Exploring the Kenyan Coast by Dhow

A dhow is a small sailing vessel that is traditionally found along the coasts stretching from India to Eastern Africa. They have their origins in Arabia, and were once trading vessels that ran far and wide, delivering precious goods far and wide, and while they have been replaced by modern freight ships, the tradition of the dhow still lives on in many countries.

Kevin Gould, travel writer for the The Guardian, found his own dhow experience in the Lamu archipelago, a series of small islands stretching along the northern coast of Kenya and the Somalian border. The archipelago is a place that still holds tightly to its roots, with simple villages with huts fashioned from palms. It is a place where the inhabitants still catch fish using a spear and relax in the shade of mangrove trees hundreds of years old.

Gould describes a place that few outsiders visit. He notes that the locals are friendly and open to visitors from abroad, welcoming them warmly. The crystal clear waters of the archipelago give way to pristine beaches, under cloudless skies, and traveling by dhow grants access to some prime snorkeling locations.

For adventurous travelers on the look out for unique travel experiences, this looks like another amazing experience. The chance to visit a place that few others have the opportunity to see, and to travel there in such a unique fashion, makes this a tempting journey.

Name That Hat

Some people collect souvenir snowdomes. Others come back from overseas with just a few too many T-shirts. At our place we’ve got a selection of head gear (no, I don’t mean bongs and other smoking paraphernalia) from around the world. Here’s the first entry in my “Name That Hat” series. I’d love the actual name of the hat, but will settle for the name of the country it’s from.

Here’s a few hints. It contains the world’s second largest canyon after the Grand Canyon, and a town on its east coast is well known as a center for building dhows.