Sara Cerqueira – 25 years old – started Kitesurfing at the age of 13. Her boyfriend, Rafael Fidalgo, was dragged into the sport – since 2007 Kitesurfing is part of this couple´s lifestyle. It´s in the Peninsula of Tróia, Setubal (Portugal) where Sara and Rafael find the perfect conditions to slide along the winds and waves of Baía do Sado, Setúbal.
Aiming for new horizons, the couple sent CV´s for several Kitesurf schools around the world. Kite Centre Zanzibar in Paje, Zanzibar (one of the most popular spots for Kitesurfing) made their dream a reality – “It was one of the destinations we were craving to go, it has the best conditions to teach Kitesurf”.
The best conditions to learn how to Kitesurf
As Kitesurf instructors, Sara and Rafael look for places that provide safe and smooth conditions for a motivational learning experience. Shallow areas to stay close to students, stable winds, good equipment and low ripple for a fast, safe and enthusiast learning evolution. “Zanzibar has all that!” they add. With two seasons of constant winds (December to March and June to September), scenic landscapes and warm waters, Paje is definitely a jackpot for Kitesuf lovers, whether for beginners or advanced levels.
“Can you actually end up in India? Does it require a lot of strength? What if you´re pulled away?” These are questions they´re frequently asked. Both assure Kitesurfing is just as safe as any other sport. “It has risks which can be diminished if certain safety rules and procedures are followed.”
Life in Zanzibar
Sara and Rafael already counted 2 seasons as Kitesurf instructors at Kite Centre Zanzibar – the experience couldn´t be more rewarding. Despite the cultural shock, they were warmly welcomed and quickly adapted to the Pole Pole lifestyle, which in Swahili means tranquility and carefree – nothing is dome in a hurry. “You learn to live only with the essentials. Water and light cuts are frequently but temporary and our diet is based on the tastiest vegetables and fruits ever.”
Besides Kitesurf, there´s a lot to do in Zanzibar. Boat trips, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, scuba diving, a visit to the forest to meet the Red Colobus monkeys or to Prison Island to see giant turtles. There´s a tour dedicated to spices, without missing a stopover to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar. “It´s great to get lost along the streets full of history.”
Planning to visit Zanzibar?
In December, Sara and Rafael are back in Paje for another Kitesurf season. They highly advise a visit to this little piece of heaven on the Indian Ocean. “The flight may be expensive, but if you search in advance there are great chances of finding very good deals. In terms of accommodation, there´s everything: from luxurious resorts to cheap picturesque guesthouses or bungalows. Thinking about some Kitesurfing classes in Zanzibar for New Year´s Eve or for vacation next year? Why not?