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The smaller of two islands of ancient ruins off the coast of Kilwa, Songo Mnara makes a great day trip for travelers who want to experience history, beautiful coral reefs, relaxing lagoons and a lovely day out on the ocean. On Songo Mnara, see the remains of ancient mosques, palaces and dwellings that survived more than six centuries of trading between Persia, India, China and Africa. Amazing coral reefs surround Songo Mnara, protected from destruction and overfishing by local fishermen, and offer stunning snorkeling for those keen to explore underwater as well. At high tide, a crystal-clear lagoon emerges that can be your private, natural swimming pool.


Fast Facts:

Where: Day trip from Kilwa Masoko via boat

Group Size: 2-20

Budget: ~ $50

Duration: 6hrs


  • An amazing combination of culture, sea life and relaxation, a day trip to Songo Mnara provides the perfect mix of what Kilwa has to offer.

  • A local, certified guide will show you around the ruins on Songo Mnara and share the history of the empires and rulers who used this critical trading post.

  • A spacious motor boat equipped with speakers, soft drinks and water (beer, wine and booze available by request) makes the journey to the island comfortable, quick and fun.  


  • The trip is weather dependent, and may need to be rescheduled in the event of bad weather,


What to bring and helpful advice: Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and sun protection – the sun is strong in Tanzania, especially out on the water! Bring your hat, towel and swimsuit for snorkeling and swimming. Some people do live on Songo Mnara, so please bring modest clothing to wear while on the island. Valuables can be kept safe and dry on the boat, so feel comfortable bringing cameras and phones. Snorkeling gear will be provided, as will soft drinks and waters. Beer, wine and other drinks are available by request for a fee, or you can bring your own and pop it in the cooler.

How to Book:

You can get more information on booking a trip to Songo Mnara on our Safari page or by contacting

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