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A spice tour is a pleasant way of exploring the countryside around Stone Town, and meeting Zanzibar’s rural communities. Guides take you on a walking tour of one of the small locally owned plantations, or to the government run plantations at Kizimbani or Kindichi, picking bunches of leaves, fruit and twigs from bushes and inviting you to smell or taste them to guess what they are.

Most of the ingredients of the average kitchen spice rack are represented - cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chillies, black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla among many others. Local children often accompany you on your rounds, making baskets of palm leaves and filling them with flowers to give to you.

Tours often include a stop-off at a local house for a meal of spiced pilau rice and curry, followed by sweet Arabic coffee and perhaps a slice of lemongrass cake. Many spice tours include a visit to the Persian baths built by Sultan Said for his harem.

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