Located off the coast of Tanzania, Paje is situated on the island of Zanzibar, which can succinctly be summed up as the Indian Ocean is so beautiful! 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! Paje is delightfully peaceful and quiet; and while it is on the map many tourists prefer the busier, more developed north beaches of Zanzibar.
Drive to the north to Bweju or continue to the south to Jambiani and Makunduchi. Here you can find small shops and two supermarkets near the crossroad. Further inside the village, you can find more small shops, where you can buy souvenirs, especially vivid coloured paintings in Zanzibarian style and various coconut products.
Paje is built in traditional swahili style, so you can make short trips through long dusty "streets" and enjoy the local cordial atmosphere... you will meet dozens of children asking for "caramella" (sweets) or biscuits. Local people usually spend the whole day in their usual work - gathering seaweed, making ropes of coconut fibers or repairing or building boats (dhows). If you want to take photos, please be kind and ask before you take a shoot. For many locals, this is a pleasant source of income.
As Paje is famous kitesurfing Centre, most tourists are either keen on kite surfing here or they have a possibility to learn the basics of this popular sport. Windy weather conditions are not only good for kite surfing, but also a pleasant natural air conditioning. Zanzibar weather as strongly influenced by monsoons, so tourists are advised to watch weather forecast before planning their trip!
Evenings on the shore of Paje are dedicated to football. Local boys (9-99 years old) as well as tourist meet every evening for the serious game. And for a couple of drinks for all participants right after the match, regardless of goals or winners.
If the lazy atmosphere of Paje makes you sick, you can make long trips along the shore - in 1 hour you can reach Jambiani or Bwejuu (but the hot sun makes you tired in 10 minutes, so be aware of sunburning!). If you want to make a serious trip, you can rent a bike, scooter or motorcycle - rental offices are in many resorts or ask touts (locals who enjoy offering ANY service, from luggage transport through fishing trips to snorkeling and dolphin safaris - as their only knowledge is poor english, but as long as they gain your interest, they "subcontract" other local people to these services for modest budget with large profit).
A traditional dancing performance is held at the Cristal Resort most Tuesday nights. Booking is essential.
Taking a minibus from the airport takes 1 hour and costs approximately $60. Just when you leave the airport, taxi or minibus will cost much less - around $40. The local bus transportation (named Dala-Dala) is much cheaper - TSH 1500, and not much slower, but surely less comfortable. Use a taxi or minibus and you can enjoy sightseeing and air condition, but use dala-dala, if you want to chat with local people and get many interesting suggestions for trips or destination!
Alternatively, you can book a shuttle bus to collect you from your current accommodation and drop you directly at your next accommodation- this is more expensive costing around $10 but is much quicker and far less hassle. The shuttles can be booked online, which is a major advantage, and are run by Hakuna Matata bus.