If you have been reading this blog, you probably know that I went to Zanzibar in February 2017 and one of the experiences that totally blew my mind was the Zanzibar Spice Tour! We often obliviously add spices to our food but do we know how the spices are grown? As someone who loves food, you can imagine how excited I was. That day, no one gave us the memo that we would be walking for hours in this expansive farm under the scorching heat and heavy, humid air. This made us question our dress code (black maxi dresses) shortly after arriving on the farm. However, this remains one of my favorite experiences ever and I wouldn’t change anything. Honestly, Zanzibar was just the best place to be and I wish everyone can just plan that trip. You will come back with your heart heart brimming with joy and stories. Even as I am typing this, I just can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic and somewhat sad that I did not stay longer. *Wipes tears*.
The Zanzibar Spice tour is an obligatory tour when you visit the beautiful island of Zanzibar. You get to see different herbs and spices and how they are used. There are two types of spice farms, there are the government owned and the privately owned farms. However, our guide, Azizi, recommended that we try the government farms because they were bigger, activity packed, affordable and there was so much to see. We visited Kizingoni farm.
Here are some of the reasons why you should go for the spice tour!
1. YOU WILL GET TO CONNECT WITH NATURE. REALLY CONNECT!
You will be deep in the heart of the forest and you will see gigantic and strange trees. Trees that almost look like they are piercing the sky. Trees with cotton-like, puffy pods that carpet the forest floor. Trees with knife like thorns and vines that hang from many metres above the ground. The songs of strange birds will rent the air and you will be startled ocassionally, but you get used to it. You will also see the ‘perfume tree’ which makes that part of the forest smell like a spa. You will rub its leaves and flowers on your body and the nectary smell will stay with you all day. One perfume maker even told us that they use the same tree to make the coveted Chanel No 5 perfume. You will sit on random logs in the middle of the forest and just listen and feel! Bugs will bite you, you will be barefoot at some point, you will sweat like a pig but you will not mind.
2. YOU WILL GET MADE UP AND EMBELLISHED WITH ‘PLANT JEWELRY’.
You will get a full set of natural jewelry; from palm rings & bangles to cassava necklaces and flower crowns. If you are lucky, you can get natural lipstick too! And the guide’s assistant will be artfully weaving the jewellery as you walk. At the end of the tour, he will give you a handbag to carry your fruit & spices back home.