Our Dhows

Our dhows are called “KARAKORY” and “MAHATSARA”. They were built by a lagoon in Radamas Islands; ninety kilometers south of Nosy Be. Everything on board is designed to carry your dreams beyond standards. The playful comfort that generally characterizes our services is higher on the dhow than on canoes; space, generous shade, carpets, cushions and Arabic trays are part of the daily scene

The dhow immerses us even more easily in the Thousand and one Night tales. The “Shahrazad effect” is guaranteed. However, activities on sea and ashore are exactly the same than in a pirogue tour.

Mahatsara

Dhows mahatsara Alefa
  • Overall length: 16,50 m
  • width: 5,05 m
  • Draught: 0.90 m
  • Material used for sails: cotton
  • Sail area: 145 M2
  • weight: about 30 tons
  • Load capacity: 30 tons

Karakory

Go to madagascar
  • Overall length: 14,50 m
  • width: 4.65 m
  • Draught: 0.80 m
  • Material used for sails: cotton
  • Sail area: 115 M2
  • weight: about 20 tons
  • Load capacity: 20 tons

 

Dhows boats are of Arab origin. Their extraordinary history goes back over a thousand years and the Kingdom of these boats, coming out of the mists of time, is stretching from southern India to the North West of Madagascar through Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania and up to Comoros. They are strong and well running boats made for transport. Their shallow draft enables them, like pirogues, to sneak anywhere. They are broad (about 1/3 of their length), well protected abaft, their bow is pointed, and have one (or two) Triangular sail (like Latin sails

 

Insensitive to major economic upheavals of the late twentieth century, the North West of Madagascar is the last region in the world where hundreds of dhows still navigate mainly with sail propulsion. Still today in Nosy Be, the spectacle of these sails shaped as writers’ feather is part of our daily sight. Their omnipresence in the scenery could almost make us forget the great cultural value that represents these fabulous boats. Once traffickers of weapons, pearls, gold and slaves; these vessels straight out of an Arabian Nights tale, have slowly adapted to the particular history of Madagascar. Thus, gradually these sea trucks helped a new economy and they still nowadays, transport on sail all the traditional building materials coming out of the bush and the forest; ravinala leaves used for roofs and walls, mangrove poles, timber, rafters… but also, rice, coconuts, oranges, bananas, dried fish, zebus, goats, ducks and chickens. At the dawn of the third millennium, dhows still very actively involved in the economic development of Nosy Be Island