| || With its safaris and its seaside resorts along a coast sheltered by a coral reef, Kenya is Africa’s top tourist destination. In the ornithological paradise of Mida Creek, surrounded by mangroves and home to marabou storks, flamingoes, herons, and other birds, tourists can go scuba diving (the site is a marine reserve and is inhabited by a protected species of giant grouper), or take a trip on a dhow. For more than 1,000 years dhows have been the primary means of transportation and trade in eastern Africa. The Persians and Arabs introduced this type of sailing craft when trade links were first established with the region. Taking advantage of the winter monsoon winds, which blew from the northeast, sailors came laden with textiles, corn, wine, and small items of glassware, and left with cargoes of fine hardwoods, ivory, rhinoceros horns, and above all, slaves. From June to October, before the monsoon, the dhows sailed back toward the northeast. Today, the only coastal trade route that survives is that between Somalia and Tanzania.
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