Tusitiri Dhow

Lamu
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Tusitiri Dhow
Lamu

“This is one of the great romantic sea journeys of the world – the tranquillity of life on the dhow will make you shed layers of stress.”

A magnificent 65-foot dhow converted for private charter, Tusitiri is available for day excursions from Lamu as well as longer sailing safaris. Tusitiri comes complete with speedboats, and watersports and fishing equipment and there is no better or more luxurious way to experience the magic of East Africa’s Swahili coast.

Tusitiri accommodates up to 10 overnight guests and up to 25 passengers for day excursions.

All About Tusitiri Dhow

“Tusitiri is the most majestic private dhow – or lateen-rigged ship – in the known world, as well as the most luxuriously appointed and the most professionally run”

A traditional ocean-going dhow with a long history of trade and travel along the East African coast and the Indian Ocean, Tusitiri has been carefully and lovingly restored by its Norwegian owners and is today a majestic and comfortable passenger vessel.

While remaining traditional in style, Tusitiri has been fully converted for live-aboard guests. It offers an unusual and enchanting combination of simplicity and indulgence, tailored for Western guests while remaining completely authentic in design and spirit.

Life aboard is relaxing and laid-back and centred on Tusitiri’s wide and comfortable deck – furnished with Zanzibar chests, Persian rugs and brass lanterns. Sumptuous cushioned seating areas line the deck and the dining table is built around the solid wooden mast. Nights are spent on white linen under the stars and meals, accompanied by excellent house wines, are taken al fresco on the deck.

On overnight safaris guests sleep on comfortable bedding which is laid out on deck after dinner. Bathrobes and kickoy towels are supplied and below deck there are bathroom facilities and cabin space for luggage and dressing. There is an open air (hot) shower, a traditional dhow lavatory and a flushing lavatory below decks.

Tusitiri has ventured as far south as the Quirimbas islands in northern Mozambique, but is usually based in Lamu. The islands of the archipelago – Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu – and the seas around them offer so many opportunities for adventure and fun, and Tusitiri provides a unique and unusual base for exploring and enjoying the area.

All kinds of activities are available including snorkelling, water-skiing, deep-sea fishing, wake boarding, kayaking, creek fishing, guided walks and cultural visits. Tusitiri has three tenders for guests’ enjoyment and convenience – a Yamaha 31-footer rigged for deep sea fishing and diving and two Yamaha 23 footers for activities and exploring.

Tusitiri is managed by Captain Mia Miji and his English wife Kirsty. The Tusitiri crew is made up of 8 experienced Bajuni sailors, whose sailing expertise has been learned and passed down over many  generations. There are two skilled chefs who prepare fresh and light Swahili-inspired meals in the open-air galley.

Specialities include mangrove crab and prawns freshly caught by local fishermen and, where possible, the catch from the days’ fishing trip. While the emphasis is on seafood, menus can be tailored to suit guests’ preferences and dietary requirements.

Tusitiri Dhow accommodates up to 10 overnight guests, and all safaris are booked on an exclusive basis. Tusitiri is available for multi-day charters and expeditions, as well as one day or half day excursions from Lamu. Every booking and excursion is tailor-made to accommodate guests’ interests and requirements.

Tusitiri’s sister property is Enasoit – one of Kenya’s most delightful private safari destinations. A cherished family retreat turned exclusive-use camp,  Enasoit only ever welcomes one small and fortunate group of guests at a time and provides a wonderfully personal and laid-back safari experience with exceptional game viewing amid spectacular Laikipia landscapes.

