By Dian Hasan | September 30, 2009
Some places – just by their mere names – exude exotica. A combination of real and imaginary place that captures the imagination of history, trade, far away corners of the world, traders from across the world, unique food and cultures, strange tongues, garments, traditions…. You’ll find all these in Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean, where you’ll still be able to re-live her busy days as a hub for spice trading.
Zanzibar’s fame as the spice island, saw it exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. The spices were brought over from Asia and South America and flourished in the tropical climes.
Nowadays the plantations are a tribute to the island’s past, swapping spices for tourism, combining both in a spice tour, one of the most popular excursions on the island. Walk through the spice farm with your guide. Touch, smell and taste different spices and tropical fruits.
Try to guess which is which, from the crushed leaves, the fruit, shoots andvines and creepers crawling up the Zanzibar Spice Tour trees. Learn about their properties, their origins and their use as medicines and in food and drink.
A visit to a spice farm village gives you an insight into local life and the opportunity to try some Swahili dishes, taste the fruits in season and try some spiced tea. An optional lunch is available at Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge, a special menu, prepared with the best of the seasonal fruit and spices
introduced to you during the tour.
Depending on the season you are visiting, you can find anything from vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, lemon grass, cloves, ylang ylang, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, allspice, tamarind, chili, oregano and more!
Fruits can include banana, pineapple, jack fruit, custard fruit, oranges, star fruit, tangerine, passion fruit, mango, avocado, pear, papaya, grape fruit and many others.