The best kitesurfing spots in Zanzibar
Get the inside knowledge on the best places to kite in Zanzibar.
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Best kitesurf spots in Zanzibar
The east coast of Zanzibar offers kitesurfing conditions during both windy seasons, winter and summer. The wind direction is side – side shore. The best kitesurfing spots are Paje, Jambiani, Dongwe, Kiwengwa, and Pwani Mchangani. During the winter season (European summer) that lasts from June until October wind is stronger on the south-east coast than on the north-east coast. With kilometers of white sand pristine beaches, the difference between staying at Paje, Dongwe or Jambiani isn’t very big and kitesurfing conditions are similar, since villages are right next to each other. On the north-east side of the island, staying at Pwani Mchangani or nearby Kiwengwa offers different experiences. Let’s start with the south-east side of the island.
- Jambiani – This little fishing village used to be one of the best kept secrets in Zanzibar, but not any more. Although Jambiani has seen a growth of small, owner-managed guest houses in the past few years, it has not been targeted by large hotel chains, ensuring the authentic charm of the area remains. Jambiani kiting area is far less crowded than the neighbouring Paje. Jambiani and especially Dongwe are quiet paradises for couples and families. Outside of the hotels, however, there is not much to do in the evenings. High and low tides in Jambiani and Paje are the most extreme, but that is exactly what makes them so special and fascinating with spectacular colours.
- Paje – Probably the most known and the busiest kite spot on the island. But with kite beach that stretches for kilometers there is enough space for everyone. You’ll find plenty of kite schools in Paje, from local Zanzibari owned to the high-end kitesurfing school and watersports center owned by a luxury hotel. Zanzibar is not a destination with a beach party scene like Ibiza, but for those who love to be in the centre of the action, the Paje village is definitely the heart of the southeast coast, with many beach bars, restaurants and events. There are also more than a few hotels in Paje that offer quietness while being only a short beach walk from the Paje centre. Anyone looking for a very quiet, romantic stay may prefer staying in Jambiani, Dongwe or a little bit further from the centre of Paje.
- Dongwe – The quiet village boasts some of Zanzibar Island’s most exclusive hotels and boutique luxury hotels with the personalized service and all-inclusive cuisine. High-end villas, excellent service and top-class facilities are perfect for kitesurfing honeymooners and families. While there are many kite schools in Paje and Jambiani, in Dongwe there are only a few. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced rider you’ll be able to enjoy kiteboarding without crowds.
- Kiwengwa – The lagoon is beautiful both during high and low tide. Kiwengwa and Pwani Mchangani are close to each other and there are a handful of kitesurfing schools in the area. Spots are not busy at all and they are a good place to start with kitesurfing lessons. The area is popular with large all-inclusive hotels and resorts.
- Pwani Mchangani – Huge lagoon is sheltered by the reef and offers breathtaking views of the turquoise sea. With onsite kitesurfing school right in front of Surfescape Village Zanzibar, Pwani Mchangani is perfect for a very affordable kitesurf holiday in Zanzibar North-east.
Why are Zanzibar tides so important for kitesurfing
Monitoring tides has always been important to Zanzibari fishermen and the same goes for kitesurfing on the east coast of Zanzibar, especially in Paje and Jambiani.
There are two low tides and two high tides every day. They happen every day, at a different time. Zanzibar is certainly one of the best places to learn to kitesurf or hydrofoil kiteboarding. While the shallow flat water lagoon during the low and mid-tide is good for learners, the mid and high tide is much better for experienced kitesurfers and for kite foiling. Planning kitesurfing around tides can be annoying sometimes, but tides are what makes the east coast of Zanzibar so beautiful and fascinating with spectacular, always changing colours.
During the low tide, the sea is so far out that you need to walk for 10 minutes to get to deeper water and you have to pay attention to sea urchins so kiting with neoprene booties is highly recommended.
How to plan a Zanzibar holiday for first-time visitors
Tanzania is still a third world country and so is Zanzibar as the semi autonomous region just 40 kilometres off from Tanzania’s mainland. For more information about the country, kitesurfing seasons and destination guide to planning the perfect trip visit Kitesurf Holidays Zanzibar or get in touch with our Travel Expert. KiteBnB specializes in kitesurfing and windsurfing trips, we have visited all our accommodations and kite spots in Zanzibar, and we have personal experience at the destination that can’t be ‘googled’.