Summary
  • A unique and historic dhow lovingly transformed for live-aboard guests
  • A captivating and authentic way to explore and discover the islands of the Indian Ocean
  • Enjoy sailing with sundowners, dinner on-board or longer day and night excursions
  • Exclusive sailing charters available – plan your own personal itinerary
  • Professional captain and crew of 10 sailors including excellent chef
  • All-inclusive charters feature deep-sea fishing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and more
  • Tusitiri accommodates up to 10 overnight guests and up to 25 passengers for day excursions
Destination - Kenya Coast

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Location - Lamu Island

Tucked up against the beautiful, unspoilt northern Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, Lamu Island is one of the most beguiling places on earth.  Little changed in centuries, Lamu has long been renowned for the warmth of its welcome to visitors, its rich and colourful maritime trading history and its distinctive Swahili culture – a unique amalgam of African, Arabian, Indian and European influences. Unique and unpackaged, tranquil and traditional, sleepy yet sophisticated – in a world that is increasingly rushed and regimented, Lamu remains a wonderfully authentic and unhurried retreat.

Lamu is just 8 miles long and under 4 miles wide (less than 13 x 6 km) with few vehicles and no real roads, almost all transport is still by sailing dhow or motorboat, donkey or foot.  Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest living town south of the Sahara and the best-preserved settlement in East Africa.  One of Lamu’s glories is its traditional Swahili Architecture – its unique stone townhouses, many dating from the early 18th Century, are celebrated for their intricately carved wooden front doors, imposing entrance porches and shady courtyards, the grandeur and elegance of their interiors and their beautiful decorative stucco plasterwork.

Simple yet stylish Shela Village sits two miles to the south of Lamu Town at the start of the island’s wonderful 8-mile beach. One of the most relaxing and seductive places you will ever visit, Shela has a languid, undisturbed atmosphere all its own.  In the past few years numerous ravishing holiday homes and guest houses have been built along the village’s pretty waterfront and jumble of narrow sandy streets. Beyond the legendary Peponi Hotel, centre of Shela social life, the beach stretches almost as far as the eye can see – miles of empty white sand facing the Indian Ocean and backed by magnificent dunes.

Getting to Lamu is easy – forcing yourself to leave can be harder.  Lamu is best accessed by air and there are several scheduled flights per day to and from Nairobi’s Wilson and JKIA airports.  Flights land at the airport on next door Manda Island. Manda is less than a mile away from Lamu and the boat trip across to Lamu Town or Shela Village takes only a few minutes.  Some flights also arrive or depart via Malindi or Mombasa.

In Detail

Accommodation and facilities

  • Comfortable shaded sitting area on the aft deck
  • Large dining area covered by sunshade during the day
  • Spacious cushion lounging area on deck
  • Alfresco kitchen at the bow
  • Guests sleep on white-linen bedrolls on deck
  • Warm water open air shower
  • Dressing room with drawers, mirrors and wash basin (below deck)
  • Changing room with shelves and hanging space (below deck)
  • One traditional dhow lavatory and one flush lavatory (below deck)
  • An open Yamaha 31 ft deep-sea fishing boat with 2 x 200 HP outboard engines
  • A 21 ft Yamaha speed boat for water-skiing and wakeboarding
  • A tender for transfers and short excursions
  • Snorkelling equipment for adults and children
  • Limited laundry service available
  • A small library of topical reference books
  • Wifi internet signal (where possible)

Activities

  • Tusitiri provides a wide range of activities for charter guests – most at no extra charge. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Sail between the islands on Tusitiri or on its smaller traditional ‘Jahazi’ dhow
  • Snorkel the reefs between the islands
  • Kayak in the quiet lagoons and mangrove creeks
  • Spend the day deep sea fishing, guided by an experienced crew
  • Water ski or wake board behind Tusitiri’s speedboats
  • Walk and relax on the pristine beaches
  • Wander the narrow streets of Lamu and Shela shopping and sightseeing
  • Picnics, ‘sundowners’ or ‘moon-risers’ in beautiful remote spots
  • Visit some of the ancient ruins and learn about the history of the area
  • Or simply enjoy the quiet calm on board while moored in a secluded bay or lagoon
Visitors' Book

“Tusitiri is the most majestic private dhow – or lateen-rigged ship – in the known world, as well as the most luxuriously appointed and the most professionally run”

