Design Your Life
How A Chicago Native Created ‘Yacht Week East Africa’ For Black Travelers
By DeAnna Taylor
Kelsy Horton, a native of Chicago, is the founder and host of Yacht Week East Africa. Kelsy has lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for the last three years and has become very familiar with the region.
Kelsy found his love for sailing after being exposed to the vibrant boat scene, filled with day parties and sunset charters, on the waters of Lake Michigan. Once he moved to Dar es Salaam, he connected with local Tanzanian sailors. Together, they began to charter yachts to explore the coast and to celebrate while doing so.
He fell in love with the beauty of East Africa the moment he arrived. The crystal blue waters, white sand beaches, amazing islands, and rich culture heightened his love for the region.
Travel Noire had the opportunity to speak with Kelsy about Yacht Week East Africa and how it came about.
Travel Noire: What inspired you to create Yacht Week East Africa? What was the “ah-ha” moment for you?
Kelsy: I knew that I was in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. By this time, I had already developed a passion for sailing. I also wanted to share my African experience with as many of my brothers and sisters as possible. Lastly, I observed sailing events taking place everywhere in the world except for Africa. These factors led me to create Yacht Week East Africa.
Travel Noire: What is the vision for this event?
Kelsy: For people of color to discover Africa and also discover a piece of themselves. Visiting Africa will undoubtedly raise your consciousness, and potentially unlock opportunities that you didn’t know existed. Our company also plans to serve as a way to connect more people in the African diaspora with the Motherland for leisure, business, and self-exploration around Tanzania/Zanzibar, Seychelles, Kenya, and Mozambique.
Travel Noire: What is it really like to live in Tanzania?
Kelsy: Tanzania is a peaceful place that has a calming effect on the mind. Swahili culture is beautiful and leaves a lasting impression on you. Tanzanians are very warm and welcoming. Tanzania has a tropical feel to it, and the scenery is second to none with its beautiful islands, lush mountain regions, and amazing national parks. Juxtaposed with life in America, it’s refreshing to live in a culture that isn’t driven by the constant hustle and pursuit of money. I also enjoy the absence of racism.
Travel Noire: If you could describe Africa in 3 words, what would they be?
Kelsy: Beautiful. Underrated. WAKANDA.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.