Discover Zanzibar with African Space and Kitesurfkings

22nd January to 1st February 2011


This’ll take you a while to read through but take your time, soak it in and picture yourself kitesurfing in paradise! Remember, ‘anything is possible!’

Zanzibar boasts more than 25 fantastic beaches and loads of small islands that are perfect for downwind kitesurfing sessions. Some of Zanzibar’s beaches and islands are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean; beautiful sands, idyllic lagoons, reef breaks, mind blowing down winders, flat turquoise waters and perfectly formed waves that range in size make kitesurfing dreams reality… we’ve made it possible to realize those dreams.

African Space bring the in country expertise, knowledge and contacts that are vital for such an intrepid trip to Zanzibar and Kitesurfkings have added a kitesurfers’ seal of approval, kitesurfing guides and instructors.  We have maximised this 11 day trip by taking a proven product and further enhancing it. Regarded as ‘the best ever kitesurfing trip’ by all previous partakers for good reason, join our next unique kitesurfing discovery trip to Zanzibar and smash your expectations of what you thought it possible to achieve and experience during a kitesurfing holiday.

Our January trip is available to all; we welcome singles, couples, groups, kitesurfers and even none kitesurfers to join us. Previous trips have seen an even mix up of male and female kitesurfers of all ages, of mixed abilities and non kiting partners. Everything can be arranged and Zanzibar is a wonderful destination for everyone; if you require beginner lessons or are planning to join us as a non kiting partner then please contact us to discuss options. The itinerary below is aimed at already competent kitesurfers.

The trade winds have determined the cycle of life on the Swahili Islands for the past two thousand years. The wind blows steady and strong from two directions, depending on the time of year, with great stretches of sandy beaches and wide shallow inter-tidal areas. We are expecting 20 to 25 knots each day but it can be a little stronger. The air temperature will be up to 30 degrees and we will have an unspoilt abundance of flat water and waves. None of our photos have been anywhere near photoshop, the water really is turquoise and the sand white.

This is kitesurfing Zanzibar in style and safety, with a bespoke itinerary which includes the typical white beaches and awesome conditions but also incorporates down winders, multi spot kiting and access to the real culture and lifestyle of Zanzibar. We are not sure if a kitesurfer’s paradise could get any better than this! This trip has been made possible by the coming together of local experts, kitesurfing instructors and guides to offer a unique product and a kitesurfing first for Zanzibar. All kitesurfing sessions have safety cover and guides; we use different type’s boats to ensure your safety whether you want to kitesurf inside or outside the reef on our down winders.

Newly added to our 2011 Zanzibar trips: extra boats and beach support for down wind safety cover, flat and wave coaching sessions (from basic jumps to handle passes and everything in-between), upgraded two course meals, BBQ’s, a night out to a fancy beachside sea food restaurant, optional excursion to Stone Town, flexible kitesurfing options and unlimited kiting from beach. There are also various trip, room and non kiting activities available on request, in country or pre-booked, as optional extras.

The planned itinerary…

Day 1  (22/01/11): Rolling to the airport on a happy cloud of anticipation; even if you hate airports the destination makes this visit bearable. Today you are flying south, across a continent, to Tanzania and the spice island of Zanzibar. The time difference is minimal, so despite the length of the flight you arrive fresh and ready to get involved. Pray to the god of good in-flight movies.

