Sailing on a traditional Swahili style dhow is an experience never to be forgotten. As the huge triangular sail unfurls, the boat leans with the wind and the crew busily set about their tasks all the romance of Sinbad tales and pirate adventures come to mind.

Wooden dhows have been part of Ilha’s history for more than 1000 years. In recent times fibre glass and inflatable boats with motors have become more common but its unlikely that they will ever replace the locally built, locally owned, carbon neutral and utterly fascinating dhows. At least Ilha Blue will be doing everything we can to ensure the continuity of this cultural practice.

We have 2 dhows, both built on Ilha. The Edna, the island’s largest and most comfortable dhow, and the Nankumi, a slightly smaller but equally elegant boat. Both dhows are traditionally rigged but have the advantage of reliable back-up motors for when the situation requires it.

Our Dhow Safaris