Tusitiri Dhow

A magnificent 50-foot dhow converted for private charter, Tusitiri is available for day excursions from Lamu as well as longer sailing safaris. Tusitiri carries all the latest scuba and fishing equipment and there is no better or more luxurious way to explore the Kenya coast.

“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

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.

“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

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.

“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

John and Lulu Clark are Tusitiri’s on-board hosts. They are both second-generation Kenyans, as well as wildlife and ocean enthusiasts who have been involved with tourism in East Africa for many years. They can also advise and help with transport arrangements and will ensure that guests inbound and onward transfers are smooth and efficient.

The Tusitiri crew is made up of 8 experienced Bajuni sailors, whose sailing expertise has been learned and passed down over 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 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

Tusitiri Dhow accommodates up to 10 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.

Summary

  • A unique and historic dhow lovingly transformed for live-aboard guests
  • A luxurious and authentic way to explore and enjoy the Lamu archipelago
  • Enjoy sailing with sundowners, dinner on-board or longer day and night excursions
  • Exclusive charters available – plan your own personal itinerary
  • All-inclusive charters feature deep-sea fishing, water-skiing, wake-boarding, kayaking
  • Accommodates up to 10 overnight guests – and up to 20 for day excursions

Detailed Information

Accommodation and facilities

  • Comfortable shaded sitting area on the aft deck
  • Large dining area covered by sun-shade 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 wake-boarding
  • 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 provided 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, ‘sun-downers’ 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

Location

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 charming and unusual base for exploring and enjoying the area.

Tusitiri is normally available in Lamu from August until March. Due to seasonal winds and rains Tusitiri does not normally operate from April to July although inquiries for the first half of April and the second half of July will be considered on request.

Visitor’s 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

“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

“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

“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

Rates

Excursions

  • Sailing and Sundowners – 4.30pm-7pm$960
  • Sailing, Sundowners and Dinner – 4.30pm-9.30pm$1,280
  • Day Excursion – includes sailing, meals and drinks – 9.30am-6.30pm$1,520
  • Day and Night Excursion – includes sailing, meals and drinks – 24 hours$2,200

These rates include exclusive use of the dhow for up to 8 guests.

Please contact us for further information and rates for additional guests.

Charters

Exclusive charter of Tusitiri for up to 6 adults – $4,140 per night

Additional passengers – $690 per adult per night and $520 per child (5-16 years)

Charter rates include exclusive use of Tusitiri dhow and its tenders. Personal itinerary tailored to guest’ requirements. Full board tariff including house wines and spirits, beers and soft drinks. Local boat transfers. Sailing on Tusitiri -plus snorkelling, water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking, creek fishing, guided walks, cultural visits, wifi (where there is signal) and laundry. Use of Tusitiri’s deep sea fishing boat for up to 2 hours per day – which can be accumulated.