Local dhows are a great way to visit Malindi Marine National Park & Reserve for some great snorkeling and sunbathing.
East Africa has a long history of sailing the Indian Ocean using Dhows from India and Arabia down the coast line to Kenya and beyond, using the monsoon winds to ply their trade up and down the coast. Traditional Dhows are made entirely of wood, using local materials and no metal at all.
This practise still continues in Malindi, Lamu and Zanzibar today. Craftsman (fundi’s) cut frames usually from mangrove trees, they cut from branches that suit the shape required. To get the shape of the frames, a piece of rebar is used, bent into the shape required.
They then go into the mangroves to cut a branch that is close to that shape. Teak is also used, especially for the transom, as it is a stronger wood. Trunnels and dowels are shaped from the wood and are used instead of metal nails.
As you stroll down the beaches of Malindi or Lamu you can often see fundi’s sitting in the proverbial shade working away at some piece of wood work, and the skeleton of a new boat yet to be sailed. Many of the traditional dhows have been converted with modern diesel inboard engines for safe cruising with tourists.
A full day excursion can include lavish seafood lunches on a sand bank or on the deck of the Dhow, swimming, dolphin spotting and snorkelling.
Romantic sunset cruises are a great way to relax, unwind and forget those everyday mundane thoughts. Often the Dhow raises her sails and in the late afternoon breeze you can sail along the Kenyan coastline, sipping a well deserved sundowner and nibble on some tasty Swahili bitings.
In Malindi your hotel will be able to arrange a full day dhow sail in the marine park or a romantic sunset dhow trip with cool refreshing sundowners to end a perfect beach day.