Stretch out on deck of Ilha’s most famous Swahili sailing dhow and sail, swim and enjoy refreshing coctails while the sun sets in spectacular fashion on a perfect island day. A sunset sail is a marvellous opportunity to view and photograph Ilha’s iconic World Heritage sites from the sea. And capture the essence of Ilha’s pivotal role in the unique maritime and trading history of the Indian Ocean.
As the vast triangular sail unfurls, the small natural reed ties gently snap off in quick succession and the wind fills the sail. The Edna glides away with barely a sound – just a soft whoosh of the sea.
We sail close to shore, past the Alfândegas (Customs Houses), the old Port, the Green Mosque, the Memorial Slave Garden, the Governor’s Palace, centuries old merchant homes and warehouses, and the bustling fish market of Makuti Town – a cacophony of colour and boats of all shapes and sizes.
At the narrow bridge that connects Ilha to the mainland we turn to go around the bay. Tides and winds permitting, we sail into the mangroves of Cabaceira Grande, past the old Swahili village of Cabaceira Pequena and then to the mighty fortress of São Sebastião. Here we anchor right in front of this extraordinary fortaleza as the sun begins its descent. Now it’s time to enjoy a sunset swim, followed by a freshly mixed ‘cocktail of the day’ and tasty petiscos (snacks). All this with an uninterrupted view of the African sun sinking below the horizon, in a blaze of glory.
As is so often the case, one cocktail leads to another. Extra cocktails, beers, soft drinks can be purchased from our select menu: Americano, Excelsior, Negroni, classic Gin and Tonic, fresh Mango Daquiri, Ilha Sapphire, Lime Daquiri, Pimms Cup.
The Sunset Sail is perfect:
- If you have just arrived and want to meet other visitors and locals, share travel stories and gather tips on what to do, where to go, what to eat.
- If you are short of time and want to experience the sensation of sailing on a Swahili dhow.
- If you have been here awhile and just want to relax, swim and take in the sea air.
- If you want that special photograph.
- If you are a group and want to do an activity all together
The Sunset Sail is a must do!