The Ultimate Guide to Paje, Zanzibar

By on January 22, 2018 in Africa, TANZANIA with 18 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Paje, Zanzibar

WELCOME TO PARADISE!

That’s what a huge sign as you enter the town of Paje on the island of Zanzibar should say!

Yep, I’ve been to some stunning beaches in my time people, but this one takes the biscuit!

Well it at least takes a top 4 biscuit!

I mean there’s some stiff competition out there with Australia’s Turquoise Bay, Nicaragua’s Little Corn Island and Kenya’s Diani Beach ranking pretty high as well!

But what all these serious beauties have in common is their stretches of white sand, swaying palm trees, gorgeous turquoise oceans and stunning sunsets.

So, if you’re into any of these as much as me, I can highly recommend getting Paje, Zanzibar on your list!

Read on to discover more about this secluded paradise…


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Zanzibar, Paje, Beach Shack

 

Where is Paje, Zanzibar?

Located off the coast of Tanzania, Paje is situated on the island of Zanzibar, which can succinctly be summed up as Indian Ocean amazingness (yes, I’m using that word!)

Situated on the east coast of this fabulous island, Paje is essentially a huge, long strip of white sand bordered by a small village on one side and a collection of beachfront accommodation services and eateries, as well as turquoise waters on the other.

There’s a huge tidal range here and often a good breeze, so Paje is fast becoming a mecca for water sports… but not yet!

Yes, right now, Paje is delightfully peaceful and quiet; and while it is on the map many tourists prefer the busier, more developed north beaches of Zanzibar.

I have friends that visited the north instead of the east of Zanzibar and after hearing their experience and seeing their photos, I’m so glad I chose Paje as my beach destination in Zanzibar… just saying!!

Zanzibar, Paje, Signpost

 

LOOKING FOR A BUDGET TOUR IN TANZANIA?

If you’re interested in an unforgettable, well-priced tour in Tanzania with guides you can trust, then email me at steph@bigworldsmallpockets.com and I’ll send you my top recommendations – simple!

 

How to Get to Paje

The first step to reach Paje is to get to Zanzibar in Tanzania itself.

This can be done via an expensive flight from various African or European destinations (check out Skyscanner for the best rates) or via a cheaper ferry option from Dar Es Salaam to the capital Stone Town.

CHECK OUT MY TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN DAR ES SALAAM IF YOU’RE HEADING TO THIS CITY

From Stone Town, you can either get a private taxi – priced at around 25,000 Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) and taking 1 hour – or you can catch 2 local buses.

No surprises for guessing which option I batted for!

Here in Tanzania, the local buses are called dala dalas and this phrase is used to describe anything from a new-looking minivan to an old, open-air pick-up truck.

No surprises which sort of dala dala I got to Paje!

 

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Yep it was a bumpy 2.5 ride, but at least it was fun and cheap – costing only 2000 TZS … and no doubt I still overpaid!

Actually, if you go for the dala dala option to get to Paje, you actually have to change vehicle just outside of Stone Town, but this is straightforward and there’s always someone to wave the clueless tourist in the right direction!

Otherwise ask for details at your accommodation in Stone Town. I highly recommend the great hostel Lost & Found, which is located in the heart of Zanzibar’s capital and has some very knowledgeable staff.

Zanzibar, Paje, Sails

 

Where to Stay in Paje

Ebb and Flow Apartments is the perfect spot if you want to be close to the beach in Paje. They’re also linked with the dive school, so you may be able to swing yourself a discount here.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME PICS OF MY STAY IN THESE BEAUTIFUL APARTMENTS HERE.

If you’re looking for somewhere a bit cheaper, you’re more likely to be on fringes of the action, but New Teddy’s Place as well as Drifters are both top budget accommodation spots I recommend in Paje, Zanzibar.

Zanzibar, Paje, Surf Sign

 

Things to Do in Paje

As I said before Paje is known for its water sports, most commonly its excellent scuba diving opportunities.

In fact, if you are looking to dive Zanzibar, Paje is absolutely the place to come.

The clear, warm waters are a scuba diver’s heaven and I got to see turtles, starfish, trumpet fish, moray eels and octopus among a heap of other colourful marine creatures.

