"Kawkaban, Shibam and Al Tawela" Top 5 Page for this destination Kawkaban by janiebaxter

Kawkaban Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 59 photos

Twin Towns High in the Mountains

Shibam and Kawkabam are situated next to each other on a high summit of the highland plain of Al Munakab, 48km from Sana'a.
The two towns are connected by a stairway and both are very old.

Kawkaban is the highest place we visited at 2900m.
It sits on a prominent stony plateau and has beautiful honey coloured stone architecture, an old citadel and some ancient cisterns.
The Turks destroyed a large part of Kawkaban and many of the fine houses are now gone.


Shibam dates from the 2nd century AD, with a mosque from 9th century.
One of the stories in The thousand and One Nights was set in Shibam and it has Sabaean inscriptions on the gate.

Al Tawela

Al Tawela has beautifully decorated stone houses set into the rocky mountain and was an important coffee collection point from the 15th to 18th century. It sits at 2500m and is a small friendly town with a small market on Sundays and Wednesdays.
At Tawela also has Hijra status, which means that no feuds can take place within its walls.

  • Last visit to Kawkaban: Nov 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (1)

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    I bought some fruit from wheelbarrows a couple of times! Toby the dog was a lurcher. Nice dogs.


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