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Zanzibar - Tanzania

Paje is a village located on the beach on the east coast of the island. Nothing to envy the seaside resorts, Paje is an unmissable place during your stay in Zanzibar. Restaurants, shops, clubs, hotels of all kinds, sports activities ... everything is there ! Renowned spot for kite surfing but not only, I explain the 10 things to do in Paje in this article:

Try your hand at kite surfing

Whether you're a boardsports fan or not, seeing the dozens (hundreds in high season) of kites floating on the horizon makes you want to try!

Paje is renowned worldwide as a kite surfing spot.Shallow water and a magnificent turquoise, the right wind, white sand... There are worse places to learn! 

And if you are already an amateur you can either bring your equipment or rent it on site!

There are kitesurf schools all along the beach and often held by... white people. Rates are approx.$45 per hour for lessons.

Otherwise you can find self-employed teachers, like Ali,(*** see EDIT)  which have nothing to envy to kite schools but which offer a cheaper price(about $35/h)and what allows them to live with a few hours of lessons compared to these big schools that look more like factories..

When you are offered kite lessons on the beach, make sure you have the equipment and pay at the end of the course above all.But please pay after every hour even if you plan to do several. It's happened a lot that tourists leave without paying after several hours of lessons and I find that inadmissible.  Knowing the poverty that reigns in Zanzibar, and now seeing behind the scenes thanks to my relationship, I find it important to support the locals.

EDIT: after a year and a half of relationship with Ali, I was well fooled as well as my friends who lived there with us for several months, my family, and even my boss who had done the paperwork to offer him work in France. I won't tell the sordid details here because it went way too far. I therefore no longer recommend the "Beach boys" as they are called, who have 99% of evil plans in mind even if they initially just to offer you a scooter and/or an excursion. Of course, negotiating the price will be interesting with them, but stick to this only. No friend, or more if affinities please. Don't destroy your life like mine was destroyed.

I will leave the photos here because they illustrate my point and are part of my past experience no matter what.

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Go for a drink at The Rock at high tide

While researching Zanzibar you must have come across the picture of this atypical restaurant.

 

Nestled on a rock in the middle of the sea , it attracts tourists. Prices are not necessarily cheap for backpackers, but if you are here for a few weeks on vacation or if you want to treat yourself, this is the romantic place. There are 2 services for lunch only, it is imperative to book.

To go for a drink it is not necessary to make a reservation, but I recommend doing it anyway because there are not many tables regarding the amount of people who want to go there.

The rock is located on the road between Paje and Michamvi , a sign on the right indicates it. From the beach, a small boat will pick you up to take you there.

 

It is also possible to go there by foot at low tide but it is true that the view is more charming when the rock is surrounded by water.

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Swimming in Kuza Cave

Kuza caves are natural caves where you can swim.

 

The water is so bright blue there that you might think it's fake. 

Contrary to my memory of caves in France, the water is not frozen there and even very pleasant to cool off.

On the site of Kuza caves it is possible to take Swahili cooking lessons, to hear a djembe concert and to take part of it, etc.  

Entry is $ 10 . For cooking lessons, the price is indicated in addition.

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Discover the red colobus of Zanzibar

The red colobus is a small monkey with long hair, a white belly and a red back. He is originally from Zanzibar and only lives here and on the surrounding islands . So it's a great outing from Paje to meet this unfortunately endangered species.  

 

To do this activity, go to Jozani Forest located 15-20 minutes drive from Paje . If you do not have a vehicle, you can go by dala dala for 400 shillings (0.15 €).

Entry is $ 10 and includes a visit of about 2 hours with a guide who will talk about the monkeys but also all the medicinal plants and their virtues, as well as the richness of the mangrove and what it is used for. 

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Take a walk in the village of Jambiani

Jambiani is the neighboring village of Paje, the beaches are a little quieter and the hotels a little more aimed at people who want a rest or a honeymoon.

Walk along the beach and a little in the village, you will meet beautiful people there. Like that day when we ran into women dancing to celebrate a wedding!

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Take a walk in Bwejuu and buy fresh fish

Bwejuu is a neighboring village in Paje, opposite Jambiani.

We can say that facing the sea, we have Bwejuu - Paje - Jambiani.

 

Also quieter than Paje, you will find many hotels along the beach and pretty palm trees. But no restaurants or bars.

