Zanzibar is a stunning island with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, making a holiday to Zanzibar the perfect place for relaxation. The South East coast is home to some of the finest beaches in the world boasting an amazing coral reef that runs the length of the coast and is ideal for snorkelling and diving. In recent years this area has become very popular with Kitesurfers with the best wind from December to March and then also in July - September. There are now a number of hotels in the North and South East with on-site Kitesurf centers offering all levels of instruction and safety support.
There is so much to see and do in Zanzibar and Tanzania, however it can be quite a complex location to plan independently. Luckily Planet have long experience in this part of the world and we are experts and constructing tailor made itineraries to fit a client interests, budget and time frame.
There is a good range of accommodation in Zanzibar from small boutique beach hotels to luxury Resort & Spa properties. Zanzibar if a great location for those looking for a combination of luxury and adventure with great kite surfing !
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"Recent Site visit by Matt - Nov 2015 Having spent a few days in Paje, a few in Dongwe and the last days in Jambiani on a recent trip, I have found a really exciting destination for some great kiting. Suitable for beginners and intermediates (at high tide in particular) - the east coast is the best area to kitesurf in Zanzibar. Multiple high quality, great value accommodations combined with access to the best kitesurf schools in Zanzibar - perfect!!! Please note that the 2 seasons are short. Mid Dec- Mid March and Mid July- Mid September will bring the best wind stats."
The kite surf spots are found along the South East coastline. The best areas are in Dongwe, Paje and Jambiani. Each area is affected by tides and low tide can mean a long walk out to the water. Advanced and competent kiters can launch and kite in most areas along the coast line, however Planet would always recommend to use one of the reputable and recommended centres based within or close to our highlighted properties, these centres will provide high quality instruction, kit rentals and rescue/beach services for those that need it. To get to the centres may require a short taxi ride or walk along the beach.
At high tide the conditions are super flat and shallow, making it perfect for beginners, intermediates and advanced kiters alike. There are pockets of seaweed and banks of urchins half way out to the reef which is approximately 750m - 1km from the shore. We would recommend booties at all times to avoid urchins and small pieces of coral. The seaweed can be negotiated and instructions of how to avoid can be provided from the centres.
At low tide the beginner and intermediate student may be moved up or down the beach to find the most appropriate area to have instruction - it is a considerable drop in tide so lessons can be moved to certain times of the day to accommodate for this.
The wind season is split into two: mid December to February, which is known as the Kaskazi, this normally blows from the North at around 15-18 knots. The Kuzi blows from the South to SE from May to October, but can start in April. The Kuzi is the stronger of the two and blows most days between 15-25 knots but averages between 18-20 knots. Calmer in the morning and gets stronger normally after lunch. Best months are July, August and September where you can expect excellent wind with greater regularity.
Although Zanzibar is limited for families outside of the 5* resorts it still makes for an amazing beach holiday for a family of any age. The island is safe and welcoming, the 5* resorts will provide kids clubs and/or child care (arranged locally). Most of the water sports centres will have child friendly services and for those teens/young adults, the conditions for learning to kite are ideal so definitely suitable for families of all ages wanting to enjoy the sport together.
Many of the evening activities revolve around sipping on a well deserved "sundowner" before indulging in some of the great local food cooked on an open barbeque underneath the stars or served in a stunning hotel restaurant. Needless to say, Zanzibar is not a destination for those seeking a lively club scene! There are lively nights but normally limited to the hotel and who happens to be in resort at the time. Anticipate slow relaxed evenings, within stunning surroundings.
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