Kilwa Kisiwani Island was once the trading centre of the Swahili Empire. The ruins of the settlement still remain and are considered to be one of the most important Swahili historical sites in east Africa. The famous traveler and chronicler Ibn Battuta visited Kilwa in the 14th century, describing his admiration for the architecture and graceful situation of the capital city. Later the island became a trading post for slaves travelling north from Mauritius and Mozambique. The end of the town’s supremacy as a trading port came when it was ransacked, ostensibly by “cannibals,” in 1588.