 

For a quiet walk along the water, meditate, run ... The landscape looks different, wilder, more "jungle" a few minutes walk from Paje.  

 

In the village of Bwejuu it is also possible to ask the fishermen for fresh fish . The prices are much lower than in France, and there is nothing more local than fish barbecue !

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Enjoy the sunset in Michamvi

Unfortunately in Paje you cannot admire the sunset. The coast is not on the right side. It will therefore be necessary to go to Michamvi, a 20min drive away.

The Kae Funk bar is the most popular.
Directly on the beach, with hanging beds and campfire, good music and occasional dance and acrobatic shows. 

This place has a chill vibe with a perfect view of the sunset.

Note : be careful at high tides, part of the parking lot is underwater, so watch the tides when you go there if you have your vehicle, you will have to park further and walk a little in the water!

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BBQ on the beach

In the past I recommended Ali to be able to do barbecue, of course this is no longer the case, unfortunately. But you can ask locals, they will always send you to someone for this kind of thing.. And maybe even Ali, who deserves to be boycotted but that's another debate.

It's up to you to choose what you want to eat (fish, octopus etc..) with salad of raw vegetables and chapati, fruit... why not a few beers or konyagi, the local alcohol (be careful, it's strong! To be mixed with coke or fruit juice, and drink in moderation of course)

for a nice time on the beach around the fire where to eat local.

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Shopping in MasaÏ village

Who doesn't bring back travel souvenirs?

 

The small Maasai village of Paje is made up of lots of small shops.

Bracelets, ashtrays made of coconut, paintings, spices etc ... Everyone will find what they are looking for and you will learn the art of negotiating prices!

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10 - Go to Mtende and Kizimkazi for the day

Mtende and Kizimkazi are beaches in the south of the island. Much less touristy and quiet, they are still worth spending a day there.

Mtende beach with rock formations resembling Nungwi. There is a restaurant built on these rocks where it is pleasant to eat. Fortunately, when the tide rises, there is a pontoon to go up!  

NOTE: go to Mtende at low tide to enjoy the beach, otherwise there is no beach at all!

To access this beach you have to park in front of the Eden rock hotel then go down the steps (passing "through" the hotel).  

 

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Then go for the late afternoon to kizimkazi, a small fishing village. There are 2 kizimkazi but very close to each other.

I call "1" the one where it is better to swim and "2" the one where you can watch the sunset, see the fishermen returning with their finds, and enjoy fresh fish on the beach.

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1

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11 - Watch the sunset over a drink on a rooftop 

The power villa  is brand new in Paje.

Hotel, restaurant and bar with small swimming pool on the roof, it offers a superb view of the sea, and it is the only place where you can admire the sunset from Paje.  

 

The atmosphere is super pleasant, there is a karaoke evening once a week as well as another evening with a DJ.  

 

Prices are reasonable for a drink.

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12 - Take a traditional Dhow ride at sunset

A Dhow is a traditional wooden boat. The locals use it to go fishing. It is possible to negotiate a tour with the locals for 1 to 2 hours along the coast at sunset.  A pleasant time!

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And of course enjoy! Restaurants, bars, clubs ...

Paje is a place to relax but also to party! Filled with restaurants and bars, all located on the waterfront or along the main road.

There is something for all budgets!

 

- Eat local , the fried omelet with fries  is a must for 2000 shillings (0.75cts) or the zanzibar pizza, magnificent for 5000 shillings (1.87cts)

- Eat local at the restaurant  for example the rooftop on the main road, behind the local Zantel, at the africana bbq in the Masai village which stays open all night or at the summer beach or ocean restaurant on the seafront.

- Eat a little more European at Delight, at Mahali, at Mr Kahawa or for very good burgers at B4

- There are then very good restaurants in more luxurious hotels but unfortunately it is not my budget so I cannot advise you on that!

For the evenings, there are parties almost every night!

Monday evening at Coral Rock in Jambiani for dinner in front of Live Music

Tuesday evening to dance at the Summer Dream in Paje

Thursday evening unlimited barbecue with Live Music then club evening at Demani Lodge 

Friday night to dance at Jambo (my favorite !!!) in Paje

Saturday night international DJ at B4 in Paje

Sunday evening at Vuvuzela in Paje

I hope you enjoyed this article on Paje! Paje was my favourite, not only because I met Ali there (even if the current situation is destroying all the memories I had of it) but for the diversity of things to do there and for its chill atmosphere.

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