Swahili Ruins

Trip Start Jun 02, 2008
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Trip End Jun 09, 2009


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Where I stayed
Mjaka Inn

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Swahili ruins on Kilwa Kisiwani (The Scales on the Island) date back to around 1050 C.E. and include a luxurious palace, a market yard, and several mosques.  This island was once a major trading centre where traders from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe would come to trade goods for the gold and ivory of Great Zimbabwe.  Later, it was also a trade centre for human traffickers.

Bo and I sailed over to the island on a local dhow with our knowledgable guide, who gave us a detailed tour of all the ruins.

The road between Dar es Salaam and Kilwa is not yet complete.  Some 70 kilometres remain unsurfaced and are really only a sand path.  Luckily though, we only blew one tire on our return journey.  While the tire was being repaired, I answered the call of nature in the bushes.  However, I did not choose my location well at all; and in a span of fifteen seconds, my trousers were stormed by about 500 large, red ants.  With scenes from Indiana Jones movies and my own life flashing before my eyes, I quickly switched priorities and started a frenetic stomping dance to rid myself of the insects.  Only later, after traffic on my body had calmed, did I do up my fly.

All in all, a beautiful and rewarding side trip before our departure from this country.
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