Kua Ruins Tour, Mafia Island

Kua Ruins Tour, Mafia Island

Tour snapshot

3 ~ 4 hours
Safari Type
Tourist Attractions
Can be Tailor-made:
Free Cancellation
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Walking / Hiking
Historical Visits


Nestled amongst the overgrown forests in the South of Juani Island are a set of ruins, the last remnants of the ancient city of Kua dating back to the early 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.

94% of travelers recommend this experience
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