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Explore the Ruins of a Medieval East African Empire

Getting to the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania, East Africa is no easy task. But the trek to the island is worth it; Kilwa Kisiwani (“isle of the fish”) was once one of the greatest cities of the Swahili culture. In the 10th century, it made its fortunes by trading the riches of the African interior: gold, ivory, timber, and other valuable treasures. Until the Portuguese showed up in the 16th century, Kilwa Kisiwani was a wealthy and powerful port.

Kilwa Kisiwani may be no more, but the standing ruins are spectacular. See the video for a glimpse of the stunning architecture left behind, including the Great Mosque, the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast. Learn more about the history of Kilwa Kisiwani here.

Directed by Chris Naka
On Location Director/DOP – Tulanana Bohela
Story by Samir Patel

Produced by Doug Baldinger
Cinematographer – Jonathan Kitundu
Co-producer – Ona Stories

Music – “Xaleyi” by Youssoupha Sidibe
[CC BY SA-3.0]

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