University of Cape Town
2 files

GIS Spatial Data Package of the Kua Ruins Heritage Site

This is a GIS file set of the Kua ruins. The data was generated from laser scans, photogrammetric techniques and GPS data. The data maps the site of the Kua ruins on Juani Island in Tanzania. All data is in either the unprojected Geographic (GCS WGS84) or the projected Universal Transverse Mercator 37 South (UTM34S WGS84) coordinate system.

The data is packaged as an ESRI Map Package (.mpk). If you are not an ESRI user and wish to unpack the package please rename the file extension to .zip and use a programme, such as 7-Zip, to unpack the package.

The package contains shapefiles and images which are compatible with most GIS software.

The Kua ruins are all that remains of a medieval Swahili town located on Juani Island in the Mafia Archipelago. The ruins offer insights into an island civilization that saw Portuguese and Omani control as well as independence, enslavement, and eventual abandonment. Indicators of early settlement and trade—including Islamic and Chinese ceramics dating to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and currency from mainland Tanzania—have been found in the ruins, while Portuguese accounts from the sixteenth century note the great wealth of the Kua people. The Zamani Project spatially documented some of the Kua ruins in 2018.

The Zamani Project seeks to increase awareness and knowledge of tangible cultural heritage in Africa and internationally by creating metrically accurate digital representations of historical sites. Digital spatial data of cultural heritage sites can be used for research and education, for restoration and conservation and as a record for future generations. The Zamani Project operates as a non-profit organisation within the University of Cape Town.

This text has been adapted from the World Monuments Fund website (

All work was carried out as part of the Kua Conservation Project:
Co-Directors: Stephane Pradines (ISMC-AKU) and Pierre Blanchard (WMF).
Partner institutions: Aga Khan University (AKU); Tanzanian Antiquities; World Monument Fund (WMF), Zamani Project (University of Cape Town)

Then Zamani Project contributed accurate 3D models and maps of the site and structures to the Kua Conservation Program.



Zamani Project

Product Type

  • Spatial Data Package

Project Name

  • Kua

Project Date

  • March 2018

Project Centroid

  • Kua - 7°59'54.3"S 39°45'44.2"E

Coverage Country

  • Tanzania

Coverage Region

  • Juani Island