The tropical island of Zanzibar with its blue ocean and white beaches offers the best conditions for kitesurfing in paradise. More than 15 years ago, we started the first kite school in Zanzibar, Kite Centre Zanzibar – the original. Since then, we have gathered a lot of knowledge which we would like to share with you. In this article, we will share everything we know about the wind in Zanzibar for kitesurfing.
The conditions for kitesurfing are usually perfect during the season. Which is from Half of June until October and December until March. The outside reef protects the inside waters, so the lagoon inside the reef is flat, with shallow knee-deep water. This makes the lagoon a perfect spot for beginners and experts. Want to read more about Kitesurfing Lessons and Hydrofoil Lessons?
The best months for beginners are from June until October and the end of December until mid-March. The wind is always side onshore. From June until October the Kusi blows from the southeast, in December the Kaskasi blows from the northeast.
The best months for experts are from mid-May until mid-September and the end of December until the end of February. While the above-listed time-frames are the norm, variations do occur. Therefore we do recommend you check the wind history on the island.
The average wind speed is around 16 knots, usually increasing towards the end of the day in the late afternoon and early evening. The most commonly used kite sizes are 12, 10, and 9 meters, with some occasional kiting with a 7, depending on your body weight and the wind speed.
The water temperature is always over 24 degrees Celsius or more , so your wetsuit can stay at home. However, if you are easily prone to coldness, which can occasionally happen in Africa’s winter months (June-September), we do recommend you to take your wetsuit to be sure. At most you would need a 2mm shorty.
In the lagoon in front of the Kite Centre, you will find the perfect kite heaven, with shallow water for beginners and flat water for freestyle / freeride experts. The lagoon has a sandy bottom everywhere and is split up into 2 parts. The 2 parts are separated by a seaweed farming area, which is very easy to see and pass to the other part. The part of the lagoon that is situated away from the shore, is constantly filled with water regardless of the tides.
Booties/shoes can be brought (or bought at our Surf Shop), but are not used a lot for riding. If you are learning how to fly kites, and for body dragging in the lagoon, the booties can be beneficial for protection against the odd sea urchin that escapes from the nearby farming operation. For the most part, the sea floor is sandy and soft.
The reef for surfing waves is approximately 1.5 kilometers off-shore with a perfect break. Launch your kite and surf out to the waves with a minimum of three people for safety considerations, or take a surf trip-downwinder that we organise. When the tide is halfway to full tide it’s time to explore the amazing waves which can be very good. The waves on a normal day are around 1-1,5 meters up to 3,5 meters.
Zanzibar is the place to be for kitesurfing in the right season! Warm water, constant winds, flatwater lagoon and amazing waves on the reef. What more do you need? Keep reading and check out our different packages for Kitesurfing Lessons and hotel options.