ADSactly Travels - The Spice Island: ZANZIBAR SPICE TOUR

in #travel3 years ago


Too many spices, so little thyme! Keep calm and curry on. Okay I’ll stop.

On a scale on 1-10, how well do you know your spices? Let’s do a small exercise. How many of these spices can you identify visually? Fennel, cinnamon, curry leaves, dill, rosemary, mint, basil, sage, thyme, chive...

Through this piece, we will travel to Zanzibar, an Island on the East African coast. Zanzibar is commonly known as the Spice Island because of the innumerable spices that grow there. Zanzibar played a huge part in the 16th Century trade by being the first entry to East Africa. The Portuguese controlled trade and made plantations but did not stay there for long. Traders from India, Indonesia and Malaysia thronged Zanzibar and they brought different goods and seeds thereafter. It was inevitable that some of the spices would be grown there. The weather and climate is also favourable because it is hot and humid.

We will go to the heart of the forest and see where different spices come from. We will see them in their raw form either as leaves, tree barks, roots or seeds. Everything here has a great flavor. Even the fruit is very flavourful and juicy. Spices are the dried parts of plants used to flavour dishes and drinks. Spices are important in adding flavour and even having health benefits to those who consume them. For example, nothing comes close to the aroma of Pilau or Biriyani (Spicy rice dishes common in Zanzibar) because of the aromatic cloves and tree barks used to season the dish. Some people opt to grind them while others add them whole. You may often enjoy a cup of cardamom tea completely unaware of where or how it grows.

The Zanzibar Spice tour is recommended because you get to see different herbs and spices and how they are used. There are two types of spice farms; the government-owned and the private-owned farms. However, most guides recommend the government farms because they are bigger, affordable and they have more attractions.

You may start your trip by visiting nutmeg tree farm and you will see how it looks in its raw form. Hundreds of trees form a canopy providing shade from the scorching 10 am Zanzibar sun. Under the trees, a blanket of leaves and overripe fruits provided a nectary smell and a few bees threaten to attack. When ripe, the nutmeg fruit has a yellow flesh and a brown kernel inside. The seed has a powdery substance that is further dried and used as a spice and an aphrodisiac for women. It is no secret, everyone you meet will coyly admit this fact. They dry and grind the powdery substance and add it to their tea or pastries.

Nutmeg fruit. The brown seed has a white/ yellow substance that is dried into a powder

Just like the nutmeg serves that function for women, ginger does the same for men. Men boil ginger and drink the juice and it is said to increase vigor and libido in men.

The black pepper is used by lactating mothers to increase milk production. Black pepper grows in small fruits and they are dried and grounded to make the spice that we all love.

Black pepper plant
Black Pepper

The clove farms are like something out of a travel magazine. Emerald green and towering, the trees create this beautiful canopy and you cannot help but take a moment to stare at them. Although the trees are very tall, some lower branches are easy to pick. A closer look reveals small bud-like flowers. The tall trees have aromatic tree buds that are dried and used as spices for pilau. When the flowers fall off, the buds turn red and the farmers pick them and dry them.

Gigantic clove trees

The red parts are dried. You can see the light green flower.

Cloves when dried Source

You then learn how to make perfumes from different trees and one perfume maker even told us that they use the same tree to make the coveted Chanel No 5 perfume. Whether true or not, the aroma of natural perfume fills the forest and it is very pleasant. Flowers fall on the ground and if you rub them between your palms, you will smell very nicely the whole day. Sometimes, people rub the flowers on their necks to have the smell staying with them all day.

Mr. Butterly, a professional coconut tree climber was patiently waiting. His apprentice artfully and almost effortlessly climbed a coconut tree as he sang a Swahili song. He then cut four of the juiciest coconuts and chopped them for us. We were sitting in an arena-like space complete with logs which we used as seats centrally located to watch his performance. We cooled off by drinking coconut juice as he narrated different stories about how he got into coconut tree climbing. He told us that it was an art and not everyone can do it. He was trained for months.
Natural perfumes and soaps

Toasting in the middle of the forest

Coconut water comes in handy because it is so hot

Other farms to visit are the lemongrass, pineapple, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and vanilla farms. Every place we visited was awe inspiring. We saw how different parts of plants are used to make spices. For example, in the cinnamon plant they use the bark and stem to flavour tea and also grind it to use in pastries. For the coffee they roast the beans. For vanilla, they use the pods and for ginger they use the roots.

