Home » Nine yachts Africa’s wealthiest people have owned

Nine yachts Africa’s wealthiest people have owned

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Isabella Dos Santos (Angola)

If you had all the money in the world, what type of yacht would you buy?

Would it be a $65-million Benetti B.NOW 68M, a $25-million 141-footer Mangusta Oceano 42, or a more subtle $5-million Sunseeker 76?

When it comes to splurging on yachts, African billionaires are not as brazen as some of their foreign counterparts.

For context: Roman Abramovich’s new superyacht, Solaris, costs an estimated $600 million. Another, lesser billionaire, vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler, who is worth $2.4 billion, according to Forbes, once owned Serene, a superyacht which he sold off in 2015 to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for a reported $550 million. The most expensive yacht ever owned by an African billionaire is arguably Illusion ­– formerly called Galactica Star – previously owned by Nigerian fugitive oil tycoon Kola Aluko. And it was reportedly worth $50 million.

Here are nine yachts that have been owned by some of Africa’s richest people of all time – some living, others, dead.


Former owner: Isabel dos Santos, Angolan  

The 49.8-meter superyacht Hayken is a custom-built Heesen yacht owned by troubled Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos. She reportedly acquired the yacht from London property developer Christian Candy. Hayken sports an aluminium superstructure and hydrodynamic hull that allows her to sail with minimal fuel consumption. Its exterior was designed by Frank Laupman of Omega Architects and its interior by Francesco Paszkowski. The naval architecture of the yacht was designed by Van Oossanen Naval Architects. Hayken offers accommodation for up to 12 guests across five staterooms with ensuites and a luxurious master suite. Powered by twin MTU 16V 4000 M90 diesel engines, Hayken can reach a maximum speed of 23 knots and she cruises at 17 knots.


Owner: Gabriele Volpi, Nigerian

Boadicea is owned by Italian-Nigerian billionaire Gabriele Volpi, founder of Orlean Invest. The 76.6-meter yacht was initially built by Amels of Netherlands for Australian media mogul Reg Grundy. It has a beam of 14 meters, a draft of 4.2 meters and a volume of 2,191 GT. She can accommodate 16 guests and a crew of 23. She is powered by two Caterpillar engines. Boadicea can reach a maximum speed of 15 knots and a cruise speed of 13 knots.

Badis 1

Owner: King Mohammed VI, Moroccan

Badis I is owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The 229.8-foot/70-meter custom-sail yacht was built by Perini Navi in Italy. The interior was designed by PHDesign to comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests in six cabins, which include a master suite, two VIP staterooms and three double cabins. She also has the capacity to carry up to 11 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience. Powered by 2 MTU (16V 2000 M72) 1,930-horsepower diesel engines and propelled by her twin screw propellers sailing yacht, Badis I is capable of a top speed of 17.5 knots, and comfortably cruises at 12.5 knots when powered by her engines.

Illusion, formerly known as Galactica Star

Former owner: Kola Aluko, Nigerian

Illusion, formerly known as Galactica Star, is a 65-meter/213-foot motor yacht built by Heesen. It was built for long-range cruising, with a 4,200 nautical mile range at 14 knots and a fast cruise speed in the range of 28 knots. The custom-built interior was designed by Bannenberg & Rowel and offers accommodation for up to six guests in 12 cabins, which comprises one master, one VIP and four double staterooms. Galactica Star was delivered to controversial Nigerian oil tycoon Kola Aluko in 2013, but it was seized and sold in 2019 by the U.S. government following a court-ordered seizure of Aluko’s assets due to possible connections to a continuing Nigerian oil corruption case. It was subsequently purchased by American businessman David McKenzie, head of Associated Television International.


Former owner: Mohammed Al-Fayed, Egyptian

Sokar is a luxury yacht once owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed, the founder of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge. The 63.7-meter motor yacht was built by the Italian superyacht yard Codecasa in steel and aluminium to a design by naval architect Vincenzo Ruggiero. The yacht’s extensive accommodation provides for 18 guests in a master suite and eight double staterooms, all with en suite bathroom facilities. She is equipped with two 3,760 horsepower engines. The yacht also has a beam of 10.4 meters and a draft of 3.9 meters. Sokar was renamed Bash by its current owner, who acquired it in 2021.


Former owner: Deinde Fernandez, Nigerian

Hud Hud, formerly called Yemoja is a motor yacht with a length of 46.9 meters. It has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure and was built by Dutch shipmaker Feadship who delivered the yacht in 1994. Its first owner was the late Nigerian billionaire Deinde Fernandez. The yacht features exterior and interior design by De Voogt Naval Architects and Larvor, respectively, with naval architecture by De Voogt Naval Architects. Its features include a beam of 8.6 meters, a draft of 2.75 meters and a volume of 558 GT. It accommodates up to eight guests and 10 crew members, including the captain. The yacht Hud Hud has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. She is powered by two Caterpillar Inc engines, which give her a cruising speed of 13.0 knots and a top speed of 14.5 knots.


Owner: Femi Otedola, Nigerian

Nana is a Sunseeker Predator 108 motor yacht owned by Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola, the chairman of Geregu Power. The 32.91-meter motor yacht has a beam of 6.3 meters, a draft of 1.2 meters and a volume of 142 GT. It can accommodate up to eight guests and four crew members. Nana has a grp hull and grp superstructure. She is powered by three MTU engines, which give her a cruising speed of 28 knots and a top speed of 42 knots. The yacht carries 11,000 liters of fuel onboard, and 1,800 liters of water. Nana is capable of a top speed of 42 knots, and comfortably cruises at 28 knots.


Owner: Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian

Yalla, built by CRN Yacht, is owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. The 73-meter yacht can accommodate 12 guests in six suites, and she has facilities for 22 crew members. Her interior was designed by Droulers Architecture, while her exterior was designed by Omega Architects. The yacht is powered by two Caterpillar engines, which bring her a top speed of 18.5 knots. Her cruise speed is 13 knots.


Owner: Aliko Dangote, Nigerian

Africa’s richest man is the owner of a Sunseeker Predator 108-foot motor yacht christened, “Mariya.” Mariya is designed to comfortably accommodate up to eight guests overnight in four cabins, comprising a master suite, one VIP stateroom and two twin cabins. Mariya is capable of a top speed of 44 knots and comfortably cruises at 30 knots.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.