“Before I die… I want to kitesurf in Zanzibar.” This is a thought all of you should be thinking, or at least you will be by the time you’ve finished reading this article.
Zanzibar is an internationally recognized spot throughout the kiting world but surprisingly, without the expected crowds to populate it; at least in the village of Jambiani. Whoops. Secret’s out. Just over 7km south of the overpopulated spot of Paje, lies a large fishing village abundant with space and endless lagoons — all of which are empty!
Just like Paje, you have the option to choose your conditions; flat water at low tide, waves at high tide and perfect thigh high water at mid tide. Understanding the tides here can sometimes be a difficult task due to a massive tidal range at full moon (4.2m) with quarter moons sometimes only 1m!
Note: For ideal mid/low level water conditions, you can allow 2/3 hours either side of the low tide point.
Either way, the wind normally turns on at 8:30 / 9:00 am and continues all day, getting stronger throughout the afternoon. With a constant side shore breeze averaging around 16-20 knots, you can always pick the perfect time for your session or lesson. For lessons, rentals, storage and cheap on the beach kite accommodation, check out Uhuru Kite Zanzibar; lagoons and a sandy bottom make it the best all around spot in Jambiani.
Reasons you should visit Jambiani for kitesurfing:
- All round conditions to suit any and all riders
- Steady side shore wind, perfect for beginners and lessons
- Cheap beach accommodation available (around $50 per night)
- Very uncrowded — even the busiest lagoons usually have only 5-10 kiters!
- Kite, diving, SUP and yoga lessons all available from one place.
If after reading this you decide that before you die, you do indeed want to kitesurf Zanzibar, remember to check in at a kite school for a more detailed explanation of the wind and tides. Also, make sure you know how to do a self rescue… safety first!
Leo Holland is from the UK and started kiting 10 years ago in Turkey. He’s taught and kited all over the world including Greece, Egypt, the Caribbean, the Middle East, South East Asia to name a few.
He settled in Zanzibar just over 3 years ago when he was 18 and went on to open his first school at 19. Now onto bigger and better things, 2 years later he opened another school called Uhuru Kite Zanzibar with a team of multilingual instructors and local staff, situated on the best spot in Jambiani. They provide the best priced courses in all aspects of kiting including rentals, storage and SUP.