Little pineapple plant


Vanilla Plant. The pods are used to flavour food, icecream & pastries

Curry leaves

The tour is not complete without getting embellished. Our assistant tour guide made us necklaces made out of cassava plant and rings and bracelets made out of palm leaves. To top it all off, we got flower crowns at the end of the tour.

Yes I will marry you Zanzibar. I do!

I got natural jewelry complete with cassava necklaces, palm rings, handbag, bangle and a beautiful flower crown. How suave

With Tess, my friend. Wearing neckaces made of cassava plants.

Travel Tips.

  • Zanzibar is known for its authentic spice farm tours and people come from all over the globe to take part in this experience. If you want to visit, this is Kizimbani Spice Farm. When you book early you will get some guides helping you out. Here are some travel tips.

  • Make sure you pick a tour company that provides you with a guide to explain everything. The company should offer to drive you there and provide a guide to take you through the trip.

  • Make sure you carry comfortable shoes, water and sunscreen. Sandals or rubber shoes are perfect because you will be walking. However, the temperatures are very high and sports shoes can get cumbersome.

  • Carry some extra money because you can buy some spices after the tour. However, we found that the spices are more expensive in the farm than in Stone Town. We just bought a few spices to show appreciation but we bought most in the town as they were way cheaper.

  • Be sure to taste all the exotic fruits like the juicy Zanzibar mangoes, papaya and jackfruit. You can also request to have lunch at the farm and you can see how to use the spices.

Saffron derived from flowers and is used to colour & flavour dishes

Spices to buy after the tour. They pack them in beautiful gift packs

Overall, this is a different and unique travel experience. It is not the most glamorous but you will be glad you did it.

All photos by @jeanwandimi Cameras used Canon G7x & Canon Rebel t5i

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Wow tour really useful .. Many information
Beautiful . Good for you .. well done
Thank you for sharing with us your adventure.

Most of us don't even know the exact name of these plants. thanks for sharing.

Learning herbalism is a powerful tool to have in your health toolbox. It will help sustain you and improve your living. It would do us all good to learn more about things like this in school. Maybe then we would have healthier populations who are more in tune with nature.

Its even better when you cook with them. I just made a recipe with GARLIC and ROSEMARY

Here is it
Cooking Sea Bream FISH


tadı bilinmeyen şey yenmemeli

Great read! I went on this spice tour in 1998 & this brings back so many wonderful memories. Zanzibar, as well as the rest of Tanzania, is truly one of the most beautiful countries I've ever travelled to; not to mention, the people are wonderful.

Waooo @adsactly! Such a beautiful post :) I wish I’ll know Africa one day. Resteemed and following you <3

Great Spice tour...that s allows me knowing many plants..I think Zanzibar is a fabulous place to come after safari. Remember - safaris are not relaxing holidays. You are typically up very early and out spotting game throughout the day..
Awesome shots..

Zanzibar is a dream. And yes Safaris are busy early mornigs and evenings. I love the chill evenings with great food and possibly parties.

i like to visit that place if i can

great place to visit

Good post @adsactly. I had vote to adsactly witness, plz support to me.

I like it...
Africa is my favorit place of travelling...
Thank you for your share...
Success is always for you @adsactly....

So Informative, beautifully STUNNING pictures. Keep up the great work :)
New Steemit user here and I love these quality posts

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you love the photos.

