Paje beach was our final beach destination of Zanzibar. We had been in Zanzibar for three weeks and had fallen in love with this humble island. We wanted to extend our stay to experience more of East Zanzibar as we had heard good things about Paje beach. And we did just that! It was here, we came to realise, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted. We felt liberated – all of the sacrifices we made to get to that moment, finally felt worth it.
Paje beach is well known to travelers for sun, sea, and fun. It has become a lot more popular over the years. Being situated on the East coast means the beach is a lot windier. Therefore, this it is a kite surfers paradise. The skies are full of rainbow-coloured kites twirling around, with avid surfers dancing along.
Our top things to do in Paje:
VISIT THE BEAUTIFUL PAJE BEACH
Paje is one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen. Watching the changing colours of the sea throughout the day is magical. The sea is an incredible turquoise aqua colour during midday and it felt like we are in a tropical paradise. Having visited Nungwi earlier in our stay, we much preferred Paje’s relaxed feel.
Walk the sandy coast where you will come across a number of local and European restaurants and bars. Alternatively, you can just enjoy watching the kite surfers do their thing – or join in as well! Unlike Michamvi, you will come across a few more beach boys on Paje beach, but that’s all part of the fun of Zanzibar!
VISIT JAMBIANI KUZA CAVE CLOSE TO PAJE
We would recommend renting bikes or walking down to Kuza Cave for an afternoon of exploring.
We were welcomed by our guide and at the entrance where you pay 20,000 TZS per person – 10,000 TZS would go towards a local school. Our guide took us on an archaeological journey and explained the history of the cave before leaving us with a torch to explore ourselves.
The limestone cave was formed 250,000 years ago, where animals and humans would gather to collect drinking water. This was when Zanzibar was part of mainland Tanzania, and the bones of large animals such as giraffes and zebras have been found.
During your visit, you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear cave waters. Be careful of the small nibbling fish, although they don’t hurt can feel a wee nip.
We then spent a few hours up in the cultural center. Here we enjoyed some local drumming and were taught the rules of the Bao. Bao meaning ‘Swahili board game’ is a very addictive game, played around East Africa. We will one day perhaps share a post on the rules as it’s rather complex!
ENJOY THE MAASAI DANCE AT NDAME LODGE, PAJE BEACH
We stayed close to Paje beach and while there were lots of European restaurants available, we were recommended visiting Ndame Lodge for a more authentic experience.
Ndame Lodge offers two great perks for 28,000 TZH. Firstly, of you can enjoy a vast all you can eat buffet of Zanzibar dishes. These dishes included beans, ugali, coconut vegetables, spinach, sweet potato. You can then also select from a number of meat dishes on the BBQ including beef, fish and chicken.
After dinner, you can then sit back and enjoy a Maasai traditional dance. At this point, we really questioned whether Maasai were fakes or not as this felt very authentic. The Maasai traditional singing consists of a low chorus throat singing rhythm while there is one leading vocalist. The leading vocalist invites the younger warriors to jump. The higher the jump, the stronger and braver the warrior.
We would highly recommend this, it was a very powerful experience. The energy in the room is something we will remember. We hope one day we can witness this in one of the Maasai villages.
SATISFY THE PIZZA CRAVING AT SECONDA STELLA A DESTRA
While we loved the local cuisine, we were really craving cheese and pizza! We were recommended Seconda Stella which is located closer to Jambiani, 10-minute drive from Paje beach. The setting is very romantic and the staff go the extra mile to ensure you have an enjoyable meal.
We ordered the four cheese pizza (yum!) and the meat feast. The pizza was delicious with a stone baked base. Along with a bottle of wine the dinner to 80,000 TZH – around $34.
MAD MONDAYS IN RED MONKEY LODGE, JAMBIANI
We, unfortunately, didn’t make this night as we arrived a day late, but had heard good things about the Monday night party. Expect cocktails, travelers, kite surfers and a lot of local bands performing. Our host in Jambiani highly recommended this for a fun night out.
You can either stay in Jambiani or take a boda-boda (motorbike) from Paje beach when you are ready to head home. The journey is 5-10 minutes. But expect to party until sunrise!
Let us know what you think.
Peace out! x