SAIL INTO HISTORY
|Historical tours are often lifeless journeys through the dusty corridors of museums and the preserved ruins of the past. Not so on a new safari off the Kenyan coast- sailing aboard a dhow into a remote island archipelago where tradition, culture and history remain alive and are the soul of a lifestyle untouched by the changing centuries. |
A genuine adventure visiting some of Kenya’s least known areas, this Sailing Safari is based around the historical island of Lamu.
The journey begins in Lamu's 14th Century stone town, an important landmark on the traditional routes of the spice trade, and one of the great centres of East African Swahili culture. There are no cars on the island, and all transport is by foot or donkey.
Recently declared a world heritage site, Lamu is regarded as one of the most exotic and romantic places on earth- a place with its own unique, relaxed lifestyle and atmosphere. The winding narrow streets are filled with bustling life, and the air is rich with the aroma of spices.
The Lamu Archipelago Sailing Safari is run by African Quest in conjunction with the Lamu museum, and guided by local historian Issa Loo. He and other museum guides will open guests eyes to the mysteries and wonders of Lamu, and give you a special insider’s view and understanding of this fascinating culture.
Guests will have time to become accustomed to the leisurely pace of life in Lamu, staying in a local guesthouse, touring the town and its old fort, and enjoying rooftop meals with a view across the old town to the sea.
While Lamu does have visitors from the outside world, very few ever venture beyond the island into the surrounding archipelago. This safari is the first to offer visitors to Kenya a chance to explore this unknown, exotic region.
A traditional dhow will carry you along the waters of the antique spice trade, through a beautiful tropical archipelago, discovering remarkable historical sites and visiting small villages where East Africa's Swahili culture is at its most pure and welcoming.
With Issa and his team in charge, guests are taken on a week long journey back in time, with a safari that blends visits to the century old ruins and forts of the archipelago with time spent experiencing day to day island life.
In many cases, the two are inextricably linked. On the islands of Manda, Pate and Siyu villages and ruins have merged, and the same culture that built these forts, mosques and old stone towns still exists, mostly unchanged today.
To walk among theses villages is to experience a culture that has retained a sense of history and values its traditions. The same historical objects that you may see in the Lamu museum remain the stuff of life- from traditionally woven Siyu beds to elegantly carved wooden doors, embroidered wedding veils and traditional kanzu robes.
Nights are spent in local houses, with local people, who believe that welcoming outsiders is a blessing that repays the house over and over. Meals are traditional Swahili cuisine, taken on the rooftop of the house in the cool sea breeze, with bountiful fresh seafood, spice and coconut.
On the island of Siyu, guests leave the dhow behind and trek across the island on foot, using donkeys to carry their packs and supplies. This island trek passes through many small villages and ruins, before arriving at your host village for the night.
After dinner, the night will come to life as the village gathers in the town square for a special Ngoma celebration. As pounding drums fill the air, traditional dancers – men dressed in white- majestically twirl their sticks and sing under a starlit sky.
The safari reaches its end at Kiwaayu, an uninhabitated paradise, with plenty of time for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach.
This unique safari experience combines real adventure, culture and romance in a stunning tropical paradise. It is ideal for anyone looking for a truly unusual experience.
This project, a joint effort between the private sector, Kenya Museums and local communities, has been granted assistance from the Tourism Trust Fund of the European Union.
If you’d like more information or to book this safari click here