Zanzibar Kite Camp

Zanzibar kite camp 2014 is a wrap and it was a great journey with plenty new tricks learned, fun times with fellow kiters and sessions in one of the most beautiful lagoons we’ve ever seen. 

Our trip started with a long day on planes and airports, but once you get into your stylish bungalow with the view on palm trees and an endless white beach with turquoise water, it is just worth the longest plane ride. The spot we went to is called Paje Beach, and we stayed at the Cristal Resort for the length of the kite camp. I had 7 participants with different level and ages. Loulou, the youngest and probably a future champion, was trying some surface handle passes while his dad Jeff landed his first unhooked raleys, and the rest of the group was either learning how to unhook or to do back rolls, front rolls, grabs, jumps, etc. I enjoy teaching people with this level because their progression can be very noticeable within only a week. The main purpose of this trip is to learn and improve your riding therefore I’m happier when we can see quick results. 😉

Zanzibar isn’t known as a very windy and consistant spot, you should take your biggest kites if you want to make sure you can ride nearly everyday because the wind often stays around 15knots. Therefore a 14 or even 16m2 might be much appreciated if you want to spend more time on the water. The spot is completely different at low tide and high tide. Low tide is a perfect flat water swimming pool, while at high tide there is far more choppy and sometimes some small kickers on the shore. This makes it interesting for learning tricks because you ride and learn in different conditions, making it more complete.

I really enjoy the beauty and calm of this beach, especially early morning when the sun goes up and life slowly starts. If you go to have a walk or a run you’ll see some random locals fishing, carrying seaweed, or just cruising around. Whenever the wind picks up there is a funny mixture of tourists with their kites and locals carrying on their humble lives. The local kids come to meet you and ask questions on the beach (sometimes money unfortunately) and tell you the few english words they’ve learned at school, some might try to sell you fruits or bracelets, and some will just do their own thing without caring about you. I especially love the contrast with the local fishermen’s boats and the women growing seaweed in the water while we ride next to them, but not too close in order not to bother them of course.

On lighter wind days we decided to do some excursions to discover what the island has to offer. We went to see the funny monkeys, to a sailing trip on a traditional boat, and also to visit the capital Stonetown, which reminds you that you are truly in Africa. The contrast with some European cities can be striking but we all loved seeing this different culture and people living their daily routine at the local market. It was during Ramadan so we were careful to respect their traditions, women had to wear long pants and we tried not to take pictures of them (especially women) deliberately.

I’d like to give a special thank to my partners Fun&Fly  for organizing this trip and Harakakite school for having us, and to all participants Guillaume (& Anne Laure), Thomas & Vanessa, Jeff & Loulou, Julie and Gildas for these great moments shared. It was great meeting you guys !!

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