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Rift Safari
Travelling along the Rift Valley:
Kitesurfing in Zanzibar
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WHERE AND WHEN:

In the last years the east coast of Zanzibar has gradually become a successful destination and it is on the way to become as well one of the most relevant centres of the Indian ocean. Reason for this success are the presence of wind 8 months a year [this can be stronger or milder depending on months but basically constant] and the calm and shallow waters of the lagoon enclosed by the barrier reef that runs along the entire east coast.
The northern side of the island [Nungwi] is also enclosed by the barrier reef which create an inner lagoon but the wind is significantly blowing here only three months a year hence is this much less relevant kitesurf station.

Kitesurfing in Paje @ Pajebykite
Kite surfing in Paje @ high tide @ Pajebykite

Winds and best months to kite surf:
From April to November the wind [Kuzi] blows from south - southeast parallel to the east coast. This wind tends to be rather strong from June to about mid of August blowing at a speed ranging from 11 to 22 knots with some days in which it can reach up to 25+ knots. Starting from September it fades more and more delivering a particularly calm sea.
Between November and December the monsoon changes direction and brings the short rains. This wind, called Kazkazi, will blow from north - northeast always parallel to the east coast normally until the end of March. This is a much more gentle wind compared to Kuzi and therefore capable to create less ideal conditions for kiters. Its speed varies between 10 and 18 knots with several days between November and December when there might be no wind.
Best months ever to enjoy kitesurfing on the east coast go from June to August [normally with a 9 to 10 kite]; September and October and from mid of December to mid/end of march using a larger kite [10 or 12].
The northern tip of the island [Nungwi] offers good kite conditions only from mid of December to mid/end of March.

wind speed on Zanzibar east coast Zanzibar sea temperatures

AREA 1: PAJE
Located on the southeast coast, Paje has proved to be a true kite surfers tropical paradise suitable both for novice kiters and experienced riders for the following reasons:
1. presence of wind [more or less strong] for 8 months a year
2. the lagoons on low and neap tides offer butter flat free style pools that keep even the hungriest of pros satisfied and on the other hand it is the perfect place for beginners to do their first metres on the board. There is plenty of space so the two don’t interfere with each other.
3. possibility to become more confident and practise free riding and free styling at high tide.
4. plenty of space inside the lagoon protected by the coral reef located 1,8 off shore so novice and experienced kiters will not interfere with each other.
5. absence of coral outcrops for a good stretch of sea before reaching the barrier makes this area safe.
6. opportunity to practice SUP, wave riding, free styling, wake styling, free riding and downwind both inside and outside the reef where occasionally you can encounter dolphins and whales at the right time of the year when migrating they pass through.

Kitesurf map, Paje, Zanzibar

Kite centres at Paje:
Pajebykite [inside Paje by Night]: it offers lesson for all levels with IKO instructors, full range of Kitesurf equipment rental, downwinder 5 to 50 km long all over the island with a 17ft 125hp support kite boat, wakeboarding and tubing to keep you busy even without wind.
Harakakite: managed by Mathias Oriani,certified IKO instructor, it offers kite lesson for all levels, downwinders trips and equipment rental.
Airborne kite centre: operating in Kenya and Zanzibar it offers lesson for all levels with IKO instructors and downwinders trips.
Kite Centre Zanzibar: it offers lesson for all levels and rental of equipment.

Accommodation at Paje:
Paje offers only mid-range and budget accommodation:
Paje by Night: this is a little resort with swimming pool, budget but cool with a relaxed atmosphere suitable for young travellers used to travel in Africa.
Arabian Night Annex: a more conventional facility offering some more comfort but in a less ethnic context.

Accommodation at Bwejuu:
If you are interested in kitesurfing on the southeast coast but also looking for a higher specification facility then we would recommend you look at Breezes Beach Club, Baraza, The Palms, all three located at Bwejuu about 5 min driving from Paje. Breezes Beach Club has got its own kitesurf centre open as well to guest staying at its sister facilities Baraza and The Palms.

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AREA 2: MATEMWE
Matemwe is set on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar facing Mnemba island. This area is particularly recommended if you love diving beyond kiting. Matemwe is in fact unanimously considered the best diving area of Zanzibar.

We point out here Kite Zanzibar. This center also operates branches in the area of Kiwengwa, a little further south.

Recommended facilities in Matemwe are the mid specification Matemwe Beach Village and the higher range Matemwe Bungalows.

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AREA 3: NUNGWI

Unlike the east coast, Nungwi situated on the northern tip of the island offers favourable conditions for kitesurfing only from mid December to about mid March when Kazkazi wind is blowing from north, northeast parallel to the east coast.

Among kite centres we point out here dare2flyzanzibar inside Z-hotel

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