Secluded and all to yourself!
Mikindani is an old Swahili town on the gently sloping hills of Tanzania’s south coast. A peaceful and quiet alternative to the larger beach destinations in the north.
Have your own private adventure in the Indian Ocean off the beaten track at
Mnazi Bay Marine Park.
A forgotten area, but well worth it!
- Surface Mtwara area 3.597 km2
- Residents Mtwara area 250.000
- spring rainy season maart-april
- autumn rain season december
Mikindani is an ancient Swahili port that was a thriving trading center in southern Tanzania in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A beautiful ruin, frozen in time.
Culture and products in Mikindani
Mikindani a fascinating old town with winding streets and an interesting mix of local and Arabic influenced architecture with covered terraces, carved doors and thick coral stone walls. Arab buildings from the 17th century still stand in the city, although most of the buildings were built in the old Swahili style in the first half of the 20th century.
The original inhabitants of Mikindani are the Makonde. Over the centuries mixed with Arab and Indian peoples. Today the city is predominantly Muslim, although there is a significant Christian population.
In the late 19th century, under German colonial rule, trade in the area’s natural resources grew: rubber, sisal, coconuts and oilseeds. When the center for trade and administration moved to Mtwara, Mikindani’s focus shifted back to fishing and agriculture. Most of the population therefore lives from subsistence agriculture and artisanal fishing and sells a small part of their surplus.
Climate and season
Mikindani has a tropical climate with a wet and a dry period. Mikindani can be visited all year round.
December to April:
The most rain falls during this period. This mainly means a tropical shower in the morning and sometimes at night. The temperature in this period is quite high (up to 31 degrees during the day and 24 degrees at night).
There is little rain. The temperature has dropped slightly to an average of 27 degrees during the day.
June to October:
There is virtually no rainfall. The temperature drops further to an average of 25 degrees during the day, the ‘coolest’ period.
The probability of precipitation increases slightly again, as does the temperature (up to 32 degrees during the day).
1. The protected lagoon of Mikindani Bay has been a great harbor for fishermen and traders for generations.
2. Arab traders settled in Mikindani as early as the 9th century and then again in the 19th century. Tombs and mosques from the latter period can still be seen.
3. By the second half of the 15th century, trade from Mikindani extended as far as Malawi, Zambia, Angola and Zaire. Products exported included ivory, animal skins, turtles and copper. Clothing, household items and weapons were imported.
4. The Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park covers approximately 200 square kilometers of sea and 400 square kilometers of land, with a number of villages on top. These villages – traditionally dependent on shipping – are now part of the decision-making process.
5. The Livingstone House in Mikindani never housed Livingstone and was erected long after his departure. It is likely that Livingstone’s final point of departure would in fact have been near the village of Pemba on the north side of the lagoon’s mouth rather than this location in central Mikindani.
6. The entire area was inaccessible for a long time and was completely off limits to tourists during the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1994). The area is now connected by a road with Dar es Salaam.
The old German boma (fort) and the slave market are an interesting day trip. The pristine Mnazi Bay Marine Park offers great diving and snorkeling opportunities. And to relax there are plenty of coconut palm-lined beaches.
Animals in the area
Mikindani is located on the coast, close to the pristine Mnazi Bay Marine Park.
Common animals include hundreds of tropical fish, corals, dolphins, and giant tortoises.
Dieren overzicht Mikindani & Mtwara
- Sea turtle
- Tropical fish
Accommodation in Mikindani
In Mikindani you should stay in the most historic place there.
A world-class atmospheric hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean.