"Kua is a wonderfully atmospheric place, the crumbling walls of its palace now in the firm grip of fig tree roots, its only minions wild pig and antelope."
The second oldest settlement in the Mafia archipelago, Kua was established in the 13th century on nearby Juani Island by Shirazi traders from Kilwa. Little is left of this substantial medieval settlement, but the ruins still hold an atmospheric charm. During low tide Juani can be reached on foot but more often than not guests get there by dhow. Aside from exploring the palace ruins, it is possible during high tide to cruise the 'Amazon' channel of Juani Island by boat, for lazy bird watching and swimming. During spring tides you can sail right through the channel to the open ocean and so reach the south-eastern tip of the island, where you can hike through the tropical coastal forest to swim in a hidden saltwater pool - the island's 'blue lagoon', with waters clear and warm and populated by stingless upside-down jellyfish. The remnant coastal forest also hides other inland pools, each with it's own unique fauna, and provides refuge to mini-antelope, monkeys and giant pythons.