$40-
Meremeta Lodge

Meremeta Lodge

Situated in Utende, Meremeta Lodge is 1.7 km from Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center. Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine Reserve is 5 km away. Free private parking is available on site. The accommodation is equipped with a seating area. Average score from 13 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$40

$40-
Mafia Beach Bungalows

Mafia Beach Bungalows

Mafia Beach Bungalows is located on the beach at Chole Bay in Utende Village. The property is surrounded by coconut and palm trees and offers views of the Indian Ocean. The basic bungalows come with a ceiling fan and private bathroom with shower. Average score from 10 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$45

$45-
Kilindoni Magemani B&B

Kilindoni Magemani B&B

Kilindoni Magemani B&B offers accommodation in Kilindoni. Free private parking is available on site. Certain units include a seating area for your convenience. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a shower. Average score from 8 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$60

$60-

Highlighted Interests:

Click highlighted activity to see details.
Cultural
Islamic Landmarks

Kilwa Kisiwani Great Mosque

There are substantial vestiges of the Great Mosque, constructed in the 12th century of coral tiles embedded in a core of puddled clay. This was considerably enlarged in the 15th century in the reign of Sultan Soulaiman ibn Mohammed el Malik el Adil (1412-22). It is roofed entirely with domes and vaults, some decorated with embedded Chinese porcelain.
Combination
Archeological Sites
Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara are two archaeological sites of prime importance to the understanding of the Swahili culture, the Islamization of the east coast of Africa and the extensive commerce of the medieval period and the modern era. On each island a complex of ruins has been preserved, although those of Kilwa Kisiwani are by far the more important.

Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara were Swahili trading cities and their prosperity was based on control of Indian Ocean trade with Arabia, India and China, particularly between the 13th and 16th centuries, when gold and ivory from the hinterland was traded for silver, carnelians, perfumes, Persian faience and Chinese porcelain.

Most mainland hotels will provide you with a boat to the island and a guide.
Other Interests:
Natural
Unusual Local Feature
Beaches
Fishing
Diving
Snorkeling

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