Kiwengwa, Zanzibar: 5 Ways To Explore The Beach Paradise : Kiwengwa is home to some of the best people I have ever met and a beautiful stretch of beach. My favorite part of Kiwengwa is the village of Kairo, but there are so many other places there that I also adore. Making a mini-guide to the area of the island seemed only natural to me, so that you could enjoy it as much as I have. To make the most of your experience, I’ve listed five things I believe you should do, but there is so much to see and do in this place that this list is by no means exhaustive. Here are the first five things I believe you simply must do in Kiwengwa, Zanzibar:
Take kitesurfing lessons.
If you’re going to try kitesurfing anywhere, this island is the place to do it because of the wind patterns and the type of waves that frequently come here. Check out Jambo Kite School; the kiters there are incredibly talented and some of the friendliest and funniest people you will ever meet. Additionally, they have a fantastic hammock outside that is great for relaxing in while you wait for the tide or wind to come.
Go on a Ngalawa or dhow ride to the reefs.
These vessels, which are recognized for their recognizable white sails and wooden construction, are the traditional fishing vessels used on the island. It’s a great way to experience the local culture to ride in one of these gorgeous, typically handmade boats out to the reefs. Due to the tide that day, the reef is more accessible at various times of the day; therefore, plan ahead and consult a captain to determine when you should set sail. We had to leave at seven in the morning when we went, but it was well worth it. You can also take the boat along the coast while enjoying snacks if you’re interested in waiting or making plans to see the reefs. Whatever you choose to do, in my opinion, it’s a fantastic way to see the island.
Enjoy drinks or food at Il Pontile.
Although I’m sure it surprised you to hear an Italian name in Kiwengwa, this restaurant is in the ideal spot. When you’re looking at the beach, it’s very clear where the name, which means “the pier,” refers. A fantastic way to watch the tide come in is to take a stroll down to the Pontile and have some drinks or a meal there. You are pretty far out in the ocean when the tide is high, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to see some fish. If you’re interested in spending the night partying in the middle of the ocean, be sure to check out their schedule, as they are also known for their nighttime parties.
Walk along the beach to the coves.
Although heading in the general opposite direction of the Pontile, towards the Melia resort, these coves are vast and breathtaking. They are fantastic places to explore and are a little bit easier to navigate when the tide is a little lower. Additionally, it’s a great place to look for shells, and you can typically see some crabs walking around. If you’re like me, it’s also a neat way to observe geologic history in the rocks, as various types of fossils are readily discernible as ancient sea creatures have come and gone. You could also take a special someone there for a lovely picnic if you plan ahead.
I can recommend some restaurants near the beach if you need to refuel during your stroll! I believe the Amour Beach Restaurant has excellent beach dining and views, reasonable prices, and delectable food if you’re interested in regional cuisine. White Dream and Papaya both serve delicious food and allow you to eat on the beach, but White Dream has a wider selection of food options, while Papaya, in my opinion, offers more comfortable seating options if you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience.
Soak up the sun on Kiwengwa Beach.
One place on the island where you can see how amazing the ocean tides are is this one! The tide can be low during the day or at night, sometimes going out about a mile, depending on the day. Walking outside to see the tide pools and the locations where local women grow and collect seaweed can be awesome when the tide is out. Although sea urchins can be found in some areas of the water, I generally advise avoiding those areas because that’s where they tend to be. Before you jump in the water, ask a local where the water is urchin-free if you’re feeling uneasy.
If you’re interested, I also suggest getting a kayak or paddleboard and exploring the waters while you swim. There are probably many locations along the beach where you can find them, but I am aware that the Jambo Kite School and the Amour Beach Restaurant both have some.