The town of Kilwa as such is divided into three different towns. Kilwa Kivinje, Kilwa Masoko and Kilwa Kisiwani with Songo Mnara and Sanje Ya Kiti.
Kilwa Masoko is however the least interesting history wise, but the modern town right now and centre of operations as well as location of all modern day facilities. The others are the places to go for historical reasons.
Kilwa Kivinje, was in the 19th Century an Arabian slave and ivory trading town where caravans started off into the interior. With the end of the Arab time at the end of the 19th century, the German colonial government built a fort and extended the town.
From German times one can still find a Market Hall, the big Fort with a canon from the 1st World war, and two pillars one for the tribal dead of the Maji Maji War fought between the local tribes of Southern Tanzania and the German Colonial government and the other for two German traders also killed during the same Maji Maji War.
Kilwa Kisiwani is where one will find the greatest collection of ruins. Directly on the Northern shore, one will find the old Omani Fort which is built on the foundations of the old Portuguese fort in the early 19th Century, and where still an old wooden door remains.
One can also find a big Mosque built in the 12th Century and was further extended up to the 15th Century. It was said to be the largest mosque in East Africa. Directly south of the mosque is a great house was once a complex building which was most likely the Sultan´s palace. In it there are four graves, of which one is rumoured to be of a Sultan.
The small mosque from the 15th Century is the best kept building on the island, and still in use today.
The large complex of walls in the west of the island is called "Makutani" (in the great wall). In the middle is a palace from the 18th Century, south of it, another Sultanas palace, with a mosque from the 15th Century.
All the way to the east of the island there are the ground walls of the "Husuni Kubwa", once the largest building in tropical Africa.
Songo Mnara is another island with houses and mosques from 14th to 15th century. Some of which still show high walls and even parts of their roofs