Wow, that looks like spice heaven. Zanzibar added to the to travel list... we love our spices. I can easily recognize the ones you mentioned although I wouldn't have spotted the vanilla. Always thought it looked different. Great post of an amazing adventure! And yes coconuts are always a great idea when it is hot. So refreshing.

informational trip for us to read.
I guess we can call Zanzibar the land of spices.
cassava leaf necklaces are "the truth!"
when I was a little boy, my mom had ginger, garlic, curry, saintleaf and a few other spices growing in her garden. But in all these times, I never really thought of what fresh nutmeg looks like, and this is my first time of seeing a picture of it. I'll try to check the stalls to see if I can buy a fresh one someday.

I am glad we taught you something. We learn a new thing every day. I actually didn't know what a saintleaf is but after googling I found it!

Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,

You must travel it for yourself.

It is not far, it is within reach,

Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know,

Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land.

I can stay for 1.5 days because of my tight schedule and return to my heaven island for 1.5 years.
swimming in dolphins in the Indian Ocean, mangrove swamps and tropical forest tours, mercury bar freddie mercury is the best way to reach nirvana while sipping drinks.
99% of the people are Muslims, so when you are in the market place, you can say that you are going to go down the tourist stake.
it has been the center of slave trade for years, and there are rumors that even the black kelimes in turkish are being slaughtered from the ottoman sailors who slave from here.
one of the most funny moments I saw while touring the guide, seeing another city where the mosque and the church were together. for example istanbul

OMG The mangrove swamps were my absolute favorite thing. Zanzibar is just amazing.
I am glad you enjoyed this piece.


But beware of the snakes 🐍 there...

That's a great place to visit!

They say, "Variety is the spice of life."
Now I would say, "Spices make our food delicious in a variety of tastes."

Ah. I am glad you traveled through my article. And I love that quote. Which is your favorite spice?

Currently reading your post - How to live without money

Oh thank you!

I like that black pepper.

Great tour. Excellent post with awesome picture for all steemians. Thanks for sharing precious post. Stay blessed DQmRzwKEGxx96F5rqDP1PsQq3cxAK8GTWvrTtHMG51XMo54_1680x8400.jpegDQmbmacZM5bWhXodkWniUKTwuNLpUM5dTAGm68enom9XqjA_1680x8400.png

love the view

Hello, Zanzibar is such a special place. @purpletanzanite yet another reason for us to visit girl.

so its ;like a few days with nature

yes that is realy lovely

Lol..that definitely look like a destination we should visit. Thanks for sharing that with us !

I like Cloves when dried. We eat this with areca nut.

Amazing. We use this to make some spicy rice called Pilau.

We also do the same ,but we call Polau


Do not hesitate
as hesitation is leading to defeat.


And enjoy it.
Travel through time.


Until you find the truth,
no matter where it is hidden.


And search for it
even if it was in the unknown.

On the road
leading from east to west.

So, we may meet there.
For the best....

wow this is a great post thank you for sharing

very nice. extraordinary sharing

See your post, I know some spices I have never seen, is very honored to witness your fantasy trip.

this article is very interesting for me, here I understand a lot about spices and kasiatnya, before I do not understand how the tree, thanks @adsactly information.

Nice! Cheers.

My favourite is curry leaves, i love the unique taste it gives me in my stew.

I also love the colour and smell. Especially in stews.

wow nice your photo and food

my favorite cinnamon the smell is so beautiful. nice healthy plants thank you for sharing with us :) @adsactly

Nothing like cinnamon in pastries. So tasty and flavourful

so much informative and interesting place. thanks for share, such kind of place.

What an amazing country! I think I was with you. Thank you for the wonderful story. And so much spice! And I thought that curry - not from leaves, but from a mixture of different spices (turmeric, etc.) ... Come to us in Siberia)))

Holy shit. Your pictures are breathtaking. I wish I can go to Zanzibar to see all that you had seen.

very informative post, Thanks

Wow.. I like that flavorous.

Hello Steemian, follow me for follow and upvotes. Amazing content is awaiting for u

I follow and upvote you

Heart touching spices on its own raw form at forest.
Very good tour concept.

My recipe will definitely glide in splendor with sizzling savoury with these spices. But it's terrific to know that Zanzibar account for less on the global stage in terms of spice export

Wow. What are we cooking? Share with us when you do.
Thanks for reading.

