Takwa Ruins near Lamu, Kenya
Takwa was a thriving Swahili trading town during the 15th and 16th centuries but was abandoned during the 17th century when the drinking water became salty. Without fresh water, they had no choice but to leave, and the remains are preserved pretty well, considering how long ago that was. It's located on Manda island near Lamu, so if you're in the area, it's worth a visit.
Getting to Takwa is half the adventure. We came by boat, and had to be sure there was a high tide to make it through the mangroves. We passed ancient looking sailboats called dhows. We saw coral bricks being cut and transported. There were acacia trees. If it had not been raining, it would have been picturesque.
|boating through the mangroves|
|a dhow is a pretty sight|
|houses on stilts at water's edge|
|coral being loaded on the dhow|
|We were told this village is called Obama, but he has never visited|
When you dock, there's a long elevated walkway to the site where you'll hear barking dogs and bleating goats, which tells the caretaker he has visitors! There's a fee of 500 shillings for foreigners. We learned that there are only a few visitors a day. Sadly tourists stay away from this part of Kenya due to terrorist threats of Al Shabab. You can view the site on your own, but we enjoyed the caretaker's company and stories for no additional charge. He had great stories to tell about elephants making their way here or even lions. It must get lonely.
|You have to walk through the mangrove|
|We came through this waterway to the dock|
|I liked how the goats had taken over the front porch- even one in the window!|
|graffiti carved in the coral wall- a dhow|
|a dagger- can you see it?|
|An alcove probably used by the imam|
|The archways are still intact|
|a huge banyan tree|