The next stop, about 300km south of Dares Salaam, past the massive and trackless Rufiji River delta, is Kilwa Masoko. This soporific hamlet is seemingly stuck in a permanent stupor. Nothing moves fast here, apart from pick-up trucks careering along the town's only paved street and South African charter fishing boats speeding offshore. A spectacular open-ocean beach at Masoko Pwani, 5km north of town, looks to be completely forgotten by visitors and locals alike. Yet, somehow, this inertia and time warp are a fitting backdrop, for it seems only a short step further back in time to the glory days of Kilwa Kismani just offshore. Between the 13th and 15th centuries this small island stood at the centre of a vast trading network linking the old Shona kingdoms and the gold fields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India and China. Its influence extended north past the Zanzibar Archipelago and south as far as Sofala on the central Mozambican coast.

Description: Dares Salaam

Dares Salaam

We caught one of the dhows that sail regularly across the narrow channel separating Kilwa Masoko and Kilwa Kisiwani, landing on the beach just below a massive 19th-century Arabic-style fort and near a group of young men eager to serve as guides. A short walk up from the beach, and we stepped into the handsomely restored 15th century Great Mosque, with its graceful vaulting and still intact columns. Crisscrossing from one ruin to the next, we hopped across the centuries, finishing at the 12th-century Husuni Kubwa complex. Taken together, the Kilwa ruins are among the most significant groups of Swahili buildings on the East African coast, and exploring them easily takes the full morning.

Description: the gold fields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India and China

the gold fields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India and China

From Kilwa the coast continues southwards past the salt-producing centre of Lindi, once part of the Sultan of Zanzibar's domain, and a terminus of the slave caravan route from Lake Nyasa. Further south, and our last stop before the Mozambique border, is Mikindani, another old Swahili trading town and regional headquarters of the German colonial government.

Bush & Beach

Tazania’s coast and islands are fine destinations on their own, but can also be easily combined with a saferi. Try the classic two-week combination of seven to ten days in the northern circuit, with the remainder spent relaxing on Zanzibar or Mafia. Or, a week-long in-and-out of Dares Slaam itinerary split between Selous Game Reserve and Mafia or Zanzibar.

Description: Husuni Kubwa complex

Husuni Kubwa complex

For history, beaches and diving plus wildlife watching, try Mafia, Kilwa and Selous Game Reserve. Using local flights, this itinerary can be comfortably enjoyed in seven to ten days. Road transfers between Kilwa and Selous take seven to eight hours.

Another option combines the northern circuit with Pangani (a half day's bus ride from Arusha) plus Zanzibar or Pemba. Regular flights (mostly from the Tanga airfield) link Pangani with the Zanzibar Archipelago, and there is a charter boat service from Pangani, Ushongo and Saadani to Zanzibar.

Useful contacts include Coastal Aviation ( and ZanAir (, both with daily flights linking the coast with Arusha and the northern circuit and linking the coast with Selous Game Reserve. Coastal Aviation also continues to Ruaha National Park. Safari Airlink ( flies from Dares Salaam via Selous and Ruaha to Katavi and Mahale Mountains parks in the west.

Plan Your Trip

Getting there

There are no direct flights from  the UK or USA to Tanzania's coast, but it is easily accessed via the international airports at Arusha and Dar es Salaam, which are serviced by Kenya Airways (, Ethiopian Airlines (, British Airways ( and KLM ( Internal flights to make the final leap to the coast are provided by Coastal Aviation ( and ZanAir (

When to visit

June through October, during the long dry season, is a great time to visit the Tanzanian coast. The short dry season (January and February) is another pleasant period to visit.

Description: Plan Your Trip

Plan Your Trip


Most visitors require a visa to visit Tanzania. These are available upon arrival at airports and land borders. A three-month tourist visa costs $50.


Lonely Planet's Tanzania (5th Ed, 2012) by Mary Fitzpatrick and Bradt's Tanzania with Zanzibar, Pemba & Mafia by Philip Briggs (6th Ed, 2009) are both great accompaniments for trips to Tanzania's coast.

Find out more

Zanzibar International Film Festival ( Mnemba Island Lodge ( Chumbe Island Coral Park (www.chum Saadani Safari Lodge ( Tanzania Tourist Board (

Author tip

Bring sturdy-soled shore shoes for beach walking and for wading in the shallows at low tide (sharp shells and sea urchin spines can give painful jabs). Look out for vitambuo (rice cakes), urojo (spicy soup), grilled pweza (octopus) and other coastal delicacies. And don't cut your travel time too short. Once here, you will not want to leave.

Top search
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- City of Gods
- Beach Volleyball In Devon
- Essential Africa … Swaziland (Part 1)
- Essential Africa … Swaziland (Part 2)
- Essential Africa … Swaziland (Part 3)
- Madrid - Around Town : Royal Madrid (part 2) - Shops, Places to Eat and Drink
- Madrid - Around Town : Royal Madrid (part 1)
- Beijing - Around Town : Trips Out of Town
- Holistic Austrian Retreat
- My Sweet Escape
- Landmarks of The World (Part 2) - Stonehenge, Ayers rock, Wall of China,The Eiffel Tower
- Landmarks of The World (Part 1) - Great Pyramid of Giza, Statue of Liberty, The Taj Mahal
- Chicago - Around Town - South Loop (part 2) - Bars & Clubs, Places to Eat
- Chicago - Around Town - South Loop (part 1)
- Munich - Around Town : Along the Isar River (part 3) - Cafés & Bars in Haidhausen, Restaurants in Haidhausen
- Munich - Around Town : Along the Isar River (part 2) - Best of the Rest, Shops & Markets
- Munich - Around Town : Along the Isar River (part 1)
- Seattle - Around Town - Ballard (part 2) - Shops, Places to Eat
- Seattle - Around Town - Ballard (part 1)
- Barcelona - Around Town - Montjuïc (part 2) - Parks & Gardens, Restaurants, Cafés, Bars & Clubs
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain