09-12-2021 di redazione
One of the symbols of the Kenyan coast is undoubtedly the dhow, the typical Swahili boat.
Once only sailing, today also with the support of the engine, the dhow from a classic means of work for fishermen with the advent of tourism has been transformed into an evocative boat to experience an emotion that only the African Indian Ocean can give, a bit like in Turkey with the gulet and in Bali with the sampan.
Today every tourist destination can boast a great reference dhow on which to explore marine reserves, creek, mangrove forests, islands, beaches that cannot be reached by land and other often uncontaminated paradises.
Local tourism, which in this period occupies hotels and resorts on the coast, seems to appreciate this excursion proposal.
Each structure has its own dhow and offers its customers an alternative to diving and snorkeling in the Indian Ocean, often combining the possibility of lunch, dinner or aperitif in maximum comfort.
Here is an overview of the Magnificent 7 dhows of the Kenyan coast according to watamukenya.net
1. PILI PIPA DIANI
Pili Pipa is a well-known marine safari agency in Diani which has two traditional Arab dhows, Almasi and Monsson.
Monsoon is the largest and most spacious, it was built in the Shimoni shipyards by Shirazi axe masters. Boats like this are usually made in Lamu or Tanzania. The Monsoon has a spacious and unique "sun deck" where guests can relax and sunbathe. Almasi is smaller and more recent, built in 2014.
2. MIDA DHOW
The Mida Dhow is a floating restaurant set up on a typical wooden boat.
It offers a relaxing sunset aperitif along the Mida Creek followed by an unforgettable dinner under the stars. Or you can opt for a day's sailing along the mangrove-lined creek and sunbathing before mooring for a swim and a fantastic lunch.
3. TAMARIND DHOWS
The Tamarind Restaurant dhow, moored under the famous restaurant overlooking the Mombasa creek, opposite the old town on the island, was once used for trade along the coast and the largest, "Nawalilkher" reached as far as the Arabian Peninsula. It was renovated more than thirty years ago and, while retaining the appearance of a boat from past centuries, it is to all intents and purposes a sailing club, with kitchen and live music corner and dance floor. You can eat during the excursion around the city. Only upon reservation can accommodate up to 70 people for dinner or 100 for aperitifs on board.
4 SAWA SAWA A CHE SHALE
The restaurant and lodge on the golden beach of Che Shale was equipped a few years ago with a small dhow built in the Quirimbas islands of Mozambique and brought to Mambrui by the owner Justin Aniere. Today it works as a service to customers and also to outsiders who want to rent it, to snorkel, visit a nearby little island. The preferred excursion for guests is a full day of sailing and snorkelling with a grilled fish lunch on board. It can accommodate up to ten people and is finely furnished with sofas, pillows and curtains.
5. TUSITIRI DHOW LAMU
The Tusitiri is a historic dhow that has travelled far and wide throughout the African Indian Ocean and has been restored and permanently based in Lamu, to be used for excursions in the archipelago that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The peculiarity of Tusitiri is that you can also sleep there, with comfortable accommodation under the stars, as well as lunch and dinner, with toilets and booths for luggage and clothing, as well as a shower, also warm outdoor.
6. BIG MAMA AT DRIFTWOOD
More than a dhow it is a jahazi, a sailing boat of similar dimensions but no less fascinating. The Driftwood Club of Malindi also uses her for outdoor use, for excursions on the sand atolls of Mayungu (better known, ahinoi as "Sardegna 2") although she can easily venture as far as Che Shale and beyond. It has comfortable sundeck mattresses and you can also eat and drink (especially!) on board.
7. DHOW SAFARI IN SHIMONI
The traditional Arabic dhow Waswila is available for excursions in the marine park of Kisite, with the possibility of snorkeling or diving in an enchanting and special place thanks to the great presence of dolphins, sea turtles, moray eels, starfish and other species. If you wish, the dhow also has a music system.
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