Spices from Zanzibar are famous around the world and a holiday to Zanzibar would be incomplete without a visit to the spice plantations.
The spice tours are actually quite informative and good value. Spice tour is probably the best way of seeing the countryside and meeting members of rural communities. Any authorized guide or tour company can arrange a spice tour for you. The geographical nature of the island makes the spice tour to be organized in many villages both in Unguja and Pemba. However, the very popular village for spice tour is Kijichi or Kizimbani, approximately 5 kilometers from Stone town. The tour starts from 8:30 am and takes 2 to 3 hours depending on the activities to be done.
You will be overwhelmed by the abundance of botanical species growing in these gardens – exotic spices, fruits and vegetables. Many of the spices have medicinal properties and are still used by the local population to cure certain maladies. Savor different spices, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla or black pepper. Taste a variety of fruits ranging from the rose apple to the guava. Some rare plants like henna, perfume tree and lipstick tree are used for their value in preparing cosmetics.
Tour guides will take you on a walking tour of the spice farms at Kizimbani or Kidichi; picking bunches of leaves, fruits and twigs from bushes and inviting you to smell or taste them to guess what they are. Pretty much all the ingredients of the average kitchen spice rack are represented – cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilies, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla – the list goes on and on. Tour guides also take you to the interior of the island, so you’ll get an idea of village / farm life in Zanzibar.