Spice Tours in Zanzibar

Nutmeg Spice Tour

Zanzibar is known as Spice Island. A food and culture tour will expose you to the island’s remarkable role in the historic spice trade. Different kinds of trades were an intrinsic part of the island and have shaped its history for thousands of years. Zanzibar’s identity as a trading hotspot was forged by its location on the trade route from Arabia to Africa; and by its abundance of valuable spices such as vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. 

Spice Island

Zanzibar was nicknamed Spice Island as a result of being one of the world’s leading producers of spices in the 19th century. Spices and herbs were originally introduced to Zanzibar by Portuguese traders in the 16th century, brought from their colonies in South America and India. 

Aside from being food flavoring, you will understand that the spices have curative properties that were used in the old days when modern medicines were unavailable. The ancients also used them for coloring fabrics and they revered them in their religious rites. 

Learn about the spices

The plantations will introduce you to the different species of fauna that are crucial for the flourishing of the plants. For example, the vanilla plant in the wild is pollinated by humans and monkeys where they open up the pods. You will also learn that the vanilla is a cousin of the orchid flower, and the gardeners of the farm pollinate these plants by hand and scatter coconut shells at their base to provide moisture and nutrition. You will discover natural cosmetics such as a lipstick plant that women on their lips to have the organic red color. Coffee lovers will enjoy the view of fresh coffee beans in their natural form. Later you might enjoy a cup of brewed Zanzibar Coffee.

3 to 4 hour tour

The Spice Tour is one of the most common and popular expeditions. This tour is a walking tour in a spice farm (shamba). During the tour, you will taste fresh spices and seasonal fruits, learn how cassavas are cultivated and processed, and also might join a short cooking lessons at the farm’s outdoor kitchen. Have a traditional meal of richly spiced rice with vegetables and fruit. From the meals, you will taste the real ways of using the spices. Upon request, you can also be taken to an essential oil distillery where you learn how to create fragrances. The tour ends with a stop at a spice stall where freshly packaged fragrances are sold. The return to Stone Town is via an air-conditioned minivan.

Fees charged

Zanzibar attracts tourists and other visitors around the world. There are many tour operators on the island and it’s not hard to find a guide who will introduce you to the aromatic world of spices. 

The cost of the tours ranges from USD15 to USD45 per person. A good idea is to start by inquiring about the services at the reception in your hotel. They will always be very helpful when looking for an operator. 

The guests are picked up in a minibus and depending on where you are staying, the bus might fetch other guests at their respective hotels. The minibus then leaves e.g. Stone Town for the spice plantations which usually takes about a one-hour drive. The journey through the plantations is by foot. On working plantations, you would normally only see one single sort of plant.

Tipping on the Spice Tour

As much as the spice tour is interesting, nobody tells you that you will be joined by additional guides and artists upon booking the spice tour. They just stay around during the tour. Although you pay for the spice tour, you will have to tip your guide at the end. Nothing is free. And there are more people to tip! The guy who climbs the palm and brings you a coconut, and the artist guy who will be following you during the tour and impose his creations made of leaves.

Generally, a visit to Zanzibar is never complete without the spice tours. As you plan to go to Zanzibar, consider visiting any of the famous farms and enjoy the study of the spices. Such farms include the Tangawizi spice farm in Kianga Dole, the Kizimbani farm located in the interior of the island, and north-east of Zanzibar City Kidichi Spice farms among others. These three are famous for the reason that they offer in-depth tours, with lots of explanations about the different spices. 

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  1. Hello, how are you?
    I will be by car and doing Stone Town by the end of my trip. I would like to do the Spice Tour on the travel day between Kizimbazi and Stone Town, meaning that I would like to leave Kizimbazi, do the Spice Tour and finish the day in Stone Town to sleep there. Is it possible to joy the tour without the transfer, directly at the Farm? Is it far, how would it work? Thanks in advance

    1. Hello Bruno, we are well, thank you for your request! It is possible. We would recommend Langoni Kizimbani Spice firm. The price would be +- $10 per person. If any other questions, feel free to send us an email! Have a great day, team WeAreZanzibar.