The Kua Ruins are amongst the most important of the historic ruins of East Africa

The valuable link they provide in the chain of historic events that shaped the coast of East Africa, and for the examples of construction and imported building technology that became common from Somalia to Sofala. The use of coral stone and lime mortar began approximately 1,100 years ago. Buildings found in Kua and its parent city, Kilwa, bear the indelible architectural stamps of Iraq, Persia, Turkey and the Hadramout of Yemen.

Guided Excursion to

Kua Ruins


Kua was clearly a very rich little settlement covering about 15 ha and including 5 mosques. We believe it owed its wealth to the trade cowries harvested on the reefs between Juani and Jibondo, which were used all the way to Central Africa.

In 1829 cannibals from Madagascar, known as the Sakalava sacked the town, after arriving in war canoes. A similar fate befell Kisimani Mafia and Kilwa in the 1870s. The Ruins sit atop a small hill with spectacular views of the Bay and have the best views of the sunset over the Rufiji Delta. Many shards of pottery can still be found, such as exquisite designs in blue ceramic from Tang Dynasty bowls, providing valuable insights to the trading history of Kua and its former wealth.

We have all the information available on Kua, which was fully excavated in 1955-7, in our library files, so please read up on this interesting site.

The Kua ruins are also an excellent bird-watching site and there are many shore birds and waders to be seen during the excursion.

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