The history of dhow boats started a long time ago when Arab and Indian merchants began exploring East Africa. The merchants used them to travel a long way, from India, Oman to Zanzibar and back, using monsoon winds. Zanzibar became a hub for exporting goods, particularly spices, unfortunately, slaves and also elephant ivory.
Since then residents of Zanzibar have used these dhow boats to travel across the seas, to carry goods like charcoal, timber and fruits from Tanzania’s mainland to Zanzibar.
Since the dhow boats became the major kind of transport, the locals started to design dhow boat in different ways according to their requirements. There were types for transporting passengers, for carrying goods, others for fishing. However, because the world is changing with other demands, nowadays we see fewer dhow boats.
The image of a dhow sailing across the Zanzibar islands is typically appreciated, and these simple wooden sailboats are dotted along the coastline of Zanzibar. These boats have been used since the 18th century, and are still used now, both as a tourist activity offering tours around the island and as a source of local transport.
It quite is easy to find a dhow trip around Zanzibar, the best route to take is to the north of Zanzibar to visit, Sailing in a dhow. The traditional sailing boat used in Zanzibar is the best way to view the island’s coastline. Sailing in the late evening to watch the sunset is the best time of day and is wonderfully romantic.
With the ocean around, a great number of inhabitants of this area are mostly fishermen, other engage in dhow tours and depending on this business to live their peaceful life in this calm area of the world. The sea here is famous for its rich treasure of seafood and fish, and also for its beautiful crystal clear water, that provides an ideal place for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
It is undoubtedly understood the fact that the more tourism grown the more people of this island engage themselves into this business, turns out to be the youths are the front manager. They are the fabulous cooks from their long term life experience of running dhow tours in Zanzibar. Positioning themselves economically and financially, as a result, an outnumbered of people are in a hurry in search for the time and opportunity to be in part of this business.
The likes of Kizimkazi Dolphin Tour, Fabulous dhow sailing, Cultural and dhow cruise, Dhow Sunset Cruise, Zanzibar Dhow Safari and Zanzibar dhow cruise – Art of Safari are the small companies that offer dhow tours around in Zanzibar ocean, they are the one who stands steadfastly in case of providing the ocean services, fulfilling duties beyond accomplishing their duties through love and safeguarding and decisive conveniences.
In Zanzibar, through such dhow company tours, ones would explore this Zanzibar beautiful marine conservation area with a local guide, snorkelling over coral reefs, swimming through mangrove lagoons and keeping an eye out for dolphins. To top it all, you’ll also be treated to fabulous beaches, as well as the sunsets viewed from the dhow are evocative and timeless. Beverages and fruit or snacks served on the dhow are usually included, and most are also equipped with an outboard engine.
The good is, every dhow is operated by a professional, trained crew and is fully equipped with life jackets, first aid kit, and sunshade, boarding ladder and waterproof bags. Each boat comfortably accommodates 16 people, while one can hold up to 25, Guests choose whether to sit on the main deck or climb on top of the upper cabin for a great view of the Indian Ocean.
Frankly speaking, in Zanzibar there are places of some sorts to visit by dhow, as it is well noticed the fact that the beaches of this island, history, environment, the ocean views of this island are the very best of their kinds, making others always want to be part of it very interesting. Such places the like of Prison Island and Zanzibar dolphin, where is where one would be able to swim close to the dolphins, being very social themselves you can even get to play with them includes visiting the historic Prison Island with its giant land tortoise.
Conclusively, maintaining these dhow boats is another thing to take into consideration. Since the dhows are made with wood or timber, they need maintenance every three months particularly for the security reasons, to prevent the boat from leaking; Also checking for broken woods or broken ribs and replaces them. Again, different dhows need different maintenance. All in all, I’ve seen different kinds of boats: the fastest, the beautiful, catamarans, speed boats, glass boats and more, but still sailing on these dhow boats give you a unique experience you will never forget.