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Primary culture
Swahili (East Bantu)

Capital province
Kilwa (1196)

Tribal MonarchyGovernment tribal.png

State religion

Technology group
East AfricanEast African technology group
Swahili ideas

For Primary culture.png Swahili countries.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−20% Light ship cost
+25% Trade range

Trade efficiency.png Indian Ocean Trade

+10% Trade efficiency
−10% Sailor maintenance

Naval leader maneuver.png Monsoon Season

+1 Naval leader maneuver

Tolerance own.png Great Mosque of Kilwa

+1 Tolerance of true faith

Idea cost.png Indian Ocean Melting Pot

−5% Idea costs

Mercenary maintenance.png Recruit the Unbelievers

−15% Mercenary maintenance

Production efficiency.png Ivory Trade

+10% Production efficiency

Diplomatic reputation.png Familiar Presence Abroad

+1 Diplomatic reputation
+1 Diplomatic relation

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+10% Global trade power

Kilwa is a nation in East Africa. Starting out holding the majority of the power in the Zanzibar trade node, as well as having embraced feudalism, it's in a very good position to quickly conquer the entirety of East Africa from the Cape to the Horn. After that, dominating east-indian trade through colonisation and conquering India will make you a major power on the world stage.


Kilwa starts out bordering Flag of Mutapa Mutapa and Flag of Makua Makua in the south and Flag of Mombasa Mombasa in the North. To the East lie the disunited Malagasy kingdoms. Finally, the small state of Flag of Sofala Sofala is your vassal. This start offers a lot of potential as well as some difficulties due to a number of factors. You start at tech 3 with feudalism embraced which gives a big advantage over the Fetishist tribes to the South and East, build up to your force limit and conquer a few provinces at a time to keep unrest low, the battles in themselves should be pretty easy. Stabilizing your country however can prove quite tricky. The relatively small size of the realm makes war exhaustion tick very quickly so you should wage your wars swiftly. You also shouldn't take too much money in peace deals because you do start with a productive gold mine that depending on development can give you more than .10 inflation yearly which makes economic ideas a must have. It does also mean that you have a nifty income and can easily afford a maxed out army and navy. Stability wise, you should also be somewhat careful about religion. You have the choice between going for mysticism which will make converting the Fetishist provinces easier, and legalism with a pretty nice reduction to tech cost. You will mostly declare war on Fetishists and so making mysticism grow will be harder, in the end, either alternatives are valid.


Early ideas depend on how early you want to go colonizing. Starting out with exploration means that you will most likely be qualified to spawn colonialism with a bit of luck. However it will also gimp your income because you will mostly use admin and military points to make Renaissance spawn, and so you will miss out on all the juicy diplomatic development on the gold mine in your capital. You can also start with economic so you can spawn the Renaissance with diplo points. It also provides inflation reduction and cheaper development cost. Then take exploration second and if you're quick enough you may still be able to spawn colonialism. If you're not, you can colonize Australia instead. If this is the road you chose, you can do most of your conquest through vassals to save your admin points. Feed Flag of Sofala Sofala the Mutapan lands, vassalise Flag of Pate Pate or Flag of Mombasa Mombasa and go after Adjuraan. In Madagascar, your best bet is Flag of Antemoro Antemoro because it is already Sunni and will convert land for you. Other valid idea choices include trade and innovative (it gives you inflation reduction and war exhaustion reduction and the Ibadat Khana modifier).


Queen of Mercury icon
As Kilwa, own and have cores on Zanzibar and Bombay (North Konkan).