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Takwa Ruins

12 Reviews
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Takwa Ruins

12 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Michael S wrote a review Dec 2018
Coreglia Antelminelli, Italy9 contributions2 helpful votes
We went on a v hot day SMG got caught by the tide. Any boat will take you there, but haggle over the price. Fun going through mangrove canals and then a short walk to ruins. Too hot to take most of it in, and what we saw had only vague explanations. Worth going to the wild beach to the East of the ruins. Because we were caught by low tide (the captain should have known better), we had to take motorcycle taxis back to Manda beach. It is possible to walk in about 2 hrs, but midday heat would make it a slog. Adventure. Fun. Survived. Worth doing.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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Nory M wrote a review Dec 2018
6 contributions
I visited Takwa Ruins on a very hot afternoon and had the place to myself. The ruins are of an old town that was on Manda Island. It was deserted due to a lack of fresh water and marauding Portugese. I was given a tour by Lali, a very good guide who showed me all the highlights and explained the layout of the mosques to me. It was an unforgettable experience, even getting there was an adventure and I recommend it.
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Date of experience: November 2018
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Expectmoretoday wrote a review Aug 2018
Nairobi, Kenya105 contributions18 helpful votes
Takwa Ruins are well worth a visit. Any boatman can take you from Lamu Island. We combined ours with a trip to the Manda Island beach. the ruins provide an insight into the history of East Africa Coast and the Swahili culture, If in Lamu/Mandu, a must do visit.
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Date of experience: August 2018
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Zer0oo wrote a review Dec 2017
Newcastle, Australia174 contributions20 helpful votes
Takwa ruins itself was whatever left from a small Swahili settlement, which consisted of few ruins and well preserved small tomb. Ali, the man who looks after it, is a character of his own- having lived there for 20 years. When we found out that the island has no water supply, no many inhabitants and nothing else, really, he certainly may have some stories to tell. We walked on a very hot day from the resorts on the island 5 km away, and it was an adventure! There is a museum on the site, very small and had limited information. Overall, it was good to see an original Swahili settlement since I admire Lamu and Swahili architecture and happen to be nearby.
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Date of experience: December 2017
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Peter Kimondo wrote a review Jan 2017
Nairobi, Kenya53 contributions47 helpful votes
It was a 45 minute boat ride from Lamu old town to Takwa Ruins on the southern corner of Manda Island, Lamu district in coastal Kenya. We walked across a sturdy raised walkway above the mangroves. This is followed by another section of a slightly higher bridge (made of slender sticks tied with rope) above a water logged area. We then reached what looked like a village (settlement?). There are not many people here. Past the village is the entrance to the ruins. We paid the entrance fee at a sorry looking office (guess being remote warrants its sorry state!). The one room “museum” has little to take up your time. The guide explained about this once thriving Swahili town settlement. The protected Takwa Ruins today look weather beaten, aged and abandoned. Salinity and tribal skirmishes between the Takwa and Pate people led to the decline of this settlement. These ruins are a part of the Lamu Archipelago. This is a tranquil island and one of the four islands forming Lamu Archipelago. The other three islands are Lamu Island, Pate Island and Kiwayu Island. It evokes memories of romantic getaways only seen in Hollywood movies that depict tropical beaches...The giant baobab trees (ever heard of mabuyu fruits?) do not allow bush and the grounds are bare. The place reeks of ancient history. There is evidence of Arabic occupation. The protection wall looks like it must have served to ward of enemy and marauder threats of the Pate tribes. There are even what we guess would have been sentry holes (sighting holes? scaffolding support for a wooden parapet walk?) along the three metre wall. Rock art appears haphazardly on this wall. There’s graffiti (daggers, dhows and sail ships) on the northern wall. Takwa Ruins has market places, mosques and tombs (I guess for kings and subjects). The great mosque (at the centre) has stood the test of time and looks better than other structures. The pillar tomb of Takwa is a six meter high wall, unroofed rectangle on the east end. The has inscriptions call to Allah, Muhammad and first four caliphs, Abubakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali. It has an Arabic date of 1094 at the bottom. These ancient mosques are no longer used but people from Shela visit twice a year to pray for rain. The two wells must have supplied almost 2, 500 inhabitants. We are informed that the main mosque is called the Friday Mosque. This is the one in the middle. Water from one well used to flow into water troughs to this mosque. To the east is a well-built conduit and cistern. This comprises an ablutions system. There are coral foot scrappers for cleaning the feet before entry into the mosque. A blue and white dish and another earthern dish are on the inside of the cistern. There are two gates – north (to Manda) and south (to Kitao). There should have been four gates though it is hard to discern this due to the state of ruin. Thanks to the National Museums of Kenya, Takwa Ruins has been protected from land hungry predators. There is history here. And if you are seeking solitude or a romantic escape, Takwa Ruins fits the bill. On our way out, we came to a group crouched intently over something. Always curious, I traipsed to their spot. You will not believe this group was engrossed in the African version of checkers. The chalk and bottle tops are all you need for this game played by two. I never pass a chance to test my skills and soon got into a game. Jack had to remind me that we had a program elsewhere… You should take a scheduled or chartered flight if you are in Nairobi to Manda Island. You can also get here by bus. Come to this mystic hideaway by speed boat or dhow. Enjoy the ocean from the sand dunes on the coastal beach. Bring you better part or just the whole gang for a picnic! You can even rent the no-electricity house for overnight camping! CARRY A CAMERA, WE FORGOT…
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Date of experience: December 2016
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