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Situated in Paje, Zanzibar, Buccaneer Diving is East Africa's award winning premier scuba diving destination and the region's only PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre.
'AQUARIUM-LIKE CONDITIONS COMBINED WITH AN ARRAY OF MACRO AND GIANT MARINE LIFE MAKES ZANZIBAR ONE OF THE WORLD'S PREMIER DIVE DESTINATIONS. A MUSLIM GEM OFF THE COAST OF MAINLAND AFRICA WILL SURPRISE YOU WITH IT'S WEALTH OF HISTORY AND CULTURE'
"Whether you’ve never breathed under water before, or you’re a seasoned diver looking to explore the picturesque reefs of Zanzibar, our expert instructors and teams are here to make your trip the best yet. From our customized boats to our luxury accommodation options, you’ll experience the best Zanzibar has to offer".
The name alone evokes palm-fringed white sandy beaches, gin clear waters with shawls of tropical fish and above all - pure and utter relaxation. Accessible from Dar es Salaam or directly from Tanzania’s top safari destinations like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar is the perfect place to unwind after an exciting East African safari.
It is a little known fact that the Zanzibar Archipelago actually consists of several beautiful small islands, the one often referred to as Zanzibar is actually called Unjunga and is only one of many islands. Most notable are quirky and adventurous Mafia Island, which has emerged as one of the best diving spots in the Indian Ocean, and pretty and wild Pemba Island, which will enchant honeymooners with its pristine and strikingly beautiful coastline.
Zanzibar is rightly considered one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations. While famous for its never-ending beaches, warm Indian Ocean water and its world class diving, there is so much more to see and explore! Although officially part of Tanzania, the Zanzibari have very much developed their own culture and identity through their rich and turbulent history. Nowhere is this as evident as in the ancient city of Stone Town, which has seen British, Portuguese, and Omani conquerors come and go over the centuries.
....come diving and be enchanted by the pristine waters and abundant marine life in Zanzibar...
The coral reefs of Zanzibar are some of the most abundant in the world with over 500 species of marine species. In turn warm Indian Ocean water creates water temperatures consistently around 80F (27C) and visibility that often exceeds 100ft (30m).
Zanzibar is a dive location where there is something for everyone, the snorkelers, the macro lovers and the deep divers. With over 30 dive sites that include, reef, wall and wreck diving, Zanzibar is more than just a beach island to relax. Levan Bank off the northern tip of Zanzibar is one of the islands' most famous and impressive dives, where strong currents create a haven for big game fish such as kingfish, trevally and tuna.
Zanzibar is also one of the world’s premier locations for sighting the ocean's biggest fish, the whale shark. Mnemba Atoll is a 4.5 miles (7km) reef that is a conservation success story, where turtles, dolphins and the whale sharks can be seen in the months from September to December.
For divers with specific interests, migration seasons with the highest concentration of certain marine animals, and the highest possibility of sightings are over the following periods:
Eagle rays: June to March
Manta rays: December to April
Blacktip reefs sharks: June to March
Hammerhead sharks: November to February
Whale sharks (Mafia Island): October to February
Seahorses: June to March
Humpback whales: July to October
Whitetip reef sharks, dolphins, and hawksbill turtles: year-round
If all this activity means you need to wind down from time to time a morning yoga session on our sun deck might do the trick, or you can kick back with a cocktail from Ocean restaurant and stretch out on one of our ocean front sun beds and watch the kiters be energetic instead.....
PAJE BEACH APARTMENT & HOTEL
Perfectly situated right on Paje Beach, sharing space with Buccaneer Diving, Ocean Restaurant and Aquaholics Surf & Kite Center Paje Beach Apartment & Hotel are ideally located to give you a fabulous diving experience.
We have a total of five spacious and comfortable apartments at our beach side hotel on Zanzibar's East Coast.
In addition to the apartments, we have now added new Beach Front double Rooms to the property.
Offering free WiFi , Paje Beach Apartments is set in Paje, a few steps from Buccaneer Diving and Aquaholics Surf & Kite Center.
Some units have a dining area and a seating area with a TV. There is also a kitchen, fitted with an oven and toaster. A fridge and stovetop are also provided, as well as a kettle. Each unit features a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Towels are available.
Paje Beach Apartments also includes an outdoor pool.
Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant.
Continental breakfast is offered at the property and a full English breakfast can be provided upon request at a surcharge.
The property has water sports facilities and bike hire is available.
Guests can enjoy various activities in the surroundings, including snorkeling, diving and fishing. Paje By Kite - Zanzibar is 200 yards from Paje Beach Apartments.
The nearest airport is Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, 22 mi from Paje Beach Apartments.
Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.2 for a two-person trip!
. . . . .during your surface interval , why not take the opportunity to explore what else this fabulous spice island of Zanzibar has to offer?
Spend the day in Stone Town
Stone Town is the heart and soul of the island.
The ancient city of Stone Town - declared a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2000 - is charming, quaint, architecturally imposing, cluttered, colourful and utterly exotic. Known as the spice capital of the world, the city offers an eclectic fusion cuisine, incorporating Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and African cooking traditions, all based on Zanzibar’s most famous products - spices. Cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg, fragrant vanilla and aromatic star anise find their way into everything from delicious street-food, 5 star restaurant meals, tea, coffee, smoothies and cocktails. At The Travel Cafe we recommend allocating at least one day in your itinerary to take in this bustling colourful town with its cobbled streets and winding alleyways.