Day 2  (23/01/11): Landing in Dar es Salaam, you will be met by your African Space guide, there to greet you and to ensure that all of your kit gets through customs with the minimum of delay. From there you will be driven through the hustling city (yup, it will be hot and more than a little dusty) to the harbour where the fast ferry waits to take you across the Zanzibar Channel to the island. This is a short, 2 hour journey and is a lovely way to arrive. Look for the green smudge of the approaching coast growing clearer on the horizon and maybe even smell the spices. Ok, maybe that’s a bit much, but it sounds good. From Stone Town, you will be driven 50kms across the island to the village of Paje and the Ariabian Nights guesthouse.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 3  (24/01/11): After a good breakfast you will gather at the neighbouring kite centre for a briefing from our resident kite surfing guide, an expert in how to get the best from the island’s winds. Then it is a day of local familiarisation, a safety session going through your kit to make sure it’s survived the UK winter and that you’re confidents and practiced in your rescue techniques. We’ll enjoying a leisurely kite to blow off the UK cobwebs with the option of flat water or waves in Paje with a secret sunset down winder for all that are game. With all food provided and an introduction to our favourite local bar you will settle in quickly.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 4  (25/01/11): Starting off in a flat water area that is just too nice, we’ll have a play and try new skills during a progression sessions before down winder 2: (15km) and then kiting locally.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 5  (26/01/11): Down winder 3: (25km), then back to Paje to chill and kite some more in preparation for a change of coast tomorrow.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 6  (27/01/11): A change of scene today as you cross to west of the island for a visit to the dolphins with Safari Blue. With the focus on joining the curious dolphin, this excursion also includes snorkelling in a mangrove forest, time on sandbar and a traditional Swahili feast on Kwale Island. Oh, but we should mention, no boats for you unless you’re feeling really lazy and just want to ride a boat and watch the rest of the group, kite surfing is the order of the day. Down winder 4 (although incorporates more than one down winder!)

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 7  (28/01/11): Today you head south to Kizimkazi and have the chance for an optional 10km down winder (DW 5) should weather conditions permit. Dinner will be taken in Unguja Ukuu, the traditional capital of the Shirazi Arabs who first colonised the island and a secluded place well off the local tourist trail.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 8  (29/01/11): Downwinder 6: for those that are up for it we’ll be aiming to visit Mnemba Island. This is a dream trip that we don’t want to spoil but you can read about how it worked in Sep on the Kitesurfkings Blog and Facebook discussion pages.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 9  (30/01/11): Now you mix it up; the long down winders complete, the kitesurfing is local (although that still leaves a lot of scope as we can happily squeeze in another down winder or flat water lagoon session for anyone that’s game). You have the opportunity to enjoy some additional land trips. You could visit the habituated red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest, or check out the hustling, twisted streets of Stone Town where there are local markets and masses of history to enjoy or head straight for our meet up point, which is a colonial first floor restaurant with beautiful sea views.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 10  (01/02/11): Time to go. After a lazy morning, retracing your steps, you will cross the channel to Dar. Once you and your kit are safely disembarked, you will be transferred through the hectic city streets to the calm of the Mediterraneo Hotel, Kawe Beach. A fine hotel, the best Italian restaurant in town and a fine place to let your last night in Tanzania slip away  – like the cold beer in your frosted glass. If you’ve not had enough kiting yet then you can kite from the beach in front of the hotel.

MEDITERRANEO HOTEL – B&B

Day 11  (02/02/11): Up early for the transfer to Dar Es Salaam International Airport and your return flight home to the UK. Land Back in the UK, hopefully to the start of longer days and armed with a new appreciation of what’s possible on a kitesurfing holiday.

We will adjust the programme to best benefit from the conditions on a particular day and the groups’ needs. Unlimited kitesurfing from the beach in front of the hotel can also be a nice option that we always have and can offer flat water and wave coaching sessions directly from our beach.

We’ve not gone into masses of detail in the itinerary as there’s just too much to list and we don’t want to give everything away. In addition to the activities noted in the above itinerary there will be some seriously awesome flat water lagoons with nothing but sand under the turquoise waters, at some of these locations we will be offering progression sessions (we all need coaching) and also photo sessions as it’s nice to gloat when you get home. Wave riding coaching is offered both from the beach and also incorporated into down winders.

We can easily chop and change the programme to meet needs – everything is possible!


The detail…

£1200 per person, costed on a sharing basis in the Arabian Nights Guest House and Mediterraneo Hotel, Dar es Salaam.

Included: All in-country transfers (both road and sea), accommodation, full board and kiting activities as specified in the itinerary, plus kit storage, progression and photo sessions, BBQ’s, dinning out in Zanzibar, bottled water, boat rescue and boat support.

Not included: International flight, drinks, tips & gratuities, non-specified activities, transport to and from non-specified activities

International Flights

We’ve sourced an excellent direct flight option that’s under £600 and it would be nice if we all take the same flight but regardless of your arrival time or departure airport everything can be arranged.

