On two small islands along the coast, there are two great East African ports praised by early European explorers. From the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, merchants in Kilwa engaged in the trade of gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabic pottery, Persian earthenware , and Chinese porcelain. Many of the trades in the Indian Ocean were handled by them.
There are actually three Kilwas: Kilwa, the oldest island, is located on a small island 2 km from the coast. Here is the ruins of the medieval Kilwa city, which was once considered the treasure of King Solomon; in the forest Kilwa was the main slave trading center in the 19th century; Kilwa Mall was the regional capital.
The Kilwa region has important historical research value and beautiful scenery. The area reached its heyday in the 12th century and remained there until the 19th century. Its prosperity ended with the abolition of the slave trade and its rights shifted away. Soon, Kilwa s former glory was left only by the huge ruins of the sea.
The city of Kilwa by the sea is as beautiful as ever. Forest Kilwa used to be the terminus of Southern Commercial Road starting from Niassa Lake. From the 1860s, more than 20,000 slaves were trafficked overseas from here every year. This is also the southern administrative center of the German colonists. There are colorful markets every day on the square of Kilwa Mall. Men and women in white gathered under the mango tree to sell fresh produce and various goods.
The island of Kilwa has spectacular relics preserved, and the exquisite and intact Islamic architecture in the sub-Saharan desert is known overseas. These ruins and the ruins of Stone City, a few kilometers south of the island, and the uninhabited rectangular houses make this area a historical center in the south. There are small fishing villages scattered along the coast. When the rest of the country was developing, there was no change here.
The large mosque on the island of Kilwa was built in the 14th century. The local Mandingo and Songhai people believe in ancestral worship. The local culture firmly believes that the ancestral deities of a certain area can protect the local and its residents from the devil and disaster. Spatially, this deity is depicted on piles of conical pottery and / or stone pillars, and the entire savannah can be seen everywhere. In his writings on Islam and African culture, Rabel Pruhsen points out that with the spread of Islam in these areas , the connotations on these stone pillars have taken on a variety of meanings after being expressed through the minarets of mosques.
Zhelindi is famous for its developed fisheries and soft sandy beaches. Mtwara, the main port in the south, is great for swimming and diving. The village of Mikindani is an ancient Arab port. Narrow winding streets are full of small shops and mosques.
There are hotels in Kilva, Lindy and Mtwara. The Kilwa Mall is the best starting point for exploring the entire Kilwa. Walking north to the beach, there are several places that tourists like. Most of the attractions are not long for short-distance tourists . The largest city in this area is Tanga.