I am still very surprised that you could travel down to Zanzibar. Being an African man myself, i fear most white people feel that Africa doesn't have much to offer. Zanzibar is a nice place to be. Good to know you were here!

Great photos, what a beautiful place with a lot of vegetation, I would really like to taste that mangoes

wowww!!!! incredible post bro.....strange.

I guess we can call Zanzibar the land of spices.

By the way, those cassava leaf necklaces are "the truth!"

You see, when I was a little boy, my mom had ginger, garlic, curry, saintleaf and a few other spices growing in her garden. But in all these times, I never really thought of what fresh nutmeg looks like, and this is my first time of seeing a picture of it. I'll try to check the stalls to see if I can buy a fresh one someday.

this is post veery good something out of a travel magazine. Emerald green and towering, the trees create this beautiful canopy and you cannot help but take a moment to stare at them. Although the tree............

Thanks @muthujibon for the compliment. I was so motivated while writing this.

Just awesome place

I'm so excited. You ladies are so beautiful. I need to come to Zanzibar! Love the creativity..

Thanks for the compliment . You should visit.

Pleasure @jeanwandimi. Looking forward..

Beautiful post, love the ring, gotta travel around this continent more

Wow, It must have been a great trip for you as shown in beautiful clicks and such an informational trip for us to read. I may not be able to visit Zanzibar during my life, but still, it would be a great experience to visit there.

I know you will visit one day. I hope you will. Cheers friend.

Only half of those spices that were named at the beginning of the article, I can visually recognize. The fact is that in my traditional kitchen is not used so much spice. But I was always fascinated by the national cuisine of other countries, especially dishes in which different kinds of rare spices are combined.
After reading the article, I now expanded my horizons and know more about where spices come from, how natural perfume is made. (I already know the manufacture of soap.)
A good description + photos make your post as clear as possible to any reader. You spent a good day :)
Thanks for the article and for the advice :)

Thanks @frank1in We learn every day.

Thanks for the compliment on my post.

Wow... what an amazing Travel. Really it was the great opportunaty and historical travel.
great share

This is such a cool post. I love spices and working with fresh ones, I need to up my knowledge on the subject though. Thanks

Your post is just amazing. You provided us a virtual tour to the different spices. well done bro!!!!

i really like your post and i enjoy it very with all your post ..

Really nice post!
Its like a National Geographic article, with nice photos. Cool to see that it can be done :)

Waw is Really amazing i love Africa im tunisian by the way..

We have so many wonderful places here but there are something spacial about african sud i wanna come there very soon

Wow. I love Africa too. Zanzibar was my 5th African country to visit and I hope I visit more places. How is Tunisian Tourism?

Wow, i love cooking. I am from Malaysia so our food is very much into spices as it is a blended culture of Chinese, Malay ,India, filipino, local natives and etc. Will make a trip to Zanzibar one day.

Great. How is Malaysian cuisine? Like what is a dish I must try when I visit?

Thanks for reading my article. I hope you visit soon.

@adasactly please upvote me .

Verry good your post

Really nice post!
Its like a National Geographic article, with nice photos. Cool to see that it can be done :)

This was a serious tour. Your sense of description is simply amazing. Just yesterday I identified Curry leaves but I was told it is basil. Is Curry different from Basil?

This was a close shot of it


Yes that is basil. I love the smell.

This is curry.


Articles from @adsactly are always worth reading, this is really a content, you are really able to get valuable content when it comes to travel, cultures, places, history, people, and food.

What an awesome post! I love cooking and experimenting with different spices! Love curry and use black pepper in almost every meal I prepare for my family. I would love to visit and experience such a lovely and providing place. Thank you for sharing!

I love black pepper too. Especially in a salad with avocado, lemon juice, tomatoes and red onion. Amazing.

Thanks for reading.

I love africa, hope i can go to Africa
Thankyou for sharing my friend @adsactly

Really good post

excellent post, you do not know cardamom ...

apvot me plees

Very spicy journey @adsactly interesting photo Zanzibar! congrats @jeanwandimi

spice herbs are very complete and very profitable for the farmers themselves but when we start from the base it is very difficult many stages of the stage

Wow, great tour.

