Toten Island

Northeastern Tanzania

Directly offshore from Tanga is small, mangrove-ringed island Toten Island ('Island of the Dead'), with the overgrown ruins of a mosque dating from at least the 17th century and some 18th- and 19th-century gravestones. Pottery fragments from the 15th century have also been found, indicating that the island may have been settled during the Shirazi era. Toten Island’s apparently long history ended in the late 19th century, when its inhabitants moved to the mainland.

While the ruins are less accessible and less atmospheric than those at nearby Tongoni, the island is worth a look if you have extra time. Excursions can be organised through the Tanga Cultural Tourism Enterprise for about US$60 per person including motorboat transfer and guided tour.

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