Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Southeastern Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve

The Selous is Africa's largest wildlife reserve, and Tanzania’s most extensive protected area. It’s home to large herds of elephants, plus buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, many bird species and some of...

Ruins in Kilwa Kisiwani

Songo Mnara

The tiny island of Songo Mnara, about 8km south of Kilwa Kisiwani, contains ruins at its northern end – including of a palace, several mosques and numerous houses – that are believed to date from the 14th and...

Park in Mafia

Mafia Island Marine Park

At around 822 sq km, Mafia Island Marine Park is the largest marine protected area in the Indian Ocean, sheltering a unique complex of estuarine, mangrove, coral reef and marine channel ecosystems. These include...

Ruins in Kilwa Kisiwani

Kilwa Kisiwani

Today, 'Kilwa on the Island' is a quiet fishing village, but in its heyday it was the centre of a vast trading network linking the old Shona kingdoms and the goldfields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India and China....

Historic Building in Mikindani


The imposing German boma, built in 1895 as a fort and administrative centre, has been beautifully renovated as a hotel. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth taking a look and climbing the tower for views...

Nature Reserve in Makonde Plateau

Lukwika-Lumesule Game Reserve

This tiny game reserve is hidden away in the wild hinterlands southwest and west of Masasi. With luck you may see elephants, elands, crocodiles and hippos, though it's more likely you'll see none of these. The...

Church in Mtwara

St Paul's Church

If you are in the Majengo area of Mtwara, it's well worth stopping in at St Paul’s Church (800m southeast of the market) to view its remarkable artwork. The entire front and side walls are covered with richly...

Island in Mafia


Sparsely vegetated Jibondo is less aesthetically appealing than Mafia's other islands, and its inhabitants are traditionally unwelcoming towards visitors. However, it is intriguing in that it supports a...

Marine Reserve in Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park

Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park

Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park encompasses a narrow sliver of coastline extending from Msangamkuu Peninsula (just north and east of Mtwara) in the north to the Mozambique border in the south. In addition to...

Island in Mafia


The large and heavily vegetated island of Juani, southeast of Mafia, has overgrown but evocative ruins at Kua. This includes the remains of several mosques dating from a Shirazi settlement during the 18th and...

Island in Mafia


A good place to start exploring in the Mafia archipelago, especially around the crumbling but atmospheric ruins, dating from the 19th century. Also on Chole is what's probably East Africa’s only Fruit Bat...

Museum in Mtwara

Afri Mak Arts & Crafts Group

This tiny museum features masks, spears, tools and other cultural items from the Makonde, Makua and Yao tribes. All displays are labelled in English and Swahili. This is also the best place to get information on...

Historic Building in Mikindani

Slave Market

Downhill from the boma is the old slave market building, which now houses several craft shops. Unfortunately, it was much less accurately restored than the boma and lost much of its architectural interest when...

Tanzanian in Mtwara

Drive-In Garden & Cliff Bar

Simple, delicious and generously portioned meals of grilled fish or chicken and chips, plus cold drinks. It's in a peaceful garden setting just back from the water. Call in advance and place your order to...

Gorge in Selous Game Reserve

Stiegler's Gorge

Stiegler’s Gorge, which averages 100m in depth, is named after a Swiss explorer who was killed here by an elephant in 1907. It has more recently gained attention as the site of a planned massive hydroelectric...

Indian in Mtwara

Senir Restaurant

Tasty Indian cuisine (plus some Chinese food) is served inside or on a pleasant, shaded streetside porch. Service is prompt and meals – including a good selection of vegetarian dishes – are well prepared.

Market in Mtwara

Dhow Port & Fish Market

Much of Mtwara’s fish comes from Msangamkuu on the other side of Mtwara Bay, and this small dhow port and adjoining fish market are particularly colourful in the early morning and late afternoon.

Market in Mtwara


Mtwara's market is full of colour and activity. You'll find everything here, with the traditional-medicine section and the textile shops particular highlights. It's near the bus stand.

Seafood in Mtwara

Southern Cross Hotel

Tasty seafood grills and other dishes, plus good coffees, served on a lovely waterside terrace with excellent views. It's also an ideal spot for sundowners.

Port in Lindi

Dhow Port

Lindi's small but colourful dhow port is at its best in the morning hours, and well worth a visit.