Too much sauce, too much juice 😁😁. Zanzibar looks like an isle of spice. Actually africa possesses some of the best spice around. I kmow about the black pepper which you can't use with food and not sweat especially when hot, I remembered when we were small, my mum would'nt cook without some of this things but we would be like are they really necessary, down the lane I miss them greatly since I cant have such over here in school

Reminds me of a time I was experimenting with recipes and I added black pepper to rice as it boiled. Haha. I kept coughing. Black pepper is amazing.

Yes there are so many spices in Africa. Can't wait to visit another place to try other spices eg. Morocco

Very spicy journe interesting photo Zanzibar! congrats
Great Spice tour...that s allows me knowing many plants..I think Zanzibar is a fabulous place to come after safari. Remember - safaris are not relaxing holidays. You are typically up very early and out spotting game throughout the day..
Awesome shots..

I sure do love me some spices... it doesn’t get more fresh than that!

I bet they sell some awesome Teas too!!!

Do you travel as a job??

In my country we have a big African heritage so we are used to cook with a lot of spices but i never knew where they came from.

I also like the idea of the tour you went into, ecotourism its the only option for a future where we can enjoy the beauty of a country, keep it like it is and support the minorities there.

Side note:you are gorgeous.

Natural life!

Zanzibar looks like a magical place! Your post has inspired me to try out some of the more exotic spices that are available for cooking. (I just wish that my local supermarkets carried them in such wonderful gift packs like the ones shown in your blog post!)

the puns drove me to your post..the story is what kept me here. nice work

Thank you very much for sharing now I also know a lot more about spices very interesting post

This is a very useful clove plant for cooking

Hey there friend.
I am new on steemit
I wish you would check my blog . erm...can i get your upvote?
Please say yes because i dont want you to miss the good stuffs i have for you.
I will upvote you anytime i come across your post.
So take a second and upvote as i have and you will truly feel me😂😂😂
Thank you friend

wow africa is very beautiful
thanks for such a good travel tip
much apriciated!!
keep posting such!!

Great post and amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing.
Zanzibar is wonderful!!
What about the weather? Which is the perfect season to go there ?

I can't believe i just read a piece from my neighbourhood and I knew close to very little about it. Thanks for the trip.

I love the smell of spices especially when mom uses it on her dishes. Great sharing

very rich and educative content, thank you for sharing your experience, I never knew about this place. I use a lot of those spices and yet never knew where they were originated from, this thought me a lot!

I like your post, there is a type of spice that is also owned by indoneaia, namely cloves.
I also like the necklace of cassava leaves. I used to make necklaces for toys from cassava leaves. a very useful post.

awesome travel post! Zanzibar is a place full of contrasts! any vaccines is required for this trip @adsactly?

Tour traveling story is very beautiful. I wish I could go there. Very beautiful place to look at. Thanks for sharing.

Great post, I love it!!

Thank you for the post.

I need your hot love

Great Spice tour...that s allows me knowing many plants..I think Zanzibar is a fabulous place to come after safari. Remember - safaris are not relaxing holidays. You are typically up very early and out spotting game throughout the day..
Awesome shots.. nice to see this ..

very nicely liked it. a good post

Variety is the main spice, they say
awesome post

CURRY on indeed. What a great visual tour you just gave. I travel quite a bit and love the different spices and places. Of course I always upvote your great content as well. I remember when I was young and had never traveled I thought one curry was like any other. How wrong I was. I do not have your knowledge of spices but I sure do love to eat the foods they produce. Thank you again and again for such great content. Hopefully one day my upvote will mean more as I continue to add to my account and buy Steem. We are lucky to have you here.

What a beautiful experience! Thank you for sharing with us all! Love the coconut toasting in the jungle btw haha!

Bet you would enjoy the Grenadines in the West Indies. This reminds me of my time in Grenada.

awesome photography and so information