Zanzibar Spice Tour

Visit historical sites, a spice farm and local communities.

Experience Highlights

  • See the abundance of exotic spices, fruits and vegetables farmed in Zanzibar
  • Learn how the spices are cultivated and how they are used
  • Visit the Livingstone House and Maruhubi Palace historical sites
  • Enjoy some fresh seasonal exotic fruits and freshly prepared local delicacies with the spices
  • Visit the atmospheric ruins at Mtoni Palace and see the Kidichi Persian bath complex

In days past, Zanzibar was known as a spice island, exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. The spices were brought from Asia and South America and flourished in the tropical climate. Nowadays the plantations are a tribute to the islands past, swapping spices for tourism, combining both in a spice tour, one of the most popular excursions in the island. Walk through the spice farm with your guide – touch, smell and taste different spices and tropical fruits. Try to guess which is which, from the crushed leaves, the fruit, shoots and vines and creepers crawling up the Zanzibar Spice Tour trees. Learn about their properties, their origins and their use as medicines and in food and drink. 

We will pick you up at Stone Town (or anywhere else agreed), the Spice Tour starts with a visit to the Livingstone House which was the former residence of the famous explorer: Dr. David Livingstone. Thereafter, we proceed to the Maruhubi Palace (3km north of Stone Town) which is nestled in a groove of mango trees and coconut palms and was built by Sultan Bargash in 1882. Thereafter, we proceed to visit a Spice Farm Village which will give you an insight into local life and the opportunity to try some Swahili dishes, taste the fruits in season and try some spiced tea. 

You will smell and taste various spices and fruits and you will learn how they are cultivated and used. You will also get cultural insights about how they are used in the Swahili cuisine, for medication and as beauty products. In addition to the spice plantations you will have the opportunity to see dhow construction in a nearby yard and other local community activities such as: drying the sardine “dagaa” fish. 

A local Swahili lunch meal is available near the Spice farm, a special menu prepared and served with the best of the seasonal fruits, and spices introduced to you during the tour. Depending on the season you are visiting, you can find anything from vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, lemon grass, cloves, ylang ylang, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, allspice, tamarind, chilly, oregano and more! 

You will be overwhelmed by the abundance of botanical species of exotic spices, fruits and vegetables growing in these gardens. See some rare plants like henna, perfume tree and lipstick tree which are used for their value in preparing cosmetics.  Your guide can take you to an essential oil distillery where you can also create your own fragrance. The Spice Tour concludes with a stop at a spice stall selling fresh packaged spices.

Our last visit will be to the atmospheric ruins at Mtoni Palace which are quite beautiful and a walk through the inner courtyard leads to the palace garden and the well preserved Kidichi Persian bath complex, a row of baths. Thereafter, you will be transferred to your Stone Town Hotel or if you are staying in the East or North Coast, you will be transferred to the beach resort you are staying at.

How To Get There and Back: We arrange Spice Tour excursions in Zanzibar Island, starting with a road transfer from your place of stay in Stone Town to the Spice farm.

Please Note: If you are staying in hotels on the East or North coast contact us in advance for advice and pick up arrangements.