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Kilwa Kisiwani Ruins

The ruins of Kisiwani are a UNESCO World Heritage site and draw history buffs from all around the world as they pay homage to what was once the seat of the most powerful sultanate on the East African Coast. At the height of its power between the 13th and 16th century much of the trade of the Indian ocean passed through this port. Amongst the most common items traded included silver, perfumes and Chinese porcelain. Such was the influence of this trading port that during the 13th and 14th centuries Kisiwani even minted it’s own currency.

Fast Facts


Kilwa region

Group Size



$30 per person + permit cost ($15 for international visitors, $8 for residents)


3 hours


  • UNESCO World Heritage site,

  • Easily accessed from Kilwa via boat

  • Can combine with afternoon snorkel or sunset via Slow Leopard Kilwa


  • Better snorkelling available on Songo Mnara trip, less time spent on boat

Helpful advice

Sunscreen and sun protection is a must. You can bring valuables aboard any Slow Leopard boat and they will stay dry. Your camera is a must, make sure you get some great shots of the towering Baobabs looming over the ruins, a classic photo. People continue to live on this island and are traditionally conservative Muslims. This means, particularly for women, you should ensure that your shoulders are covered and that your bottoms are at least knee length to avoid offending the local people.

How to book

You can get more information on booking a trip to Kilwa Kisiwani on our Safari page or contact


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