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Spice Island History in Zanzibar

Spice Island History in Zanzibar

Though the first cloves were planted in Zanzibar in the 18th century, it was the establishment of widespread clove plantations by Sultan Seyyid Said in the 19th century that helped ignite this tropical archipelago’s flourishing spice trade. Here are a few ways to explore the history of Zanzibar’s spice industry.

Experiences

  • Observe workers in action during the annual harvest at a local shamba (spice farm).

  • Find out more about spice cultivation during tours of rural farms where cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, chili, saffron, and curry leaves are grown.

  • Take a walking tour of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about how the spice trade attracted a multitude of different cultures to this port city.

  • Inhale the heady scent of countless spices and experience local haggling culture at Stone Town’s bustling Darajani Market.

  • Try dishes prepared using locally grown spices, such as Zanzibar biryani or pilau (spiced rice dishes served with meat and vegetables) or octopus curry, which is typically made using coconut cream and spice blends.

  • Feast on spiced street-food specialties such as urojo (chili-spiked mango-and-tamarind stew) at the night market at Stone Town’s Forodhani Gardens.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Spices and Stone Town Tour in Zanzibar

Spices and Stone Town Tour in Zanzibar

star-4.5
9
Discover Zanzibar’s aromatic history on a half-day walking tour of Stone Town, setting out on foot so you can see Stone Town’s narrow, car-free streets and atmospheric corners. After convenient pickup at Zanzibar hotels, you’ll cover some of Stone Town’s highlights, from colonial landmarks to the Old Fort, the house where Freddy Mercury was born, and an Anglican Cathedral that marks the former site of a slave market.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.18
From
$42.18
Taking safety measures

The Rock Restaurant & Blue Lagoon Half Day Tour in Zanzibar

The Rock Restaurant & Blue Lagoon Half Day Tour in Zanzibar

star-3.5
5
Dine in a spectacular location that’s entirely surrounded by sea views on an excursion to The Rock restaurant in Zanzibar. Door-to-door transport and snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon turn your reservations at The Rock into a half day adventure, with the chance to spot a rainbow of tropical fish and coral in calm, sheltered water.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.18
From
$42.18
Taking safety measures

Stone Town Walking Tour in Zanzibar

Stone Town Walking Tour in Zanzibar

star-4.5
38
Discover Zanzibar City’s UNESCO-listed historic center on a Stone Town walking tour that explores Zanzibar’s history and distinctive architecture, from a bustling local market to a Sultan’s palace-turned-museum. Sightseeing on foot mean you can leave cars behind while following Stone Town's most narrow, winding streets, and group size is limited to 10 people for personalized service from the guide.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
Price varies by group size
From
$35.00
Price varies by group size

Full-Day Stone Town and Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar

Full-Day Stone Town and Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar

star-4
9
Immerse yourself in Zanzibar’s dramatic history on a full-day, guided tour of Stone Town and Prison Island. Explore on foot and by boat for a comprehensive overview of the area, learn about local culture, architecture, and wildlife, and enjoy the convenience of round-trip hotel transfers.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$234.88
From
$234.88

Zanzibar Spice Farm Half-Day Walking Tour

Zanzibar Spice Farm Half-Day Walking Tour

star-3.5
2
Discover the spices that thrive in Zanzibar’s villages and plantations on a walking tour that’s an aromatic immersion in the island’s rural life. Join a guide for a walk through local farms, see workers climb into the spice trees, sample spices and fruits fresh from the field, and learn the history of Zanzibar’s spice trade. This Zanzibar spice farm tour includes pickup and drop-off in Zanzibar, with both morning and afternoon departures available.
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  • 3 hours
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Spice Tour of Zanzibar

Spice Tour of Zanzibar

star-5
1
Take part in one of Zanzibar's most iconic experience during a spice tour of the Spice Island. Stationed along one of the world's oldest trade routes, this picturesque destination is a melting pot of culture, cuisine, and flavors. Follow a guide through rural plantations and see where local staples such as clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon are cultivated, grown and used to produce some of Africa's most aromatic cuisine.  
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$101.54
From
$101.54