Zanzibar has some of the most fascinating coastline visions for surfers. This range from the turquoise water, pristine silvery sand beaches, alluring tropical flora and iconic Arabic sites in the vicinity. With some of the most consistent swells in high tides and perfect flat water lagoons in low tide, the archipelago has great sites for both wind surfing and kite surfing.
In this guide we shall share some of the top beaches where you can go for surfing in Zanzibar and the conditions you should expect.
Wind surfing and Kite surfing conditions in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has some of the best surfing conditions in the world for its steady anticyclone winds. The Zanzibar archipelago stands out for its consistent warm winds and tropical water with temparatures averaging 28 C. The low tides marked with excellent flat lagoons are the perfect condition for kite surfing. There are a number of kiting schools in various parts of the main Island.
On the other hand, wind surfing is perfect during mid and high tide when there are quality waves. This only last for a few hours which inform the need to have the information from your guide/ wave forecast chart on when to expect to commence the activity. The mid tides offer the perfect condition for those beginning the wave riding while high tides are perfect for advanced surfers.
Surfing spots in the main Island
The South Eastern beach is a popular surfer’s destination for its perfect location on both Kaskaz and kusi tradewinds. Here the winds blow between 12 – 25 knots. The beach stand out as one of the most virtually stunning beach in the archipelago with vast and blissful white sand beaches incredible flora and fascinating azure water. The beach is the most perfectly positioned for both south eastly kusi trade winds that blows in Jul – Oct and north eastly Kaskaz trade winds that blows in Dec – April. This beach is particularly popular for kiters for its calm flat waters that grant optimal conditions. The coral reef in the strip is also not that vicious and therefore wind surfers are able to get great waves during high tides. The lagoon offers the perfect spots for beginners.
Nungwi beach is located on the northern tip of the archipelago. The pristine aqua beach is particularly famous for having some of the top rated beach resorts in the main island. Nungwi is also less crowded when compared to Paje. The beach is on the leeward for the north eastly blowing kaskaz winds that blows in Dec to April and therefore an ideal choice for wind activities. Though not as great kiters spot as paje, the beach still has relative calm and flat waters in good condition for kiting. The beach is also the perfect choice for adrenaline seeking wind surfers with consistent wind swell close to the shorelines.
Matemwe is a small beach on the North eastern side of the main island and in the immediate south of Nungwi beach. This part of the coastal strip boasts awing visions of white sand coastline, lush tropical flora and incredible view of the azure ocean. Matemwe is famed for its wide selection of accommodation facilities across all budget levels. Matemwe receives both the south eastern blowing kusi winds and North eastern Kaskaz winds though the Kaskaz winds are more consistent over this region. The coral reef in matemwe creates some calm shallow and flat lagoons that form the perfect conditions for kiting in all levels of skills. There also great waves in spots with wind swells of up to 1.2 m and therefore a great spot for wave surfers seeking a thrilling experience.
This is a small fishing village in the central Zanzibar region of the east coast. Pongwe is particularly famed for its ideal swimming conditions. The coral reef here is able to break the waves leading to perfectly calm and flat water. The coast also receives stable winds both in the Dec to April Kaskaz Winjd season and July to October Kusi winds seasons. Pongwe calm conditions with moderate winds are the perfect conditions for kiting beginners. However this beach is not a good pick for wave surfing. However, the beach is at a close proximity to the south eastern coastline which is a wind surfers paradise.
Jambiani is a charming fishing village on the remote south eastern coast on the immediate south of Paje. The beach receives on the most stable winds, Kusi winds, throughout from June to October. The winds here are blowing close to the shoreline making it a perfect spot for surfers. Notably, Kuzi is more reliable and stronger than the Kaskaz winds that blows from the north. The reef break at Jambani beach is situated about 2 km from the shoreline leaving behind calmer and flat water lagoon for kite surfing. In high and medium tide the reef has very little impact on the waves giving wind surfers the perfect setting to carry on some venturesome and thrilling wave riding activities .
Bwejuu is one of the most stunning strips in the eastern coast of Zanzibar Unguja island marked by a long white sand coastline with a distinctive relaxed atmosphere. The beach is on the south eastern coast on the immediate north of Paje. Like most f the beaches in the south eastern coastline, Bwejuu is a surfers paradise. Here there are consistent winds almost throughout the year. The reef at Bwejuu act as a natural water breaker enabling kite surfing in low tides. With waves going up to 1.4 m, the mid tides and high tides are the perfect moment for wind surfing. Being situated close to Paje make Bwejuu an ideal for surfers who would like to try a large coastal stretch for a multiple days surfing venture with paje being a top rated wind activities destination.
Surfing spots in the Outer islands
Pemba island is the second largest Island in Zanzibar after Unguja main island. The island receives less visitors making it a perfect escape for surfers seeking a remote stay as they carry on with their wind activities. Also known as the green land, much of the island is covered by enchanting lush tropical vegetation with spectacular silvery lining on the shoreline. The entire island is surrounded by a coral reef that acts like a natural barrier that leads to calm and flat water surface in low tide. This make it an ideal spot for kite surfing. In high and mid tide Pemba has spectacular wind swells perfect for a thrilling wave riding experience.
Bongoyo island & Oyster bay
Bongoyo is a small uninhibited island just 4 miles from Dar es salaam and off Msasini peninsula. The island features some of the most alluring scenes in the archipelago with myriads of flora scenes, untouched white sand coastline and spectacular azure water. The island also features one of the most diverse marine life. Here surfing is at its best when the north eastly Kaskaz winds are blowing preferably in January and February. The island has a coral reef barrier close to the coast. The barrier creates the perfect conditions for kite surfing with the waters shallow and calm. The high tide on the other hand has fascinating wind swells that are the perfect conditions for wind surfing. A wind surfing excursion in the island can be combined with oyster bay surfing excursion in along the coco beach along Dar es salaam coastline. The bay boast excellent surfable waves and stable wind for an optimal experience.
When to go for wind surfing and Kite surfing in Zanzibar
The eastern Bwejuu & paje beach has dependable winds blowing on its shores most parts of the year. This makes Zanzibar an all year round surfing destination. However, the month between July and October when the south eastly kuzi winds are blowing and between the Dec to end of March when the north eastly kaskaz wind are blowing is the most ideal period to go surfing. The months of July / August and Jan/ Feb are the strongest and optimal period for surfing.