SpiceFarm + Stone Town + Prison Island – Spices from Zanzibar are famous around the world and a holiday to Zanzibar would be incomplete without a visit to the spice plantations. The spice tours are actually quite informative and good value. Spice tour is probably the best way of seeing the countryside and meeting members of rural communities. The tour starts from 8:30 am and takes 2 to 3 hours depending on the activities to be done. You will be overwhelmed by the abundance of botanical species growing in these gardens – exotic spices, fruits and vegetables. Many of the spices have medicinal properties and are still used by the local population to cure certain maladies. Savor different spices, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla or black pepper. Taste a variety of fruits ranging from the rose apple to the guava. Some rare plants like henna, perfume tree and lipstick tree are used for their value in preparing cosmetics. Tour guides will take you on a walking tour of the spice farms at Kizimbani or Kidichi; picking bunches of leaves, fruits and twigs from bushes and inviting you to smell or taste them to guess what they are. Pretty much all the ingredients of the average kitchen spice rack are represented – cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilies, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla – the list goes on and on. Tour guides also take you to the interior of the island, so you’ll get an idea of village / farm life in Zanzibar.
The stone town tour, the city tour, takes you around the capital town to experience historically, culturally and architecturally richness of Zanzibar Islands. Usually the tour take 2 to 3 hours depend on the places to be visited. Most of the important buildings and places (historical monuments) are within the town’s municipal environs such as Anglican Cathedral built on the former slave market, the house of the famous slave trader (Tip Tip house), Hamamni Bath, Darajani market (fish and fruits market), the Old Portuguese Fort, the house of wonders (Zanzibar National Museum of History & Culture) and the home of world famous musician, Freddy Mercury. The guide will also show you the beautiful pattern of Zanzibar door and on the way you will have a chance to walk around the narrow streets of Stone Town where most of the houses date back more than 150 years. You will see many bazaars, curio shops, restaurants, and variety of stores selling souvenirs. It is a fascinating look into the history and culture that has shaped this island and is something that should not be missed
Prison Island also known as the Changuu Island lies jusy off the Old Stone Town about 30 minutes by boat from stone town. Changuu Island was used as a penitentiary for rebel slaves by the sultans from the 1860s until the end of the slave trade. After which the British began building a prison on the island under the guidance of First Governor, Lloyd Matthews. This was completed in 1894. However, the ‘prison’ was only ever used as a quarantine centre for possible yellow-fever victims. Nowadays the island gives you the chance to escape for some peace and quiet. The island is a home to giant land tortoises that were imported from Seychelles in the 19th Century.