I completed my diving experience in Paje with Buccaneer Diving, who I can’t recommend enough for their professionalism, safety and excellent customer care.

 

The leading dive centre in East Africa and with a 5 Star PADI rating, these guys are definitely the people to breath bubbles with in Zanzibar.
CHECK OUT MY ARTICLE ABOUT DIVING WITH BUCCANEER IN PAJE HERE.

 

As well as scuba diving, there’s also good surfing opportunities and excellent kitesurfing opportunities in Paje.

In fact this stretch of sand is quickly becoming something of a kitesurfing mecca!

As such, it’s obvious this place is going to take off, so I definitely recommend getting in before the crowds!

Zanzibar, Paje, Beach

 

DON’T HEAD TO PAJE WITHOUT THESE…

#1 Bikini or Swimsuit – How else are you going to enjoy the sun and sea?!

#2 Sunscreen & Sunhat – Things get hot here so do be prepared!

#3 Good Camera – An absolute must if you’re looking to capture the incredible beauty of this beach. I love my mirrorless Sony A6000, which is light, compact and robust – ideal for Africa travel.

#4 Sarong – Whether it’s covering your shoulders when you go into the village or making into a beach dress when you hit the sand, this is a great multi-purpose travel item for Zanzibar. 1 World Sarongs have a great collection if you’re looking for some inspiration.

#5 Tanzania Lonely Planet – Incredibly useful for the maps and accommodation recommendations, the Tanzania Lonely Planet is a must-have for travelling in Zanzibar as well as elsewhere in the country.

#5 Insect Repellent – Malaria is a big risk in here in Zanzibar, so cover up at night and pack at least 30% DEET spray.

Zanzibar, Paje, Sunset

 

How Long to Spend in Paje?

I would honestly suggest a 4 night minimum stay in Paje!

I mean you could easily spend a week here if you’re a beach person or looking to learn to kitesurf.

I sadly only got to stay 2 nights here in Paje and felt really short-changed!

Don’t underestimate the power of Paje’s beauty people!

Zanzibar, Paje, Falafel Wrap

 

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I love their great coverage of safari activities – crucial for travel in a country like Tanzania – as well as their excellent customer service and ability to claim online, which is very handy if you’re travelling in remote places for a long time.

 

Eating and Drinking in Paje

With a number of good local, as well as ex-pat eateries, Paje is well-stocked when it comes to keeping you fed and watered!

My 2 favourites were Mr Kahawa and B4.

Zanzibar, Paje, Mr Kahawa

Mr Kahawa is a stunning beachside (literally, as in your beachbag seat is on the sand!) café open for lunch and breakfast.

Not having had western food for a while when I got here, I was beyond delighted to enjoy a hummous & falafel wrap, a stunning green smoothie and the best coffee I’ve had outside of Australia – no exaggeration!

Zanzibar, Paje, B4

B4 is more of an evening joint open for dinner and disco fun!

Specialising in burgers, I had a yummy mozzarella veggie option here complete with some scrummy thick potato wedges.

After dinner, the beats get going and the good times roll in with the ocean.

If you’re sticking to a super tight budget, then your best option will be to head into the local village of Paje for supplies and snacks.

Zanzibar, Paje, Kitesurfing School

 

Things to Know about Paje

While I would definitely consider Paje safe, you do have to be careful about walking along the beach at night. This is especially true for solo women. My advice… DON’T.

There’s also the usual collection of beach boys hustling the sandy strip in Paje, but they were all very friendly and harmless in my experience.

Zanzibar’s population are predominantly practising Muslims, which means dress standards are conservative. On the beach it’s ok to wear bikinis and shorts, but if you head into the village I’d suggest exercising a bit more modesty.

You’ll likely see local women collecting seaweed at low tide in Paje. One of the uses for this is to make soap, which is sold locally via a women’s cooperative. A good way to sustainably support the community here, this soap is fantastic, comes wrapped in a banana leaf and can be bought in local shops.

 

LIKE IT? PIN IT!

 

So that’s my ultimate guide to Paje, Zanzibar people.

Have you got any more questions about this fantastic spot? Anything I didn’t cover?

