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Songo Mnara

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


Day trip from Kilwa Masoko via boat

Group Size



~ $50




  • 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,

Helpful advice

Bring all your standard safari gear, insect repellent, camera, spare batteries, hat and binoculars if you have them. Most operators will likely be able to arrange transport from Dar, but if you’re looking to save money consider taking the bus from Dar to Iringa and getting picked up from there. For those looking to camp and/or self-drive, be sure to come prepared with all necessary food and safety equipment, as you won’t be able to get anything there. Know that you are camping in the wild, so take the necessary precautions and properly clean up and dispose of all your food and waste. Roads are marked but can be difficult to navigate, so consider downloading an offline GPS, such as Tracks4Africa.


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