If you have any questions about the trip or just want to chat kitesurfing then you can contact one of your guides, Luke at Kitesurfkings… but if you’re calling then get in touch before Saturday 13th November as he’ll be away exploring new kitesurfing trips for you lucky kiters: luke@kitesurfkings.com / 01273 88 88 33 / 07878 399 419

Luke will be checking emails whilst abroad but if contacting us after the 13th November speed things up by contacting the African Space office to discuss your trip, confirm your attendance or request a booking pack. info@africanspace.co.uk / 0121 382 9000

Time is short and places are limited, so get in touch to secure your place! Don’t miss out!!


Wow!!! O.k. let me elaborate…

 

If you’ve not been to Zanzibar before that needs to change whether you’re a kitesurfer or not!

 

Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, at just 60 miles long and 20 miles wide it’s not a large island but one that a lot to offer; characterised by beautiful, fine, white, sandy beaches, fringing coral reefs and the magic of historic Stone Town.

 

Zanzibar boasts more than 25 fantastic beaches and loads of small islands that are perfect for downwind kitesurfing sessions. Some of Zanzibar’s beaches and islands are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean; beautiful sands, idyllic lagoons, reef breaks, mind blowing down winders, flat turquoise waters and perfectly formed waves that range in size make kitesurfing dreams reality.

 

Kitesurfkings spent eight months planning a discovery trip with African Space to insure that we would maximise our 12 day trip, create a kitesurfing first for Zanzibar and a smash our customers’ expectations of what may be possible to achieve and experience during one of our kitesurfing holidays.

 

Our direct flight from London to Dar Es Salam departed on the 31st August 2010 and we were greeted by Jamie from African Space at the airport in a rather pimp transfer bus that took us over to the ferry. Jamie’s contacts, local knowledge and grasp of the language (Swahili) proved to be invaluable as soon as we got to the ferry port with all of our kit – Jamie knows his stuff! Our minds were put at ease instantly and that, along with the first class cabin set the tone for our trip.

 

Our tourist visas were arranged for us and we were rushed through past the queues of travellers to our awaiting transfer vehicles. The 50km drive from Stone Town to the village of Paje was a really pleasant one with lots of life and scenery to take in and enjoy.

 

When we arrived in Paje the locals were forthcoming with kind waves, smiles and greetings that made us feel instantly welcome. We were shown to our rooms at the Arabian Nights Guesthouse, exclusively for our guests, this was to be our base for the next 10 days. Rolling onto the beach we were all mesmerised, what a beach! Picture perfect with fine white sands, turquoise waters, flat sea with a reef break out the back, masses of room to kite but only a few kiters on the water and our kite centre (Airborne Kites) just 200 meters away. The view we were all sharing was enough to reenergise the batteries after our journey and was more beautiful than photographs could capture.

 

There were no large tourist centres or hotels but just a laid back assortment of facilities/services that consisted of everything we needed; next door to our accommodation was a seriously cool bar called Paje By Night, that was also open during the day, we could see that as well as serving great food, coffee and cocktails, this was going to be a seriously nice place to hang out. Fresh fruit was being sold on the beach alongside masseuse services, both were to prove handy. We made a swift change into boardies and T’s, then regrouped at the Arabian Nights’ first floor, sea view restaurant to share our excitement, a fresh fish curry, rice and mixed local vegetables.

 

Over the next 10 days the group were to find out that Paje was just the tip of the iceberg and that the ‘Discover Zanzibar Trip with Kitesurfkings and African Space’ would exceed everyone’s expectations.

We did spend time kitesurfing directly in front of our hotel in Paje as it’s a great spot and we couldn’t not squeeze as much kiting in as possible but kitesurfing Paje would often happen at the beginning or end of one of our boat assisted down winders. Before each kitesurfing trip we would have briefings at the kite centre before leaving, prior to launching our kites for the session and often after dinner so that we made sure everyone was happy about the planned activities and knew exactly ‘how?’,’ where?’ and ‘what if?’.  The Kitesurfkings safety hat came out prior to embarking on our first downwind session and we had a morning of going through everyone’s safety systems, with everyone getting into the water to practice their deep water pack downs.

 

Without giving too much away for all of you guys who’ve been knocking down the door to join us on our next Zanzibar trip here are some of the groups’ favourite sessions…

 

A progression session in a flat water lagoon, kiting in waist deep water with sand underfoot and a gang of local kids cheering us on, before kiting downwind 15km from Makunduchi back to Paje; some of the group kiting in front of the reef, some playing in the butter flat waters over the reef, some kiting the first sets of waves with others going out back to catch the odd 8ft wave.

