Set sail into a Kenya’s sparkling sunset aboard the Tamarind Dhow in Mombasa.
Twinkling lights on the shore merge with a starlit sky to create an idyllic sparkling setting
Dining on a floating restaurant while watching the sun set is not a new concept, but few can say they have done so in quite as exotic a location as Mombasa. Twinkling lights on the shore merge with a starlit sky to create an idyllic sparkling setting for a romantic evening aboard the Tamarind Dhow, complete with live music, dancing, and copious amounts of food; one of the most inspiring things to do in Kenya.
There are two Jahazis in the Tamarind Dhow fleet, whose distinctive billowing sails cast a striking angular image across the Indian Ocean as they glide around the shores of Eastern Africa. These traditional Arab sailing boats were formerly used to haul cargo between Kenya and her trading partners, but have since been reincarnated as floating restaurants which set sail twice a day, six days a week.
The ‘Nawalilkher’ accommodates 70 people for dinner, or 100 if you’d prefer a cocktail party, while the ‘Babulkher’ will hold 55 dining guests, or 70 with the tables removed. If you’d really like to impress your friends next time you’re planning an extravagant party, both are available for exclusive hire!
Typically, an evening sunset cruise with Tamarind Dhow lasts around four hours, gliding gently from the Mombasa Tamarind jetty to the historic Fort Jesus. Guests are welcomed with a traditional ‘Dawa’ cocktail, setting a zesty honey and lime tone for the evening’s voyage, before a Swahili seafood dinner is prepared meticulously before all passengers on deck for their appraisal and inevitable salivation.
The resident band then take up their instruments to fill the humid night air with an eclectic mix of songs, both old and new, in which guests are encouraged to revel and dance as the Kenyan landscape rolls along the distant horizon.
The Tamarind Dhow sunset cruise, which leaves at 18:30 and returns at 22:30, is easily accessible for anyone staying in the Mombasa region, and hotels are usually able to organise transportation to and from the cruise jetty. Indeed, there is accommodation aplenty in nearby Diani, while Nyali Beach to the north boasts the Voyager Hotel, Whitesands Resort and several other excellent places to stay. The Tamarind Group itself offers luxurious serviced apartments close to the jetty, along with the famous Tamarind seafood restaurant, leaving you with no excuse not to indulge in something aquatic during your next trip to Kenya.