It would take a lot to sink this island-hopping floating bar and restaurant in Kenya - it rests on 240 recycled plastic drums originally used to transport glucose. Constructed out of locally-sourced natural materials such as palm and cedar, the Pontoon restaurant is powered by a small array of four solar panels. Kenyan businessman Peter Gitau and his former British partner first decided in 2007 that they would build the floating party boat, which Gitau then completed within four short months. It has since ridden waves of fluctuating business as the country's political tide ebbs and flows.
Fully licensed by all of the relevant authorities, the floating bar has a remarkable capacity of roughly 250 people. This is made possible by the drums, which are virtually impossible to sink. All of the materials were sourced locally, including structural palm trunks and fronds used for traditional makuti roofing, while water-resistance cedar framing was sourced elsewhere in Kenya. Rooftop solar panels provide electricity, water is solar-heated, and Gitau removes the human waste that is then treated at a site on nearby Manda Island.
Designed as an island hopper, the floating boat moves around Kenya’s verdant northern coast islands, which boast coral reefs, mangrove forests and traditional Swahili culture. It also doubles as an affordable backpackers joint with a few beds and a shared bathroom. Pontoon restaurant is a fun spot, though we have to admit it is a bit run down since the palm furnishings don’t last well under the hot sun. Plus, visitors that arrive by boat frequently cause damage to the sides of the floating structure, so Gitau is currently thinking of new ways (and hoping for new capital) to improve this popular eco-destination.
Images via Tafline Laylin