The Ultimate Guide to Paje, Zanzibar

The Ultimate Guide to Paje, Zanzibar



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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Where is Paje, Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, Paje, Beach Shack

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!!



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How to Get to Paje

Zanzibar, Paje, Signpost

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.


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.


Where to Stay in Paje

Zanzibar, Paje, Sails


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.


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.


Things to Do in Paje

Zanzibar, Paje, Surf Sign

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.


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



#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?

Zanzibar, Paje, Falafel Wrap

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!



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Eating and Drinking in Paje

Zanzibar, Paje, Mr Kahawa

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.

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 hummus & 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.


Things to Know about Paje

Zanzibar, Paje, Kitesurfing School

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.




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.


38 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Paje, Zanzibar

  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. 🙂


    • 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. 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 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

  6. Rihards says:

    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.

  7. Niamh Woods says:

    Good article… thanks for all that. We’re going to Zanzibar in September, still not sure which side of the island we’re going to go for. I’m just wondering about the tides in Paje, is it true the water can be gone very far away for large portions of the day?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Niamh, great to hear from you and delighted you’re planning on heading to Zanzibar. Yes it is true that the tide movement is huge in Paje – it’s one of the biggest I’ve ever seen and certainly the water can be very far away for large portions of the day. Hope that helps with your decision making 🙂

  8. Bridget says:

    Jambo!;) Very informative article, thanks a lot! I’m arriving in Zanzibar next month, my first time in Tanzania. I will be staying in Makunduchi (Clove Island – and although the place itself is really awesome, I’m hungry for seeing new spots and doing a lot of different things. Your article inspires me as I really want to visit Paje as well!:) Thanks once again! Can’t wait 🙂

  9. Hetal says:

    Hello! Thanks for this useful information. 2 Questions – are there any spice shops, shops for local items like dashikis, soaps, shoes, jewelry, foods etc? Are there any large supermarkets or chemists/pharmacies to get things like extra sunscreen/mosquito spray? Any snorkeling in the are?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Hetal, yes there’s lots of snorkelling, which can be arranged with the dive shops if you need – normally you are taken to the marine park area, which is a boat ride away. There are not any large supermarkets, but a few small basic shops that should sell sunscreen or bug spray. My advice, however, would be to bring your own. There is a local market that will sell the local items you name, otherwise you can certainly get these in Stone Town. Happy travels, Steph 🙂

  10. Mélanie says:


    Can you tell me if you know of course, where is the panel with all the destinations, by paje which is in your pictures on your page

    Thank you very much

    • Steph says:

      Hi Melanie, thanks for leaving the question. Yes the signpost with all the destinations and distances is right on the beach in Paje – at the top end near Buccanneers Diving. Hope that helps. Best, Steph 🙂

  11. Andre says:

    I definitely have to comment this because paje is for sure a lot of things but not a paradise. It is already ridiculous to call it a village. It is just a bunch of super ugly 3rd world cottages where you have maybe 1% nice touristic places in between. Not sure why someone would like to spend its holidays there?

    • Steph says:

      Hey Andre, thanks for your input here, but I’m wondering if we’re talking about the same place?! Beautiful beaches, kitesurfing and diving are just some of the reasons I enjoyed my travel time in Paje. Best, Steph

    • Suhil says:

      Hi Andre,
      I stayed in one of those “third world cottages” and i found it absolutely stunning and refreshing that they incorporated local architecture into their designs. The villas are in perfect harmony with the landscape but, I guess that is ugly for your narrow “first world” mindset.

  12. Suhil says:

    And just to add, I agree with Steph – Paje beach is beautiful with white sands and no crowds. Throw in kite surfing and snorkeling and you get a wonderful experience.

  13. Vebjørn says:

    Hi Steph, informative article, really inspiring! You mentioned catching up on work: I need to have a few TEAMS meetings while Im there (going next week). How is the wifi/4g availability? And you mention surfing: can you say elaborate? 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Hi there, bad news I’m afraid, the wifi was pretty patchy when I was in Paje, but hopefully it’s improved! There’s no surfing here, but kitesurfing is really popular. You’ll find loads of options for gear and lessons along the beach. Enjoy, Steph 🙂

  14. kim says:

    Hi there
    We are a family travelling to Zanzibar in July and we have booked 5 nights in Nungwi and are considering Padje for 5 nights afterwards. But I have heard that it’s quite windy in Paje. Is it like storm and blowing the hole day or are there times during the day when it’s not windy?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Kim, it really depends on what the weather is like at the time you visit – which is almost impossible to guess! I definitely didn’t find it too windy in Paje, when I was there, but it is a kite-surfing hotspot, so you have to expect some breeze! Also, I wasn’t there in July. A quick Google reveals that “July is Zanzibar’s windiest month, with a more or less constant, stiff breeze blowing from the south.” Hope that helps and happy travels. Best, Steph 🙂

  15. Eilidh says:

    Hi Steph,
    I really enjoyed your article, thank you. I have heard that sea urchins can be an issue in Zanzibar – is this something that you came across? We will be in Paje over Christmas if it helps to know what season we will be there.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Eilidh, so glad to hear you enjoyed the article and delighted to learn you will travel to Paje. I didn’t hear about sea urchins when I was there, nor did I encounter them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a problem. As you’re in the tropics in Zanzibar, it’s quite likely they can be a problem. Getting a pair of sea shoes might be a good solution. Happy travels, Steph 🙂

  16. Mafraise says:

    Bonjour et merci pour ton article. Nous sommes actuellement à paje au nord de la ville. Où faire du snorkelling exactement ?

    • Steph says:

      Hi there, thankfully I can read French, although not reply in it, so forgive the English response! Snorkelling takes place in the national marine parks around Paje, so you’ll need to take a boat trip to enjoy the best of this activity. Details are in the post along with my other Zanzibar content on this blog. Hope that helps. Best, Steph 🙂

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