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Kua Ruins

Visit the ancient Kua ruins

Important details

  • Duration: 3 hrs
  • Price: $27 pp
  • Only possible on high tide
  • Minimum 2 pax
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Additional information

Nestled amongst amongst the overgrown forests in the South of Juani are a set of ruins, the last
remnants of the ancient city of Kua dating back to the arly 12th century.
Kua is an identified archaeological site which still has no firm reasoning as to why all of a sudden the
civilisation ceased to exist, although there are various legends. The destruction of Kua is said to have
been by the sultan’s enemies, the Sakalava tribe from Madagascar during the fifteenth century.
The ruins cover a large area of the South western side of Juani Island and are located close to the
shore. As you wander between crumbling walls smothered by the roots of strangler figs, you will pass
several mosques, a cemetery, a palace with large storeroom, a dispensary and a school, all which were
funded by the then-lucrative trade in cowrie shells. From these one can tell that Kua was once a place
of considerable local importance.
The city of Kua was established by settlers from Kilwa, and was heavily involved in trade. All over
the ruins you can readily dig up pottery sherds, some dating several hundreds of years to Chinese and
Persian origins. Vervet monkeys scamper among the fallen buildings and plenty of haunting cries
from surrounding birds will add to the mysterious atmosphere, letting your imagination run wild.
This is a wonderful excursion to plan for the late afternoon, when the afternoon light illuminates the
ruins in a beautiful yet spooky ambience.

Kua ruins were added in 2016 to the World Monuments Watch list.

Kua ruins

Mafia Island