 

Sandbars, snorkelling, seafood, lagoon and open sea kiting… all and more in the same session. The day started like most others with a fab breakfast at the Arabian Nights, then a drive to the other side of the island before boarding a large wooden boat that had plenty of shade from the sun and ice cold drinks a plenty. We stopped at a small sandbar about 100m x 50m to pick up fins, snorkels and masks before being cruising over to a great snorkelling spot to spend half an hour check out what’s under the water for a change. Jan from Airborne was so confident that the wind would be with us just after 11am that we cruised over to another sandbar island to set up our kites…

 

As predicted the wind was perfect by 11.30 and out we went on our 9’s, 10’s and 12’s; we spent 45mins kiting around the sandbar before departing for our first open water downwinder. Our destination looked small but we’d had our briefing and knew what we were up to, next stop Kwale Island. This downwinder was liberating and those of us confident in our kites’ relaunch capabilities were throwing new tricks and venturing off to visit local fishing boats to exchange waves and smiles…

 

A fresh seafood feast was waiting for us on Kwale Island but we won’t to spoil the surprise for anyone. After a some post feast sun lounging we kited between Kwale Island and a nearby sandbar for a couple of hours, those of us with the energy then hit the open sea, to Kitesurf back to the mainland, alongside our boat containing the rest of the crew.

 

A chilled little sunset downwind kitesurfing session from Paje with an unplanned 5 star finish was the favourite session for a couple of the guys as we were all kiting so closely together, the scenery was awesome, we had a beautiful  sunset and an unintentional finishing point, which all made for good times. The session started by kitesurfing the flat waters of Paje before following the coastline downwind, spending some of the time in the waves and the rest in the flat waters between the beach and the reef. We’d planned to finish at a funky bar that were putting on a spread of hors d’oeuvres for us before we’d then head off for a fine seafood supper at another spot; after the odd rescue and everyone enjoying it all just too much we changed the plan on route and the group followed myself (Luke from Kitesurfkings) to the reserve pick up point. The reserve pick up point was a good 10km from that we had planned but just happened to neighbour a flash 5 star resort and we happily finished the kiting session with cold beers and bar snacks. We still made it to our ‘funky’ bar and seafood supper.

 

A personal favourite kitesurfing experience from the trip was a 30km downwinder that started with us kitesurfing in a flat water lagoon before kiting over a shallow reef to get to clean waves that we rode down the coast where we were joined by pro kitesurfer Jeremie Tronet and some of his chums. We then made an epic open channel crossing to a mirage like reef break in front of Mnemba Island. The waves were perfect, the sky magical and water so clear that we enjoyed an array of fish, sting rays and sea turtles. We kitesurfed up and down, in and out, the reef break for as long as our legs would allow before heading downwind across the mind bogglingly flat water in front of the reef break to Mnemba Island where we paused on the fine white sand to share our elation. The sun was setting which made the sky even more breathtaking but meant we had to speed things up and so after kiting the lagoons of the island, made our final downwind crossing back to the mainland.

 

Other highlights raised in feedback from the group included swimming with Dolphins, visiting Stone Town and a local market, seeing Humpback whales, a fishing trip, wave riding, sunset sessions, seafood, the BBQ and kiting at will in front of the centre.

 

My favourite quotes from the trip…

 

Rowan and Bridget: ‘’our favourite spot and best ever kiting experience’’

Ross: ‘’this has been the best day of my life’’ (Mnemba Island day)

Nick: ‘’100% happiness is on the water’’

Kayode and Hanna: ‘’Great! Chill, kite, food, bars, friendly locals… kiting or not there’s so much to do!’’

 

The first kitesurfing discovery trip for Zanzibar was a huge success and we’re excited about returning in 2011. We’re wishing to run trips aimed at kitesurfers of varying levels in January/February and June/July 2011, if you’d like to find out more or get your name down for one of these trips then please get in contact by emailing info@kitesurfkings.com and using the header ‘Zanzibar’. You can also join our mailing list via our website www.kitesurfkings.com