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“A Perfect Day on a Dhow”

Sailaway Dhow Safaris
Ranked #9 of 17 things to do in Vilanculos
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Attraction details
Owner description: We offer all inclusive day and overnight dhow safaris to the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. Accommodation options on overnight safaris include camping or lodge accommodation on the mainland whilst on safari. Excellent food, refreshments, snorkeling over reefs and exploring the islands in the Archipelago. Day safari rate from Mt 2,850 p/p and overnight safaris from Mt7,350 p/p.
White River, South Africa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Perfect Day on a Dhow”
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Our family of 9 adults and 3 children under 12 met Rogerio (the worlds best Dhow chef) and Matteus (the most unflappable skipper) on the beach in Vilanculos at 8.30am one morning last week. We jumped aboard, made our introductions and headed out into the crystal blue waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago, on a course plotted for Magaruque Island. As the wind was in our faces we pottered at a very relaxed pace under motor (a small outboard attached to the back) away from the shore and out towards the islands. En route to Magaruque local fisherman in their dhows could be seen carrying on with their daily lives out in the archipelago - a scene that probably has not changed much for hundreds of years! Rogerio kept the kids amused by making then Mango hedgehogs for them to eat. When we arrived at the island we all jumped off the dhow into shallow water and soft sand and waded up onto the most perfect and people-free beach, whilst the Matteus anchored a few meters out. We spent the rest of the morning wandering on the beach, sunbathing and snorkelling, while Rogiero lit the coals in the sand-pit in the back of the dhow (how cool is that!) and started to prepare lunch. As the tide went out we all jumped in the dhow to move it into calm waters the other side of the reef. I must add at this stage that another small motor boat was making the same manoevure had to be pushed over a sandbar while Matteus managed to steer us through the smallest of channels whilst Rogerio continued to cook lunch! What a lunch it was too!! Chargrilled marinaded King fish (possibly the best barbequed fish I have ever eaten), and mild but perfectly spiced potato and tomato stew and rice, washed down by ice cold beers. The most juicy Mangos and sweetest bananas for pudding and then more snorkelling around the dhow which was now surrounded by hundreds of colourful tropical fish (parrot fish, angel fish, breams, sgt. majors to name a few). After the most perfect afternoon we hoisted the sail (the wind now behind us) and headed for home, munching salty popcorn from a huge bowl made by Rogerio on the embers of the fire! I could not rate this experience highly enough!! It is the most relaxed I have ever seen the family!! Three cheers for Rogerio and Matteus for the most excellent adventure!!

Visited January 2014
Thank Paddy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DaveSailaway, Owner at Sailaway Dhow Safaris, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
Hi Paddy
Thanks for your review. So glad that the Sailaway crew managed to look after you all so well.
All the best to you as well at umSisi House. Will definately pop in when I am in the area.
Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not as advertised & lots of attitude”
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I recently had a very negative experience with Richard--the new manager--from SailAway. We booked a trip only to find it was not as advertised and there were surprise fees. We could have brushed it off had it been handled well, but Richard was not interested in hearing about it, resolving it, or compromising. When booked, I asked questions like what more I needed to know and should we pay in advance, could we pay with credit card, etc. I was repeatedly told nothing more was needed, we were all booked. When we brought up these issues, he said he'd told us all about these things and clarified by e-mail. When I'd point this out, all he would say in response was, "That's just how it is" and walk away. It was rather infuriating and exceptionally bad customer service. In addition, he was rather incompetent and didn't seem to know how to manage things like the credit card machine and when I asked about payment online, he pointed me to the computer and said there you go. I'd recommend booking your sailing or snorkling adventure in Mozambique with another company.

Visited October 2013
Thank letsgoseestuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DaveSailaway, Owner at Sailaway Dhow Safaris, responded to this review, 21 October 2013
Hi Mary
We apologise for any misunderstanding or confusion which may have arisen due to lack of sufficient communication. Richard was on an overnight safari with clients and returned too late to see you off. Our credit card machine was unfortunately offline at the time you tried to pay, so it was not his incompetence which prevented payment from taking place at that time. It is not unusual for credit card payments to incur a transaction fee however. We don't profit from that. Richard offered you the use of our work computer and an internet connection to help you with payment. I don't see how that can be seen in a negative light. To be fair, looking through email conversations before your safari, we assisted you with accommodation and offered to help you with transport after your arrival in Vilanculos, We do as a rule try to go the extra mile with clients. Sorry that we let you down.
Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing, Wow Wow”
Reviewed 16 October 2013

This was amazing, we booked for 3 days the first 2 we were blessed with a fabulous group of people on the dhow, the islands are so beautiful, Richard seemed to know all the best spots, if you like deserted white sandy beaches, turquoise sea, breath taking views, snorkelling this is for you! It was just magical. Our 3rd day was cancelled due to thunderstorms but Richard made a plan and we went out a few days later, Sailaway rearranged all their trips so we could visit all 3 islands. Sailaway could not have been more accommodating they were brilliant, also we were offered dhow trips by guys on the beach but it is reassuring to know you go with someone with a permit, insurance etc and has the ability to made a back up plan. If I had a bucket list this would be no 1. The best part for was watching the sail unfold and then sailing back there is something so special about the rhythm of a dhow sailing.

Visited October 2013
Thank Peta M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fabulous vacation, fantastic crew”
Reviewed 10 October 2013

We did the 3 day/2 night trip which was exactly the kind of relaxing break of reality that my friend and I had been searching for - lots of sun, beautiful vistas, we even lucked out and saw dugongs and dolphins! When I first realized that we weren't camping on the Bazarutos I was mildly disappointed. However, the pre-erected camp site with hot water showers and flush toilets was actually perfect and remote enough that the stargazing and views from our tent were just as amazing as they would have been on the islands themselves.
What really made this trip amazing was the food and the staff - the fish dishes that our cook managed to cook in a sandpit on the boat still amaze me. I haven't had fish that good in years! And the one day that we had some stormy weather they saved me from losing toes and fingers from cold by keeping the cooking fire going as we traversed the water between the islands and the mainland. The only thing I would do differently if I did this trip again would be to bring a wetsuit top so I could have stayed in the water longer while snorkeling (and not frozen half to death on the journey back). That being said, I would sign up for this trip again tomorrow. Thanks again Sailaway for an amazing trip!

Visited May 2013
Thank Jacquie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United kingdom cheshire
Level Contributor
153 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Excellent, attentive staff keen to please”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

We enjoyed a one day dhow trip to margaruque island. The three staff were really great and went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our day. Dumas (I think), was particularly entertaining, and very knowledgeable about the area and pointed out places of interest. Lunch was excellent cooked by another member of the crew on board and then brought to the beach for us. They kept an eye to all those snorkelling to ensure their safety and encouraged me to get back on the boat to see the fish (I don't snorkel) and gave me some left over rice to feed the fish.
We took our own wine and beer and would recommend you take additional drinks, although I am a bit fussy. A really great day and our thanks go to the crew.

Visited September 2013
Thank Kascrofton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DaveSailaway, Owner at Sailaway Dhow Safaris, responded to this review, 28 September 2013
Hi Kascrofton
Thanks for your positive feedback. Glad you enjoyed your trip.
Best regards from the Sailaway crew.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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