Architectural Digest

“Tusitiri trades in less-is-more elegance – guests sleep under the stars on beds rolled out on deck and bathroom facilities are alfresco. But with her Zanzibari antiques, Swahili textiles and freshly caught and masterfully-prepared seafood, few on-board experiences can shimmer so close to the historical tradition of boat travel as this one”

Financial Times

“Ply the relatively unexplored waters of East Africa in a traditional sailing dhow with a crew of 10 to look after just 10 guests. During the day, you can fish for tuna, snorkel and water ski; at night, after a sea-food feast, mattresses are laid on deck so everyone can fall asleep while watching meteors shoot across the Milky Way.”

The Times

“This is one of the great romantic sea journeys of the world – the tranquillity of life on the dhow will make you shed layers of stress. Spending even one night on board is a magical experience and the chef is a genius, conjuring up extraordinary meals from a tiny alfresco galley on the poop deck.”

Harper’s Bazaar

Rates

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All About Tusitiri Dhow

“Tusitiri is the most majestic private dhow – or lateen-rigged ship – in the known world, as well as the most luxuriously appointed and the most professionally run”

All About Tusitiri Dhow

A traditional ocean-going dhow with a long history of trade and travel along the East African coast and the Indian Ocean, Tusitiri has been carefully and lovingly restored by its Norwegian owners and is today a majestic and comfortable passenger vessel.

While remaining traditional in style, Tusitiri has been fully converted for live-aboard guests. It offers an unusual and enchanting combination of simplicity and indulgence, tailored for Western guests while remaining completely authentic in design and spirit.

Life aboard is relaxing and laid-back and centred on Tusitiri’s wide and comfortable deck – furnished with Zanzibar chests, Persian rugs and brass lanterns. Sumptuous cushioned seating areas line the deck and the dining table is built around the solid wooden mast. Nights are spent on white linen under the stars and meals, accompanied by excellent house wines, are taken al fresco on the deck.

On overnight safaris guests sleep on comfortable bedding which is laid out on deck after dinner. Bathrobes and kickoy towels are supplied and below deck there are bathroom facilities and cabin space for luggage and dressing. There is an open air (hot) shower, a traditional dhow lavatory and a flushing lavatory below decks.

Tusitiri has ventured as far south as the Quirimbas islands in northern Mozambique, but is usually based in Lamu. The islands of the archipelago – Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu – and the seas around them offer so many opportunities for adventure and fun, and Tusitiri provides a unique and unusual base for exploring and enjoying the area.

All kinds of activities are available including snorkelling, water-skiing, deep-sea fishing, wake boarding, kayaking, creek fishing, guided walks and cultural visits. Tusitiri has three tenders for guests’ enjoyment and convenience – a Yamaha 31-footer rigged for deep sea fishing and diving and two Yamaha 23 footers for activities and exploring.

Tusitiri is managed by Captain Mia Miji and his English wife Kirsty. The Tusitiri crew is made up of 8 experienced Bajuni sailors, whose sailing expertise has been learned and passed down over many  generations. There are two skilled chefs who prepare fresh and light Swahili-inspired meals in the open-air galley.

Specialities include mangrove crab and prawns freshly caught by local fishermen and, where possible, the catch from the days’ fishing trip. While the emphasis is on seafood, menus can be tailored to suit guests’ preferences and dietary requirements.

Tusitiri Dhow accommodates up to 10 overnight guests, and all safaris are booked on an exclusive basis. Tusitiri is available for multi-day charters and expeditions, as well as one day or half day excursions from Lamu. Every booking and excursion is tailor-made to accommodate guests’ interests and requirements.

Tusitiri’s sister property is Enasoit – one of Kenya’s most delightful private safari destinations. A cherished family retreat turned exclusive-use camp,  Enasoit only ever welcomes one small and fortunate group of guests at a time and provides a wonderfully personal and laid-back safari experience with exceptional game viewing amid spectacular Laikipia landscapes.

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