- Dhows of many types have always born much of the Sea traffic
- In a good breeze these craft are surprising fast and maneuverable.
- Dhows could work close to shore, in shallow water. To these
vessels even the smallest towns on the East African coast were accessible.
In a fine harbor like Zanzibar the Dhows would crowd in to load and unload
all manner of goods.
- The labor involved with transshipping such a large amount of goods
provided work for many Zanzibaris.
- Sometimes in the past the Dhows carried human cargo.
- Despite their long sailing traditions the Zanzibari were amoung
the first to introduce Steam powered vessels to African waters. The old
Zanzibar steamers pictured below helped change Indian Ocean commerce forever
by not being tied to the annual cycle of monsoon winds.
By Torrence Royer, 2005