Hello fellow Kiters
I have just recently come back from a trip to Zanzibar. In fact a trip to Zanzibar which was quickly modified to a couple of days in Zanzibar, two weeks on the Kenyan coast and then a couple of days in Zanzibar to pick up my original flight.
The story is that if you're toying with the idea of kiting in the beatiful island of Zanzibar you will probably type the two words 'kite' and 'Zanzibar' in a google search. Upon which you will fall upon Chris Goodwins internet site http://www.kitezanzibar.com/
and say to yourself 'wow' looks like a beatiful spot to kite. You will email Chris and he will confirm your dreams that you have found a kitesurfing paradise . You buy your plane ticket and and head out to the indian ocean your heart beating with expectations of a perfect holiday.
On arrival at Chris's recommended spot I soon discovered the first problem with his 'paradise spot'. At mid to high tide there is no beach left and the waves crash on the coral cliffs. As I arrived in the late afternoon and as it was evident that the tide would not be out before dark then the kiting would have to wait till low tide tomorrow morning.
The next morning I discover the next problem with the spot. At low tide the there is no water over the coral reef. Ok so that means that it is possible only to kite somewhere between low-water and mid-water, which basically means for a couple of hours a day. Now also the wind tends only to blow between five and seven at night. It didn't take me long to work this one out - for the two to coincide means probably two kite-able days a fortnight. As the whole east coast is like this, and on the west coast the wind is offshore, the second day of my stay I booked a ticket to Kenya where I know the coast is excellent for kiting.
The truth about Chris. Chris is the manager of the local hotel Ras Nungwi on the northeast coast of kenya. He also is a kitesurfer -a bigheaded one with no kite buddies. His internet site makes it out that there is a club there but there is none. It is just about him -all the pictures are of him and not all taken at the beach of Ras Nungwi. It appears that he has put together this internet site to encourage others, through false information, to come to his local beach to keep him company.
A true story is of an unfortunate Italien paid a very high price for this by trying a precarious luanch from the beach, at mid to high tide. He misjudge his kite launch and was dragged onto the coral cliffs. Severly injured he had to be flown home the next day.
My opinion: Zanzibar is a beautiful Island to visit, but unless you have boat to get out to some of the sand-bars offshore leave your gear behind. Chris is a person not to be trusted for his information -personally I loath this kind of person who has no consideration for some poor person who is about to splash out his yearly holiday budget only to find that he has been misled!
Fortunately I rescued my holiday as I had enough spare cash to buy a ticket to Kenya but for the sake of others please circa this message.