After visiting Stone Town, we recommend going straight to the source of all those aromatics and visit a spice farm. Magical and educational in equal measures, you are bound to be impressed. After all how many of us know how what a nutmeg tree looks like, how cacao beans are roasted or how saffron – literally worth its weight in gold – is grown? You will also get to sample the most mouth-watering array of tropical fruit that grow under the Zanzibari sun.
An incredible mash-up of winding alleys and old Arabic-style buildings, you can temporarily lose yourself (both physically and mentally) in the town’s magic. Soak up the local culture by sipping a cup of coffee from a local vendor or just keep on wandering through the streets, discovering unique little spots at every turn.
Zanzibar is known for its spice trade, so what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than learning about its wealthiest and most profitable industry? Tourists can choose from a variety of tours and explore the winding streets with expert tour guides who will inform you of the origins of the industry, as well as teaching guests about the wide variety of spices that Zanzibar produces and trades in.
Spices © judepics/WikiCommons
The Old Fort
The oldest building in Stone Town, the Old Fort is located on the seafront, right in front of the famous Forodhani Gardens. Originally built in the 17th century with the purpose of defending the island from attacks from the Portuguese, nowadays the Old Fort is one of Stone Town’s main sights. Visitors can admire the remains of the former fort and amble around the courtyard in the center, where sellers have local produce for sale. An old amphitheater still hosts events and functions in the fort.
Enjoy great views and fine food at The Rock
The Rock restaurant offers some stunning views of the island, as it is located on a rock with a view over all the city’s main sights. Visitors don’t only come for the view though – fine dining also awaits with some of the best seafood Zanzibar has to offer. Make sure to book as this exclusive restaurant has only 12 tables and it’s often fully booked.
Head to Jozani Forest
A vast and scenic spread of green, Jozani is the last indigenous forest left on Zanzibar. Located inland from Chwaka Bay the area often floods, which luckily nurtures a unique swamp forest of many amazing looking trees and ferns. The forest is best reached via bus (309 or 310), by chartered taxi, or as part of an organised tour.
Catch some sun at Nungwi beach
Nungwi is a village found on Zanzibar’s North West tip. This is a popular place yet it’s not overrun by tourists, and it’s one of Zanizbar’s top beaches as the tide doesn’t head out too far. This is a great beach for those looking to just soak up some sun and dip their toes in the sea but who don’t need the luxury of a fancy hotel on top.
Tanzania beach © Frontierenviro/WikiCommons
Visit Prison Island
A half-hour boat trip from Zanzibar, Prison Island provides a fascinating glimpse into the island’s slightly dark past – this land was once used as a place where slaves were detained and, when slavery was abolished, it functioned as a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Fortunately enough, that is all in the past and today the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison.
Eat at Forodhani market
A spectacular night-time food market, Forodhani opens in the late afternoon in Stone Town. The buzz and energy of this market are spectacular, and here you can find fresh local produce as well as freshly grilled fish, meat and vegetables. The seafood options are by far the most popular and the fish is served with fried potato balls, naan bread and samosas.
Commonly know as the Sultan’s Palace, The Palace Museum is perhaps the most historic building in Stone Town and is a must-see for any tourist. The Palace Museum is located in the waterfront, overlooking the ocean, and was built in the 19th century as a home for the Sultan and his family. After the 1964 revolution the site was used as a Government building and was renamed as The People’s Palace. Today it serves as a museum that showcases relics of the past Sultan family.
Sultans palace © Vincent van zejist/ WIkiCommons
House of Wonders
The House of Wonders is a hugely important and visually stunning historic building in Stone Town. It hosts a highly interesting exhibition and offers a brilliant insight into Zanzibari and Swahili culture. The House of Wonders is the grandest and tallest building in all of Stone Town and is found in a prominent location in front of the Forodhani Gardens on the old town’s seafront, in Mizingani Road.
Winter (June - September): Like mainland Tanzania, the best time to go to Zanzibar, Mafia or Pemba is during the dry season from June to September. Due to its close proximity to the equator, the temperatures vary very little through the year, with maximum daytime temperatures hovering between 25°C / 75°F and 28°C / 82°F throughout the year. The dry season is famous for its clear blue skies and sunny days. This is also the best time to go scuba diving as the water will be crystal clear and visibility will be at its peak. Going in June or beginning of July will have the added bonus of the vegetation being green and lush after the rains. September is usually spice harvest season, and it is quite fascinating to watch the farmers harvest cloves by hand. Winter has the added bonus of combining beautifully with a safari to Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Summer (January - March):January to March is summer and our second favourite time to visit Zanzibar, Mafia or Pemba. The summer months bring with them beautiful dry, sunny and warm days with bright blue skies very similar to winter, with temperatures averaging around 28°C or 82°F.
Spring (November - December): Spring will bring short rains in the form of late afternoon showers. The rains are intermittent and not too much of a bother, but we do feel that when choosing to go to a beach destination, dry season would be better, making the period of November to December not our top pick.
Autumn (April - May): Autumn is the least desirable tome to visit any of the islands, be it Zanzibar, Mafia or Pemba. April and May are monsoon season with spectacular storms and long rainy days. The waters are rough and murky, and the beaches wet and windswept. Many hotels close altogether during these months to refurbish and upgrade their lodgings for the next season. Luckily these long rains coincide with mainland Tanzania as well, which rules out only these two months, and leaving 10 months for a magical Bush + Beach combination.