Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Sailing

“In Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Sailing onboard the Sailing Dhow SUR is an absolute must for all adventurous travellers and avid sailors!”


“SUR” is a 60ft (18 metre) Traditional Sailing Dhow located in Zanzibar, Tanzania. She was built entirely out of high quality Indian Teak in India in 1991. Soon after she was built, she sailed to northern Germany where she was converted into an ocean sailing yacht capable of major ocean crossings. Upon completion of her refit, she sailed around the world and most recently the western Indian Ocean until she arrived in Tanzania where she is now permanently based.

Sur under sail.

Traditional Sailing Dhow “SUR”.

SUR has just completed a major refit which included many new comforts along with an upgrade to her navigation equipment. Although she now provides modern comfort and electronics for a luxurious cruise, she retains the traditional Dhow design as well as the Lateen sail. In essence, she is very much a Dhow. Arguably SUR is the most beautifully set up Day Charter and Live Aboard excursion Dhow in East Africa. 

On deck of the Sailing Dhow "Sur".

On deck of the Sailing Dhow “SUR”.

Captain & Crew

  • Qualified Captain/Guide
  • 2 x Deckhands/Chef

Catch a tan on comfortable sunbeds!

Passenger Capacities

  • Day Charters: Maximum 12 Guests
  • Overnight & Live Aboard Charters: 2 – 4 Guests

Elegant and Comfortable!

Charter Options – Stone Town

1. Half day Sand Bank Explorer cruise

Depart from Shangani and sail out to remote tidal sand banks in the vicinity of the Stone Town area.  Approximate sailing time to the sand bank is 1 – 1.5 hours.  Once there, use our tender boat to go snorkelling the submerged reefs or head to the tidal sand bank.  Enjoy time sun bathing, swimming and snorkelling and return to Stone Town for the end of the trip. Finger food and drinks served on board the boat and on the sand bank.

Escape your hotel for the day!

2. Full day Island Explorer Cruise

Depart from Shangani and enjoy our Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Sailing over to one of the nearby islands of interest, such as Grave Island or Prison Island.  Disembark and explore the islands at your will, then set off again on SUR and head for a remote tidal sand bank frequented by no other.  Once there, use the tender for snorkelling the submerged reefs and heading onto the tidal sand bank.  Enjoy time sun bathing, swimming and snorkelling and return to Stone Town for the end of the trip. Finger food, lunch, and drinks served on board the boat and on the sand bank.

See the Flying Fox’s of Bat Island!

3. Sunset Cruise

Depart from Shangani by 15.00 hrs and set sail along the shore of Stone Town.  Depending on the weather and wind, sail northward toward Grave Island or southward along the coast enjoying the beautiful evening light.  Return to Stone Town as the sun sets and witness the arrival and departure of commercial Dhows entering or leaving the port area.  Listen to the call of prayer over this magical old city, enjoying it all from the luxurious comfort on board SUR.  Disembark by 19.00 hrs.

Our guests enjoying drinks on a sandbank.

Drinks on the Sandbank!



  • Builder: Traditional Dhow Builders in India.
  • Model: Traditional Build
  • Type: Traditional Indian Dhow 
  • Year of Manufacture: 1991
  • Length: 60ft (18 metres)
  • Beam: 15ft (4.5 metres) 
  • Boat Cruising Speed: 4 – 6 knots
  • Anchors: Double hydraulic windlass operating two large 60 kg anchors with ample chain.
  • Water: Pressurised fresh water system for sinks, showers.
  • AC/DC Power: 12V, 24V, 220V power generated by solar and wind.
  •  Motor Specs: 1 x 220 HP 3306 Caterpillar Diesel 6 – cylinder engine.
  • Motor Year of Manufacture: 1991

Indian Ocean Cruising!

Sailing Configuration

  • 1 x Mast
  • Single traditional Lateen sail
Traditional Dhow Sur Sailing

“SUR” making way!


“SUR” features a Traditional Dhow deck converted to teak decking with inlay, raised cabin ceilings, central covered cockpit, two-helm steering, upper sun deck, large aft double cabin with couch, large fore twin/double cabin, two separate heads and showers, lower deck lounge and galley.

Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Rigging

Traditional Rigging

Navigation & Electronics

  • Raymarine GPS Chartplotter
  • Raymarine Radar
  • Raymarine CHIRP Downvision Fish Finder
  • Icom VHF Radio Base Station (25W) 
  • Hydraulic Steering with Raymarine Autopilot
  • Navigation Lights Icom VHF Submersible Hand-Held Radios (5W)

Max out on comfort!


  • 4 x Gas burner Hob and Oven
  • Double bowl sink
  • 3 x Engel Fridge/Freezers
Freshly prepared Seafood.

Fresher Fish you will not get!

Cabins & Heads

  • Cabins: 1 x aft double cabin, 1 x stern double/twin cabin.
  • Heads: 2 x Electric
  • Showers: 2 x freshwater hot/cold water

Spacious and comfortable Cabins


  • 1 x Double Sunbed or Star gazing bed on the sundeck.
  • 3 x Sun beds on the top deck
  •  Lounge with Couches
  • Comfortable seating throughout the dhow
  • Water access via side mounted step ladders attached to gunnels
  • Indoor and outdoor Sound System
  • 32” Flatscreen HD TV
  • Electrical switchboard.

Feel the ages!

Safety Equipment Onboard

  • Life Vests
  • Flares
  • Smoke signal
  • VHF 25W base station
  • Cellphone
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life ring
  • Radar
  • Life raft
  • Tender.
Aerial shot of Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Sailing - SUR

Traditional Dhow Sailing at its best!

Feel the Ages onboard SUR – The ultimate Zanzibar Traditional Dhow Sailing Experience!


Zanzibar Day Charters