Backpacking Zanzibar. Paje, fisherman village and kitesurf.

We went to Zanzibar in February 2015,
stayed there 3 weeks, during a complete trip (8 months), 
through Southern and Eastern Africa.

    PAJE (Zanzibar south-east coast)   

Paje is on the south-east coast of Zanzibar, 50 km away from Stone Town.

Long beach, fantastic for walks, more than 25 km of white sand connecting north with Bweju and south with Jambiani (same beach, but different names). White powder sand, turquoise sea, huge tides, you can even walk to the reef at low tide (1.5-2 km away). But not too great for swimming, impossible at low tide and troubled, windy, seaweeds at high tides and the sea was too hot and full of jelly-fishes in February. Just at the right moment you can bath! Don´t expect the paradise beach, it´s just a wonderful place to feel!


There´s a local village, low tide is busy time with fishermen, seaweeds harvesting, women picking seafood. Always a few cows on the beach too. Not only the kitesurf capital of Zanzibar! Relax!

Local people are quite shy, not many beach-boys, just some masais selling crafts on the beach.

   Public Transport in Paje   


Dala-dalas Stone Town-Paje: 2.000 Sh, 1 h. Tarred road.
All the transport going north to Michamvi or Bweju and south to Jambiani stops also at the Paje crossroads.

If heading to this beaches from Paje, it costs 500 sh and will take less than 30 min. 
If going to Kizimbazi for dolfins, just stop at the crossroad and transfer.
From the crossing/ dala-dala stop, it´s 10 minutes walk straight to the beach, crossing the local village.
Many taxis around Paje. Quite expensive (20 $- 35.000 sh to Stone Town). Negotiate.

   Cheap room in Paje  

There are many hotels and bungalows (but not so many big resortsand holiday clubs), all over the southeast Zanzibar coast, Bweju - Paje - Jambiani area, spread out on more than 10 km
Prices are getting higher and higher, really difficult to find a double room for less than 30-40 $.

Main road and Page Village


Main accommodation in Paje is quite closed to dala-dala main stop and the beach is only around 10 minutes walk from the transport stop. Page village and surroundings are really basic and poor, so hard to find a place to sleep in the village. We didn´t see any offer, maybe asking somebody has a "room to rent" (many masais do that), but comfort will be really limited. You have to head to the beach to find something.
Check also AIRBNB just in case some foreigners mainly offer anything cheap.



Ufukwe Bungalows.  
We paid 30.000 Sh (20$) for a double room shared WC and no breakfast, staying 3 nights at least, and after negotiation with the owner. Only 4 or 5 basic rooms. They will not offer these cheap basci rooms at first.

There´s also another building with self contained double/triple rooms, for 40-50$, their first offer.


Just on the beach, with sea views and breeze. Correct, basic rooms. Maintenance is not always great, specially WC cleaning, but OK. And don´t expect too much about the food service too (we didn´t eat there, also quite expensive).
Popular place, as it´s on the guide-books, but still offers affordable rooms.


Ufukwe is just north of Arabian Nights Hotel- Buccanneer Diving- Airborne kitesurf. 10 minutes straight walk to the beach from the dala-dala stop (crossing), convenient if using cheap public transport.
You can get connected with the Airborne wifi (ask for the password, everybody knows it).

Note: it´s the only cheap place we found around Paje... and so did other travellers... Good luck!

   Food & drinks in Page   

Hotels restaurants on the beach are quite expensive, for tourists. Just check! Maybe some exceptions.
Local cheap food in the village is quite limited. On the main road, in the village, there are a few shops with some fruits, vegetables and basic things (don´t expect to much offer). A few “chips&chicken&brochettes” stalls, breads. More on the Michamvi Road, north of the crossing, and a few ones just at the crossing (even a small mini-market there).You can try to buy fish or octopus directly from the fishermen on the beach...



 Services in Paje:
No ATMs, only in Stone Town (50 km away). Bring cash.
Many hotels and restaurants have free wifi.



