The world’s first dhow made from 100% plastic trash collected from beaches and coastal towns has recently made its historic maiden voyage up the coast from Lamu Kenya to Zanzibar, and not without an important stop-over on the 26 January at Hemingways Watamu who have joined forces in this important expedition. 

The nine-metre long sailing boat built out of 10 tonnes of plastic waste and thousands of repurposed flip flops sails with its sole aim: to raise awareness about the over 12 million tonnes of plastic waste being dumped in the ocean every year. A fun and colourful way to highlight a pressing issue.

Ongoing support for local communities and environmental conservation have always been hugely important issues for Hemingways Collection; to protect, sustain and promote, and the team at Hemingways Watamu feel passionately about protecting the future of this tropical paradise. With this in mind, Hemingways Watamu was more than delighted to help support and host the FlipFlopi Expedition. A founding partner and member of Watamu Marine Association (formed in 2008), Hemingways Collection is committed to conserving the beauty of the Kenyan coastline and the ecosystem of coral reefs, turtles, barracuda, and whale shark, that live within it.

“We are among the champions of clean oceans with our continuous support of beach cleanup exercises along the Watamu coastline. Over the years, we have worked with our fellow community members to clear plastics from our beach and convert them to better use and are actively reducing single use plastics used in our properties throughout Kenya” commented Hemingways Collection Operations Director, Mr Ross Evans.

The Flipflopi dhow has now sailed on to its end destination.  Having partnered with UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, it will seek to join nine other African countries in the fight against marine pollution in highlighting the potential of ‘already used’ plastic.

However Hemingways Watamu remains committed to these issues and continues in its daily battle against plastic. Every effort at Hemingways Watamu has been made to reduce, and ultimately remove, the use of single use plastics within the hotel.  Partnering with Watamu Marine Association, environmentally conscious guests are encouraged to visit the EcoWorld Watamu recycling centre for themselves, to participate in beach clean-ups and spend time in the Marine Park with expert Marine Biologists on hand to explain about the devastating impact that plastic pollution is having on the delicate coral reefs.

Following its huge refurbishment last year, Hemingways Watamu has gone the extra mile to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible.  It is proud to have its own solar power farm to reduce reliance on and use of grid electricity.  Solar hot water facilities have been introduced on the roofs of each block and rain water collection tanks installed below ground to capture every possible drop of rain.  A bio digester plant treats and recycles grey water for use on the gardens, and swimming pools are filled with natural brackish water (a mix of salt and fresh water) which requires less chlorination to maintain.

Stays at Hemingways Watamu cost from $250 per room per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis