Spice tour on the spice island Zanzibar

Island Zanzibar, Tanzania, is called Spice island. Here there are variety of cooking spices (spices for fish, chicken and other meat), spices and herbs used in medicine, spices for decoration and home usage. Some spices are even used for construction materials.


The ocean food and all exotic fruits are so delicious and the spices turn them into paradise food. The taste of Zanzibar food is unforgettable.

Our spice tour in one Zanzibar plantation overturned our imagination of some plants, herbs and fruits. Let’s start the tour now!


We are walking through the forest plantation, it smells so strong of so many spices and fruits. It is relaxing and our best tour guide Hassan is with us ready to explain about every tree, every grass and everything we are seeing.

!Β Find Hassan’s facebook here and you better contact him if you want to travel through Zanzibar, Tanzania.


Nutmeg tree. My first time I see it.

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Cacao tree. Why I start thinking of chocolate!?


Lipstick tree. From this tree local produce lipsticks for women. It is natural, shiny colorful and long-lasting. A local guy shows us how to use it πŸ™‚


Carnation flower. We discovered the Swahili Β word is pronounced exactly the same as in Bulgarian language. So many plant names in Swahili are common with the Bulgarian words for the same things. May be common origins..? Carnation flower is used for massage oil. Locals use carnation to cook the local specialty pilaf rice and for medical purposes.


Vanilla tree – first time I see vanilla as a tree. The vanilla flower changes its color from green to brown and even black.

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Pineapple flower. Wow, it is beautiful and colorful! I want to have it in my garden some day when I have a garden.


Sesame – looks like a high grass. It is used for producing oil.


Tamarind tree casuarina


Lemon grass. It is curious fact that locals make fire with this grass and the mosquitoes fly away. So the lemon grass is like a natural repellent.

Henna plant – this plant is used for painting and decoration for body and hair. The color is red and turns into black when it’s dried.


Black pepper – the pepper is at first white and turns into black.


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Cinnamon tree – I love cinnamon. My favorite tree. We tasted some parts of the bark and the root of the tree. The root parts smell like medicines and they are used for that, as our guide Hassan explain to us.

Curry tree – We tried the leaves and here it comes the well-known scent and taste of curry.


Coffee graves

Ylang ylang plant – Chanel 5 is made by this plant.

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We have tasted and smelled many more fruits, trees and grasses. We tried local tea made from spices. We bought amazing gifts as soaps made by herbs, spices for any kind of food and exotic perfume for me!

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Zanzibar island is staggering! I am in love with it!

This spice tour is once in a life experience that touches all your senses and imagination.




38 thoughts on “Spice tour on the spice island Zanzibar

  1. Pingback: Prison island (Zanzibar, Tanzania) – travellifestory

  2. Such a cool activity – I don’t even know you could do a spice tour but it sounds amazing and really interesting. I’ve never seen a nutmeg tree either – didn’t even know or think about how they would look like actually…super interesting!


  3. Yeshi

    Such an amazing experience! And so many spices and plants and tress, must have been amazing seeing the origins of some of the spices! This is a great, informative post! I need to try the local food in Zanzibar now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Medha Verma

    I was in Zanzibar at the beginning of this year but did not do the Spice Island tour, was not sure if it was going to be worth it but it seems from your pictures that I missed out on an interesting experience!


  5. Pingback: Many cows = a house/ an apartment + a car + a good job! – travellifestory

  6. thetravellingstomach

    A spice tour sounds so interesting and it looks like you learnt alot! I would want to bring back lots of spices to add to recipes at home.


  7. Oh wow! So many different spices and fruits – I only new a couple of them, the others I use it the kitchen (like nutmeg) but I’ve never seen them growing wild! A beautiful post – you always learn something new from the blogs – I love it. I see you’ve had a blast in Zanzibar. So jealous! Hope I can go there at some point!


  8. Hailing from India, I m not new to all the spices you have mentioned here/ I use most of the spices every day in my cooking and have seen the plants and trees in their natural habitat multiple times so much so that it almost has become a regular thing. However, I m quite loving the accessories made of palm leaves you are wearing in the pictures. Lovely pictures.


  9. I have been to Zanzibar about 4(?) years ago and also visited a plantation, but the tour wasn’t nearly as detailled as you describe it… quite a pity. But as I want to visit Tanzania, I might re-visit Zanzibar again (scuba diving was great there) and try to go with the tour guide you mentioned @ facebook πŸ™‚


  10. whodoido

    The spice tour seems such a great experience! I didn’t even realise that there was a lipstick tree! The tour seems so informative and great fun! I hope to visit Zanzibar one day!


  11. So so so interesting! Never knew how some of these spices grow. Never knew how much there is to explore in Zanzibar! HAd to laugh out loud when the picture of your guide using the lipstick tree came up. Cool post, I wanna go do the tour as well!


  12. Spice garden anywhere in the world sounds interesting. You make Zanzibar look like a dream garden for spice lovers. Loved the cacao and vanilla tree, never seen them so up and close.


  13. Joanna

    This is such an amazing experience! I would have left the tour with a little bit of every spice! I have never seen a vanilla tree before either. I had no idea actually that vanilla grows in a tree. Nor nutmeg.


  14. i LOVED this article. Never knew there was a such thing as a “spice tour” I’d love to do something like this one day. ANother fave part about this article was the part about Swahili and Bulgarian languages. Never knew that!


  15. Pingback: Joga on the Indian Coast – travellifestory

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