Manda Island is an island in Kenya’s beautiful Lamu Archipelago, lying across the channel from Lamu Island, opposite Lamu town and Shela Village.
Manda Island is well known for its two ruined ports of Takwa and Manda town, both of whose original inhabitants probably abandoned the towns for lack of water. Since the Kenyan Department of Agriculture initiated the construction of jabias in the 1960s, families moved onto the island again and farmed cassava, cotton, maize and simsim.
The Manda town ruins lie to the northwest of the island. The town began in the 9th and 10th centuries due to trade with the Persian gulf, which was probabaly conducted in ivory and mangrove poles. Excavations of the town revealed its historical prosperity, finding Chinese porcelain, Islamic pottery and glass. The population of Manda is estimated to have been 3,500 at its peak.
Takwa, which lies to the south of Manda town, is easily accessible from Lamu town. It was never as large as Manda town, having been founded around 1500 and abandoned around 1700. The well-preserved remains of the Mosque at Takwa indicate that the place may have been a site of religious importance.
What are the main attractions on Manda Island?
The main attractions on Manda Island include the ruins of the ancient ports of Takwa and Manda town, which offer a glimpse into the island’s rich history. Additionally, the island’s beautiful beaches and exotic wildlife make it a popular tourist destination.
How do I get to Manda Island?
You can get to Manda Island by taking a boat or a flight from Lamu Island or the nearby town of Mombasa.
What activities are available on Manda Island?
Manda Island offers a range of activities, including water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. You can also take a guided tour of the island to explore its cultural heritage or simply relax on its beautiful beaches.
Is Manda Island safe for tourists?
Yes, Manda Island is generally considered safe for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it is always a good idea to exercise caution and take necessary safety precautions.
What is the best time of year to visit Manda Island?
The best time to visit Manda Island is between January and March, as the weather is generally warm and dry. However, the island can be visited year-round, and the rainy season between April and May can also be a great time to experience the island’s lush greenery.
Are there accommodations available on Manda Island?
Yes, there are several luxurious resorts and guesthouses on Manda Island that offer comfortable accommodation and world-class amenities for tourists.