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Watamu is known for its stunning beaches, rich marine life, and picturesque landscapes. One of the unique features of the area is the traditional beachfront boats, which have a rich history and unique craftsmanship. These boats are not just functional vessels for fishermen and tourists, but also a cultural symbol of the coastal communities.

The traditional beachfront boats in Watamu come in different shapes and sizes, each with its unique features and uses. One of the most popular types of boats is the ngalawa, which is a wooden outrigger canoe with a sail. Ngalawas have been used for centuries by the Swahili people along the East African coast for fishing and transportation. They are still widely used today and are a common sight along the Watamu shoreline.

Another popular type of boat is the dhow, which is a larger wooden vessel with a distinctive triangular sail. Dhows were historically used for trade along the Indian Ocean coast and are still used for fishing and transportation today. Dhows are also popular for sunset cruises and other leisure activities in Watamu.

The craftsmanship involved in building these boats is a true work of art. The boats are typically built by hand using traditional techniques and materials. The process of building a ngalawa or dhow can take several weeks or even months, with skilled craftsmen carefully carving and shaping the wood to create the desired shape and design.

The history and cultural significance of these boats are celebrated through various events and festivals in Watamu. One of the most popular events is the Lamu Cultural Festival, which takes place in nearby Lamu Island. The festival celebrates the culture and traditions of the coastal communities, including their traditional boats and sailing techniques.

Visitors to Watamu can also take part in tours and experiences that explore the history and craftsmanship of these boats. These tours typically involve a visit to a local boatyard or workshop, where visitors can witness the process of building a traditional boat and learn about the techniques and materials used.

In conclusion, the traditional beachfront boats in Watamu are not just functional vessels for fishing and transportation, but also a cultural symbol of the coastal communities. The unique craftsmanship and history of these boats are worth exploring, and visitors to Watamu should take the time to learn about them. And for those looking for a comfortable and relaxing stay in Watamu, GK Palms is a highly recommended resort with excellent amenities and services.

Dhow excursions
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