Zanzibar's main industries are spices and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamon and lemon grass. Herbs and Spices were originally introduced to Zanzibar by Portuguese traders in the 16th century, brought from their colonies in South America and India. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Island.
So, when we arrived to Zanzibar, we were determined to do the spice tour. This tour starts with a drive through a profusion of greenery in the countryside seeing, smelling and tasting a variety of mouth-watering tropical seasonal fruits, some examples are: jack fruit, pineapple, banana, green coconut (madafu), dourian, love apple (matufaa), litche (shoki-shoki), soursop (mabungo) and starfruit (carambola).
Some of the spices are cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric and nutmeg - are as exotic as the flavour.
A full tour involves much more than spices and you will also have a chance to see the iodine plant, heena bush, ylang-ylang, the lipstick tree, cocoa and coffee trees.
I would recommend this half-day tour for both couples and families with children. Another important tip is: bring sunscreen, bug repellant, camera, water, and closed shoes.
And just before you enjoy photos from the tour - enjoy Zanzibar scenery photos, taken on our way to the spice farm.
The spice farm is a collective place so the quality of the excursion depends on the guides you get and how entertaining they can be.
Our guide was very informative about all the kinds of spices, where they originated, who brought them, what they are used for in cooking and medicine, and typical life of the plant. Our guide was playful and fun and the spice farm was an open museum of nature. Everything he came across he explained and fielded any questions. Sample tastes occur throughout the walk.
Our tour had the option of ending after lunch or going on to a slave cave and swimming. The price was the same although we had to pay for the entrance into the cave.
The slave cave was an interesting place to visit. It was used by Arabs who sold African slaves even after slave abolition by the UK in 1807. More than 400 slaves (both women and men) were held inside the nature cave before their transportation to another places from Zanzibar. Although the cave is rather big, a lot of people died from hunger and diseases.
In 2010, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi apologized for Arab involvement in the slave trade, saying: "I regret the behavior of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves and traded them in a shameful way."
Our excursion ended on the Arab beach, from which Arabs shipped African slaves from Zanzibar around the world. We liked it a lot and swam there for some time.
My tip is when you buy the spice tour make sure you will visit the Arab beach and spend there some time so then you will take all things needed.