    Don´t forget to do in Paje   
  • Walking is the main activity around Paje, for free. Feel the breeze! Long long beach, km of white sands, as it continues 15 km north til Bwejuu and Pingwe and 10 km south til Jambiani, specially when tide is lower. At low tide, you can even walk til the reef (1.5-2 km away), it´s like a white desert. Incredible huge tides!You won´t see many people swimming in Paje...as we said before...tides, seaweeds, jellyfishes, troubled water...
  •  See local fishermen´s life, seaweeds farms and women picking seafood, at low tide. Busy time!
  •  Swim in Blue Lagoon (Dongwe). It´s a beach area, 10 km north of Page (crossroads) on  the Michamvi Road (dala-dala from Paje 500 Sh, 20 min). You can even walk there from Paje , following the beach, but quite a long walk. "Lagoon" cause you can swim at any tide there, not like in other areas of this south-east coast of Zanzibar.
    There´s “Club Vacanze- Dongwe Club”, a big and expensive Italian resort, with a long jetty and restaurant. It´s the right place to swim, low and high tide, but the sea can get rough with wind and tides. A few fishes (snorkelling) under the jetty. More coconuts and palms than in Paje. No need to enter the hotel, there´s a path from the main road to the beach just north, kind of closed business there (there´s an open gate, written entrance fee to pass, but nobody was there to control). Or entering from the long beach is free (public beaches in Zanzibar). The Rock, a tourist restaurant on a rock just near the shore is 3 km north in Pingwe. We didn´t go.



    Reference prices of activities in Paje   

  • Kitesurfing: Paje is a very popular kitesurf destination, a few kitesurf shops around Paje. We counted around 100 kites on afternoon! Prices 30-50 $.
  • Diving: there are a few diving shops around Paje. They usually go to the southern reef of Zanzibar.  Prices around 130 $ (2 dives), expensive... and maybe not so great...

2 comentarios :

Unknown dijo...

Thank you for all the invaluable information on the blog!

We visited Zanzibar May & June 2016, and while we preferred the north during the low season, here is a sprinkle of information for those looking for something a little different while on the island's southeastern side.

We stayed in a simple homestay (private lockable room, self contained, cold shower) in Bwejuu. Haji, the lovely host will be continuing this until about Jan/Feb 2017.

He charges 20,000 TSH per person per night and if you want breakfast and dinner, he will prepare this for you for an additional 7,000 TSH per person per day. You can contact Haji on +255 773 733 064

We hired a moped from a friend of Haji's for 20,000 TSH per day and had to pay 5,000 TSH per day for a permit from the Police (although was hard to find the correct fee...I'm sure we were paying too much, but the cops wouldn't budge on the price)

It was a great way to explore the southeast coast. Our favourite beaches along this stretch were Jambiani and Michamvi. (At high tide)
There are also some great bars dotted around Michamvi where you can watch sunset.

In Bwejuu, Mustafa's (hotel and restaurant) is 200m from Haji's place. Super chilled vibe and lovely place to hang out. They let you use the pool too, but alway nice to buy a drink! A great thing to do during low tide.

While we were visiting Zanzibar, we were lucky enough to experience a cholera outbreak and then travel during Ramadan, so local restaurants just weren't open. In Jambiani, there is a reasonable Mzungu German-run place called 'Step In'. It's menu is half half the price of the other resorts along that strip. Great food. 8000-10,000 for mains.

Seeing the Dolphins in Kizimkazi. Agree or disagree with this practice - up to you. We went and had a positive experience. As we had the moped, we left at 6am from Bwejuu and were geared up and on a boat by 7am for a 2 - 2 1/2 hour trip. We had prearranged with a boat guy to privately hire the boat for 35,000Tsh. (Included 'entry', fins, mask, driver fuel and a quick snorkel stop at the reef after) We were lucky, 10 - 15 dolphins playing in the shallow waters 7 - 10 metres deep. Only 4 boats around that morning and the dolphins seemed pretty relaxed, playing games with dead fish, swimming fairly close and not bothered by our presence. But again, it's all luck. Our friends went a couple of weeks after us and had horrible weather conditions, too many tourist boats and only a brief encounter with dolphins.

One last note, ATM's in Stonetown. Most seem to charge a withdrawal fee 8000-12,000 TSH per transaction. (which they don't on the mainland) NMB bank is the only one we could find that doesn't charge this. Useful to know if you need to do multiple transactions...(which you will need as there are no ATM's elsewhere!)

At the time of travel $1 USD was about 2000/2200 Tsh, which made all of the above rates a little more cost-bearable

Jack Martin dijo...

Hey very article really loved it a lot.....Thanks for sharing!!!!!

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