Mbita – Takawiri - Mfangano – Mbita
After breakfast, with your picnic lunch, enjoy a ride on traditional boat with horse power engine past the two smallest Islands called Mbasa Namiyolo to reach the beautiful Island of Takawiri with very white sands and get to know how they survive and live with the traditional fishing style. These Isles of Lake Victoria are settled by Abasuba tribes who are Bantu speakers and believed to have come from Uganda more than 200yrs ago. The name “Suba” means “the people who are always wandering”. The arrival of the Abasuba displaced the Nilotic cattle handling Luo people who moved further north. We ride further to Mfangano Island where we have the geometric rock paintings at Mawanga cave and Kwitone in the Island. It is believed that the rock art pre-dates the migration of both Nilotes and Bantus and is thought to be the work of ancestral Twa, a forager-hunter people who may have been originally related to the pygmies of Eastern Congo.The paintings are thought to have been made between 1000 and 4000yrs ago and may have been used for rain making purposes. It is known for instance those similar paintings in Eastern Uganda only 200kms North of Suba district were used for this purpose. Rock engraving site in the area include “cupule” sites, where cup-shaped depressions have been ground into the rock surface, as well as a rock gong. Although cupule’s often resembles a Bao game their original use is likely to have been for ritual purposes, such as initiation. Cupules are found all over the world and are thought to be amongst the oldest form of rock art probably predating paintings such as those Mawanga and Kwitone by thousands of years.
After disembarking, we will have 5 minutes walk from the boat to Mawanga. Although they were painted as part of a vanished mythology, the cave, the paintings and the surrounding area retain powers in the traditions of the Abasuba. The Wasamo clans, who live around the cave, are the rain makers of the Abasuba, and the elders agree that the paintings have been used for rain making ceremonies, with the red paintings representing the moon and the white ones representing the sun. After getting to learn the wonders of the two rock, we ride back to Mbita, picnic lunch enroute, after relaxing you can enjoy optional hike to Gembe Hills to have a view of the beautiful isles in Lake Victoria before dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Note: You can donate towards the upkeep of Abasuba community peace Museum in Mfangano to continue with their good work of maintaining the rock arts.