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South East Coast Zanzibar Beaches

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Unguja Ukuu - South East ZanzibarPoints South Of Chwaka Bay - On the road to the southeast coast are some fun places to visit, such as Jozani Forest (the road actually drives through the conservation area) and ZALA park. So you may want to consider stopping off there on your way to or from the coast . Along the same road, a bit further on, are the Bi Khole ruins .


Unguja Ukuu

Unguja UkuuThought to be one of the original settlements on the island, Unguja Ukuu dates back to the 5th Century and may have been settled by Shirazi immigrants (a common claim of Zanzibar villages).

Possibly abandoned as early as the 10th century, but reoccupied in the 16th Century, the site of the old settlement is accessible to visitors by passing through the modern village of Unguja Ukuu and following the tidal causeway to Uzi Island.

Not much remains except for some holes from old digs and some crumbling structures.

Southeast Coastal Villages

Paje is the first village at the end of the road to the southeast and there's a police check (as are commonPaje Beach - South East Coast Zanzibar on Zanzibari roads but nothing to worry about) as you approach the village. The road to this part of the island was a horrible, dusty, pockmarked stretch of rocks, dirt, and cows, but it has since been temporarily repaired to a decent level of comfort and it seems that tarmac is on the way.

If you've rented a car, be sure you've confirmed the locations of spare tyre, jack, and other essentials for a flat. Paje is a small beach village and is a sort of access point to the other villages on the southeast coast. The beaches are breathtaking all along the coast, but you may want to look into the tides before setting off to be sure there's some water to wade in when you arrive. Snorkeling is reportedly good all along the reef but you may have to walk upwards of 1.5 km to get to it.

Be careful when going to the beach around Paje or in Chwaka to make sure that you don't walk on someone's farm. Seaweed farming is big business on this part of the island and sometimes the seaweed is laid out in such a natural looking way that it hardly looks like a harvest. The farms are easy to spot at low tide because of the sticks popping up out of the water, but use caution walking through the villages so as not to trample the harvest.

Seaweed Farming

Seven Seas Restaurant - South East CoastSeaweed farming was introduced to Zanzibar less than ten years ago but, as a local industry, it has grown quickly because of the perfect setting for it: shallow tidal flats, warm weather, and water full of nutrients. The plants grow very quickly and can be harvested after only two weeks after cuttings have been attached to the strings that run from the sticks stuck in the flats.

After harvest the seaweed is dried out on the beach, between the houses in the village, or sometimes on the tarmac of a nearby road. The dried product is sold, by weight, to Scandinavian countries and other countries around the world for the manufacture of such products as medicines, beer, foods, and cosmetics.

The farming on the coasts of Zanzibar is a point of contention between residents and hotel owners. Hopefully a reasonable solution will be agreed upon that provides the space needed for the villagers to practice successful seaweed farming.

Paradise Beach Bungalows - South East Coast Zanzibar

Paje has several guesthouses, and recommended among them are Seven Seas, Paje Ndame Village Guesthouse and Paradise Beach Bungalows. If you arrive at the village by way of a minibus driven by a local driver, he may get a commission by putting you in a certain guesthouse, so be sure you go in to check about vacancies or you may be told that your chosen guesthouse is full .

Sunrise Restaurant in Paje serves some of the best meals on the East Coast. Also in Paje there is an interesting building that serves as a mausoleum. It has castellated embattlements and crockery set into the walls, a tradition reportedly from Persia. Paje may well be yet another village originally settled by Shirazis.

Going north from Paje you'll pass through the village of Bwejuu. Along the way between Paje and Bwejuu, you'll pass many guesthouses - see the section 'Bwejuu' in the Listings Section for more details. After Bwejuu you'll reach Dongwe Village, which is just before the Sultan’s Palace resort. Sultan's Palace is a high-end resort complete with beautiful bungalows, an airy main house for meals, and a swimming pool by the beach.

Further along the same road, in an area called Michamvi, are the Karafuu and Breezes resorts. Karafuu and Breezes are well run, serve good meals, and welcome day-trippers for lunch, drinks, and dips in the swimming pool.

Breezes is highly recommended as a place to stay for sports enthusiasts because it has some of the only tennis courts on the island and it even offers horseback riding in addition to other sports facilities. Past Karafuu on the same road you can veer left and land at a breathtaking view of the large and shallow Chwaka Bay.
 

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Peg Marlow & Roy Bateman


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