Dhow boats an integral part of life in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago

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Dhow boats are an integral part of life in the Lamu archipelago. It’s thought the first visitors came to the islands in the ancient sailing vessels from the Arabian Peninsula, China, Persia and India, expanding trade routes in the Indian Ocean.

They were perfect for transporting heavy merchandise.

Today, visitors can still experience the sailing-dhows, either for a fishing trip or sunset cruise.

They’re primarily used by fishermen who sometimes sail through the night, navigating their way using the stars.

Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, smaller ones typically around twelve. Some of the dhows are bought in Mozambique and sailed down to Lamu.

Our CCTV Africa crew met up with veteran captain Salim Ali to find out more.

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