Travel Diary | Zanzibar

The island of Zanzibar, known locally as Ugunja, is a beautiful and historically rich destination at the crossroads of African and Arabic cultures. It offers many attractions as well as a colorful island adventures.

Paje on the East coast of Zanzibar is a beach of clear white sand, facing the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The luxury resort of Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is perfectly positioned on its beachfront. Thanks to calm, shallow waters and our premium destination protected by the reef, Paje is also a world-class spot for both advanced and beginner kite surfers.

View our beach in real-time thanks to our webcam:



Useful information

The resort is located 40 km from Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ) - about one hour drive from Stone Town Airport. 

  • Time zone: East African Time (EAT), GMT +3.
  • Dry seasons: July to October, December to April.
  • Temperature: Low: 20°C / 68°F | High: 33°C / 91°F
  • Sea temperature: Low: 25°C /77°F | High: 29°C/84°F


AT THE HOTEL

  • Check-in is available from 2 PM, check-out is required by 11 AM. You are welcome to use the facilities of the resort until their departure. If you have lunch on the day of arrival and wish to have lunch on the departure date as well, the meal will be charged (payable directly at the hotel upon check out).
  • Guaranteed early arrival or late check-out is subject to 100% daily room fee. Without pre-purchase, early check-in or late check-out is possible only at the discretion of the management on a case by case basis depending on availability and other factors.
  • Kitesurfing lessons and rentals at our home water-sports centre Zanzibar Kite Paradise is available all year round (weather permitting). Pre-booking is highly recommended.
  • Download our Zanzibar White Sand mobile application and browse our amenities, menus, services and more. Available on Google Play and Apple Store.

PACKING TIPS

  • As of June 2019, Zanzibar has banned the use and import of plastic bags. Please do take this into consideration when packing your luggage.
  • The dress code for gentlemen at the hotel is long trousers during dinner and smart casual for ladies.
  • We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for SOS Children's Village (the local orphanage helping over 500 children in need yearly), you'll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here are most needed by the community.

INCLUDED IN YOUR STAY

  • Daily ZWS produced and bottled water in room.
  • Daily complimentary activities such as tours and yoga classes, management cocktail parties are complimentary. Subject to weather and availability, 
  • Concierge services: booking and recommendations for excursions and transfers.
  • Personal butler service.
  • Room and turndown service.
  • Free Wi-Fi access - the fastest in East Africa - available throughout the resort.
  • Complimentary access to the outdoor fitness with large equipment as well as Spa facilities including an infrared sauna, hammam (steam room), hot tub.
  • The Tennis court and equipment use is offered 1 hour per booking per day.
  • Unlimited rental of our stand up paddles an kayak equipment including crystal kayaks, subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • Unlimited rental of our regular bicycles including children bicycles. Subject to availability.
  • 24/7 security, free and secure parking.
  • Weekly theme and evening nights with live entertainment.
  • Children amenities: children paddle pool, shaded playground, toys and games room, baby amenities.
  • Beach and resort activities: pools, ping pong, pool table and petanque grounds available. 

Traveling to Zanzibar: Good to know


VISAS & ARRIVAL

  • It is possible for international travelers to purchase their visas online at this page (recommended). Alternatively, visas may be purchased at the airport upon arrival at the rate of 50 USD per person (credit card or cash).  We recommend to check visa requirements for your country of origin before traveling to Tanzania.
  • A departure tax may apply only for passengers traveling on chartered flight (Meridiana, Condor,…). For scheduled flights, there is no departure tax.
  • We recommend purchasing the VIP airport assistance at arrival and/or departure (skip the queues, luggage assistance) as well as  our comfortable luxury cars have A/C and Wi-Fi connection on board. 
  • For assistance with VIP arrival/departure and transfers, please contact reservations@whitesandvillas.com

HEALTH & SAFETY

  • We have developed health & safety protocols for our hotel. For any information and current updated information, please consult our COVID-19 page.
  • While we are not able to recommend whether to take anti-malarial medicine or not, please note that Paje is a rather windy environment most of the time, with little mosquitoes. We recommend caution and take anti-bug sprays.
  • The water provided in taps and showers at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa comes from our own well and has been processed through our desalinization plant – it is pure and clean water which is safe for drinking.
  • Vaccines: please consult the up to date information on the CDC (Center for Disease control and Prevention) website or consult with your Tanzanian embassy

TIDES & SEAWEED

Paje, on the East Coast of Zanzibar, is subject to a strong tidal range. The high and low tides alternate every 6 hours and vary by 45 minutes from one day to the next. When the tide is low, the water goes out which allows you to walk along the beach with ankle-deep water and see the beautiful colors of the sea while the water is up to 2 meters deep near the beach at high tide, with always a part of beach. Most of the day is mid-tide though and allows for comfortable swimming in a crystalline water. 

We highly recommend not to walk to the reef, which situated 2 km away from the beach, as the tides and strong sun rays might surprise you.

Seaweed may occasionally appear on the beach, this is a natural phenomenon that is crucial for a healthy ecosystem. For your convenience, our Gardener team removes the seaweed daily at 5.30 AM.

PAYMENTS

  • Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa accepts major payment methods (Bank transfer, VISA, MasterCard, cash, PayPal). Checks are not accepted. 
  • There are ATMs in Paje (2 min. drive) and in Stone Town (approximately one hour drive) but most businesses accept credit card payments (5% fee usually applies).
  • Currencies usually accepted are USD, EUR and TZS. Please note that banknotes older than 2010 are not accepted on the island.

LOCAL CUSTOMS
  • In town or in villages, keep shoulders covered and women dressing below the knees. Nude or topless bathing is not tolerated on the public beach.
  • Respect Muslim tradition: during Ramadan, do not eat or drink on the street. The mosques of Zanzibar are off limits to both non-Muslim men and women alike.
  • Ask for permission before taking anyone’s photo.
  • We do not recommend purchasing shells from Zanzibar as those are part of a protected submarine eco-system. 
  • When using local transport always request for license and proof of insurance.
  • Riding a motorcycle or scooter on the beach is strictly prohibited
  • All plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness are prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in Tanzania
  • Public displays of affection such as kissing are not customary and generally considered offensive, unless behind closed doors.
  • Tipping is recommended, but not expected, in Zanzibar. We provide a tipping envelope at checkout. Should you wish to leave a tip, please leave the envelope  at the Reception upon your departure.
  • Zanzibari beaches are public and belong to the State, there are no private beaches in Zanzibar. During your travels you might encounter visitors enjoying water sports activities, be mindful of them.