I like to cook, and especially bake when I am not traveling around the world. Actually, since I started on this trip around the world a couple of months ago, I started to miss eating my self-baked cakes, cookies and muffins. When I do cook or bake I love to use spices like vanilla, cinnamon and clover. But I had never before thought about what the plants look like from which these spices come.

I finally had the opportunity to discover everything I didn’t know about spices during a 2 hour spice tour in Zanzibar.

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You Will Never Guess All Spices on a Spice Tour in Zanzibar

Discover unknown spices on a Spice Tour in Zanzibar

Where to Book Your Spice Tour

As I always do, I researched things of interest before arriving at the next destination of my trip around the world. On the internet there are spice tours for about 35 USD per person. If you want to book ahead feel free to do so, but you can simply book your Zanzibar spice tour once you have arrived. Literally at every corner.

No matter where I went in Stone Town there are people offering spice tours, prison island tours, snorkeling trips and much more. I booked the spice tour at my hostel called Lost & Found (you can book through booking.com). The tour costs 15 USD per person, but reflecting on it now, I could have probably gotten a discount if I had asked for one. Basically everything in Zanzibar is worth negotiating about.

Since the spice tour requires only a driver to bring you to a spice farm it is super flexible, and you can basically leave at whatever time you want. The tour only takes two, maybe three hours so I’m sure it will fit into your schedule.

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Getting to the Spice Farm For Your Spice Tour in Zanzibar

After I paid for the tour at the reception, the driver picked me up from the Lost & Found. He took me to an old but very clean and well kept Toyota. Because it was super hot that day (and probably any other day) he turned on the A/C so I would be comfortable during the 20 minute ride north.

The Spice Tour in Zanzibar

A tour of a spice farm in Zanzibar is basically split into three parts. First you walk around the farm and learn about the plants. Next you watch a guy, agile as a monkey climb a coconut tree. And lastly you get to sample different fruit grown on the farm.

Recommended for you: One Week in Zanzibar on a Budget (yes it is possible!)

Learning About Spices

do you know this spice learn about unknown spices on a spice tour in zanzibar

I arrived at the Big Body with Tatata Spice Farm (cool name right?), right away I was greated by a guide. His English wasn’t too good, but it was understandable and he was very friendly and knowledgeable.

He stopped in front of the first tree and first gave me a crushed leave to smell, so I could guess what it was. It is harder than you might think. I smelled and smelled and even though I knew I had smelled the same smell before I couldn’t come up with the associated spice. Next he cut some of the bark, when I smelled the bark, it hit me instantly: Cinnamon

I love cinnamon so much I could put it in anything. During the tour I kept my cinnamon bark and kept smelling it. Sooo delicious.

For every plant he first let me guess what it was, then he went on to explain how the spice is produced from the plant and he also told me the Swahili names for everything. It was a highly informative tour and I learned a lot. I tasted pepper plucked straight from the vine, learned why vanilla is so expensive and smelled the most amazing aroma from lots of different plants.

By the way, do you know what the spice in the picture above is? Leave a comment below with your guess!

How to Climb a Coconut Palm

Climbing a coconut palm on a spice tour in zanzibar

The next point on the Zanzibar spice tour agenda was a guy climbing a coconut palm. I had seen this on TV before, but still I was impressed at the speed he was up the tree. He climbed all the way up and down while singing about Hakuna Matata, meaning no worries in Swahili. A phrase the people of Zanzibar love to say.

Once he was back down I got to compare the taste of a younger and an older coconut. The coconut water tasted the same to me (even though there is supposed to be a difference), but the flesh was much softer in the young coconut. I still prefered the older one. Maybe because it was closer to the taste of the coconuts I tried in my childhood.

Be the spice queen on a spice tour in zanzibar

I got a very cute crown, necklace, bracelet and ring made from flowers and banana leaves. They were skillfully woven and great for a couple of pictures. I felt like lemure King Julien from Madagascar wearing that crown. And who doesn’t want to feel like that!

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks.

Eating My Fill on Fruit

Jackfruit is delicious

The coconut wasn’t enough to fill my stomache. But that was a good thing. Or else I would have missed trying the most amazing  selection of fruit. There were banana, mango, jack fruit, pineapple, orange and watermelon. All grown locally on the spice farm, ripe and unbelievably delicious.

Before You Leave the Spice Tour in Zanzibar

Big daddy with tatata spice farm in zanzibar

After tasting the fruit the people on the farm will try selling souvenirs and of course a wide variety of spices. And as always I didn’t buy anything. Carrying a backpack all over the world really sucks sometimes. But I guess it is a good excuse not to spend so much money.

Before you leave, don’t forget to tip your guide (and the other people who helped on your spice tour). I tipped about 2000 to 4000 shilling (1 to 2 dollar) per person.

The driver had been waiting for me at the entrance. He dropped me off at the hostel, and that marked the end of my Zanzibar spice tour.

Recommended read: Travelers Guide to Riding a Dala Dala in Zanzibar (avoid these scams)

My Conclusion About the Zanzibar Spice Tour

For a two hour tour the 20 USD that I paid all in all including tipping is definitely worth it. I did learn a lot about spices and Zanzibar. All people I encountered on the spice tour in Zanzibar were very friendly and welcoming. I recommend doing a spice tour in Zanzibar during your trip around the world. It was better value for money than the snorkeling trip I did a couple of days later.

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One of the best things to do in Zanzibar is participating in a spice tour. At a spice tour in Zanzibar you can learn about spices and eat delicious fruit. A must for your travel bucket list! #rtwtravel #africatravel #tanzania
One of the best things to do in Zanzibar is participating in a spice tour. At a spice tour in Zanzibar you can learn about spices and eat delicious fruit. A must for your travel bucket list! #rtwtravel #africatravel #tanzania

Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been paid for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
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