Hit me up in the comments below and I’ll do my best to fill you in.

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 18 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Jules says:

    Can you explain a bit more of why the beaches didn’t feel safe at night? I’m a solo female traveler and will likely be traveling to Paje next month. 🙂

    Thanks!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Jules, thanks for your question. It’s not so much that they didn’t feel safe, just that I was advised not to walk along them at night alone. That was the recommendation of where I was staying, so I took their warning.

  2. Philipp Krapf says:

    Hi Steph
    I am going next Friday for 10 days to Kitesurf (I have all my own equipment). Was wondering how much cash in dollars I should take? I do like a few beers in the evening etc…

    • Steph says:

      Hi Philipp, thanks for the great question, but this is a really hard one for me to answer. Beers aren’t too expensive – although more expensive than elsewhere in Tanzania, mostly because of the island factor, the religion factor and the fact you can only really buy them in resorts / hotels / restaurants / hostels etc in Paje. I guess the other big things to consider when it comes to money are, whether you’ve already paid for your accommodation and if you’ll be having any kitesurf lessons? Your Tanzania visa is likely to be $50 USD and transport out to Paje from Stone Town – if you are getting a private taxi and not a public bus – can be pricey. There’s a few small shops in the town and some places to stay with kitchens, but you might also be eating out a lot while there and many of the tourist places have prices that cater to Westerners… of course! Sorry, but I’m really struggling to give you a figure here… maybe you can give me a few more parameters

      • Philipp Krapf says:

        Hi Steph
        Acomodation is paid and it includes breakfast.
        I have a taxi already organised and I on a south african passport so we do not need to pay for holiday visas.
        I have all my own kiting equipment and have already done lessons etc.
        So I just really need money for food and beers in Paje

        • Steph says:

          Thanks for the info Philipp that’s great, so in general, beers are around $2.50 USD and it’s about $5-10 USD for food. Sometimes there is local fare available to eat for around $2 USD, but the western-style cafes tend to be that little bit more… obviously. It just depends how and what you like to eat 🙂

  3. Heidi says:

    I’m on the way to Paje tomorrow, thanks for this article!
    I’ve been told a couple of times that malaria is NOT a risk here in Zanzibar.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Heidi, so excited you’re off to Paje, you’ll love it! I think Malaria is a risk on Zanzibar and I would recommend the relevant precautions, but I’m not a medical professional of course!

  4. gareth says:

    therea been no cases of malaria in zanzibar….and paje is on the east of the island so you dont get sunsets….

  5. Patrick barbara says:

    Hi Steph well done for your professional articles .We are heading to zanzibar and one stop is in Paje aswell for 3 days ….Beach and Nightlife is on our itenary !!! What bars or club beach parties you recommend !!!! PATrick from lovely island of malta

    • Steph says:

      Hi Patrick, thanks for your kind words and so excited to hear you are headed to Paje. I have to be honest, I really didn’t do much partying in Paje – I was more about beach chilling, diving and catching up on work, but there are several bars along the beach where you can have fun (although nothing too major – remember the local population is predominantly conservative Muslim.) Honestly, once you get there, you’ll walk along the beach and find the spots easily. Hope you have a great time 🙂

  6. Mugo says:

    Calling hummus and falafel wrap “western food” is probably as wrong as calling Paje “the place to come” for scuba diving in Zanzibar 🙁

    • Steph says:

      Hi Mugo – good point, hummus and falafel are not western foods – I guess I meant rather that the style of cafe where they are served in Paje is western. Thanks for pointing that out – I stand corrected. Would love to hear your ideas about where the best scuba diving in Zanzibar is. Thnaks 🙂

  7. Rihards says:

    Hi,
    We arranged private taxi from Stone Town to Paje beach and back to Zanzibar airport for 50’000 TZS = 20 USD each way. All other drivers asked +/- twice us much.
    This was our taxi guy phone nr valid also for whatsup +255776203233. I guess his name is Homiud Issa.
    We were in Paje beach at the end of November 2018.

  8. Rihards says:

    Thanks for advice regarding bar/restaurant “B4”. Good atmosphere, good drinks and food. It is worth to go to this bar.

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