That was my second visit to Zanzibar and Paje Beach. You can immagine how magical this place is. Let me give you a few tips if you allow me to. And if you read this please follow my advices. I'm writing this review for you.
1) Do not hurry to buy souvenirs! There are a lot of people on the beach pretending to be Massai. They do not respect your private space and they will try to screw you. They will approach you with the famous "jumbo", "mambo" or "how are you my friend". They will ask questions which are all the same like "where are you from", when did you arrive", "where are you staying", "how old are you", how many kids do you have", "what's your name". I find this is extremely unpolite. All this questions are targeting one and only one thing: assessing you, evaluating how naive you are, figuring out how wealthy you are. Give yourself time to get more familiar with the locals. And if you want to buy any stuff know that all the shops are behind Arabian Nights hotel and the Buccanear dive center. Actually the above said Massai buy things there and they resale them on the beach.
2) Never pay in USD or EUR! They, the White owners of hotels and restaurants, will always screw you while offering an unfair exchange rate 1 USD for 2000 TZS. The normal exchange rate when you sell your USD is 1 USD for 2200 TZS. Sometimes you can find even a better rate. So do not forget to exchange your money in Stonetown (Zanzibar city) or at the airport when you arrive.
3) Always negotiate prices! Always! Keep in mind that you could always get at least 25% lower purchase price. At least!
4) Most of the people here are lazy as hell. Slow as hell. And unfortunately a bit liers . Do not be naive. Never believe what they say unless you find someone you feel you can trust. Be careful!
5) If you cook for yourself opt for the small local shops behind Arabian Nights while buying food and drinks. Always negotiate the price! Always!
6) A regular taxi from Paje to the airport is about USD 25. Any price above this amount would be unfair.
7) Confirmed kiters and beginners rent your gear or take lessons with the locals who are at the very end of the beach direction South! Their prices are twice less than the average prices in the center of the Beach.
Despite all the negative points I've made above Paje Beach is a magical place and I recommend it strongly. Sunrises are beautiful!
Enjoy your exotic vacation.
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