Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

Zanzibar -the true story

Forum for travel reports and travel questions

Rare Poster
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:47 pm

Zanzibar -the true story

Postby pacman » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:31 pm

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 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.


Rare Poster
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:48 pm

Postby jameser » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:16 am

Ras Nungwi is not an ideal spot to kite, like the pacman says a very dodgy launch and very tide dependent. Much of the East Coast of Zanzibar is fringed by reef with very dramatic tides and off course this is the side with the prevailing winds. I also found the wind to be really shifty and have massive holes in it. Any future trips to East Africa will be to Kenya.

Rare Poster
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:47 pm

Postby pacman » Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:03 am

I can confirm the shifty winds also. Also unlike Kenya where the winds pick up in the afternoon in Zanzibar you can never really tell when it is going to be windiest during the day. I think the formula is simple in Kenya you have a massive continent that heats up during the day and hence adds a great thermal wind to the prevaling monsoon wind. At Zanzibar you don't have this thermal effect as it is an Island and hence the winds are much more unpredictable.

User avatar
Rare Poster
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2002 1:00 am
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Vienna, Austria

Postby michel » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:04 pm

Thanks pacman for that info -
I almost booked a trip to Ras Nungwi for next xmas based on that info from the Zanzibar Kiteboarding Club. Alone the fact that it is not so easy to find a direct flight connection hindered me from booking. And now, after your report, I am not too disappointed that I could not get the trip fixed.
Thanks again & bye

Rare Poster
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:47 pm

Postby pacman » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:32 pm

Your more than welcome for the help. Try Diani beach Kenya if you want to visit that corner of the world -excellent spot and works at christmas time.

Rare Poster
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 7:41 pm


Postby vjkiter » Sun May 06, 2007 7:42 am

Hey Pacman!
Thanks for the tip...
Your story is incredible, it's just crazy that someone puts up a nice looking website and people take the bite! For two years in row I've booked the trip to Zanzibar and at the last moment I've swiched to more reliable spots!
Thanks again in the name of all the onest kiters!

VJ :bye:

User avatar
Frequent Poster
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:01 pm
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby jatkinson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:28 am

Wish I had known that a few months ago. Have been meaning to post something like this for a while, but never got around to it.

Skip Zanzibar and head for Kenya for sure. Diani is nice, but CheShale is even better.


Return to “Travel”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests