Dhows are traditional wooden sailing vessels originally built for carrying exotic spices and goods along the Indian Ocean trade routes. The Enasoit Dhow, ‘Tusitiri’, has been carefully restored and is today a majestic and comfortable vessel.
Tusitiri has ventured as far south as the Quirimbas archipelago in northern Mozambique, but is usually based in Lamu, where the archipelago is ideal for sailing and adventure.
Lamu is a UNESCO world heritage site and a sense of living history pervades the islands. Well off the beaten tourist track, the archipelago offers many opportunities for adventure and fun, and Tusitiri provides a charming and unusual base for exploring the area and enjoying the activities available.
Tusitiri offers guests an unusual and enchanting combination of simplicity and indulgence, customized for Western guests while remaining traditional in design and spirit. Nights are spent on white linen bedrolls under the stars and meals, usually fresh seafood and local produce, accompanied by excellent house wines, are taken al fresco on the deck.
Tusitiri is available for multi day safaris as well as one or half day excursions from Lamu. All safaris on Tusitiri, whether day excursions or for one or more nights, are booked on an exclusive basis, and are tailor-made for each booking depending on guests interests as well as the seasons and the tides.
Life on board is laid back and centered on Tusitiri’s wide deck; sumptuous cushioned seating areas line the deck and a dining area is centered around the solid wooden mast.
For overnight safaris guests sleep on comfortable bedding which is laid out on deck after dinner. Bathrobes and ‘kikoi’ 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 toilet and a flushing toilet below.
Tusitiri has three tenders for guests’ enjoyment and convenience – a Yamaha 31′ rigged for deep sea fishing and diving and two Yamaha 23’s for activities and exploring.
- Tusitiri provides a wide range of activities for guests, most of which are provided at no extra charge. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sail between the islands on Tusitiri or on our smaller traditional ‘jahazi’
- Snorkel the reefs between the islands
- Kayak in the quiet lagoons and mangrove creeks
- Spend the day (or just a few hours) deep sea fishing, guided by an experienced crew
- Water ski or wake board behind Tusitiri’s speed boat
- Walk and relax on the pristine beaches
- Wander the narrow streets of Lamu old town and Shela village for shopping and sightseeing
- Have picnics, ‘sun-downers’ or ‘moon-risers’ in selected beautiful 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
While remaining traditional in style, Tusitiri has been carefully customized for live-aboard guests and facilities include:
- A comfortable shaded sitting area on the aft deck
- A large dining area covered by sun-shade during the day
- Spacious cushion lounging area on deck
- An alfresco kitchen at the bow
- Guests sleep on white-linen bedrolls rolled out on deck after dinner
- A warm water open air shower
- A dressing room with drawers, mirrors and wash basin (below deck)
- A changing room with shelves and hanging space (below deck)
- One traditional dhow W.C. and one flush W.C. (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
- Snorkeling equipment for adults and children
- Limited laundry service available
- A small library of topical reference books
- Wifi internet signal
John and Lulu Clark are your 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.
The Tusitiri crew is made up of 8 Bajuni sailors, whose sailing expertise has been learned over generations; the crew – along with two skilled chefs – also enjoy taking care of guests on board.
Tusitiri is renowned for its seafood. Our chefs prepare fresh and light Swahili inspired meals in our open air galley. We serve mangrove crab and prawns freshly caught by local fishermen and where possible the catch from the days’ fishing trip. The emphasis is on seafood but with prior notice we will tailor our menus to suit your preferences and specific dietary requirements.
The Enasoit Dhow, Tusitiri, is located in Lamu, on the north Kenyan coast. The easiest way to reach Tusitiri is by air, and there are two options:
- Charter flight by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to Lamu
- Daily schedule flights from Nairobi (and selected other domestic airports) to Lamu. Airlines that fly in to Lamu: Airkenya, Safarilink or Fly 540
Seasons & Packing
Tusitiri is normally available from August through 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.
During Tusitiri’s operating season the Kenya coast is hot and mainly dry. Clothing should be light-weight, with a sweater or wrap for the cooler evenings. Visitors are encouraged to cover their arms, legs and shoulders when visiting towns or villages in this mainly Muslim area and should bring sun-glasses, sun block, a hat, swim wear, shorts, long sleeved shirts, and shoes that may be worn in the water.
Flying Doctor Emergency Evacuation (which we can process when you make a booking) and comprehensive medical insurance is required. Please consult a doctor for advice on malarial prophylactics and any other recommended medical precautions.
Rates and Downloads
Tusitiri Dhow accommodates up to 10 guests, and safaris are booked on an exclusive basis.
Rates include exclusive use of Tusitiri Dhow and its tenders. Full board accommodation, house wines and spirits, beers and soft drinks. Local boat transfers, sailing on Tusitiri, snorkelling, water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking, creek fishing, guided walks, cultural visits, wifi on board (where there is signal) and laundry. Use of Tusitiri’s deep sea fishing boat – up to 2 hours per day, which can be accumulated.
US$ 4,140 per night for exclusive charter of Tusitiri for up to six adults
Additional passengers charged US$ 690 per adult per night and US$ 520 per child (5 to 16 years) per night.
Please see 2017 Tusitiri Rate Sheet for comprehensive details of our rates and booking conditions.
• Bookings are secured on receipt of 25% deposit
• Full balance of payment is due 45 days prior to arrival
• More than 120 days prior to arrival – 25% deposit refunded net of bank charges
• 120 to 46 days prior to arrival – 25% deposit forfeited
• 45 to 30 days 50% forfeited / 50% refunded net of bank charges
• Less than 30 days – 100% forfeited
Dhow safaris and all activities are dependent on the tides. Please let us know your preferred dates and any special requests and we will suggest an itinerary to suit you.
If you have children under five years in your party please let us know before you book so we can discuss the practicalities of having young children on board with you.