African Adventures Pt.4 Zanzibar Spice Tour and Final Days

You can’t go to Zanzibar without going on a Zanzibar spice tour like we did during our final days spent on the beautiful island. Spices, in particular cloves, account for nearly half of Zanzibar’s GDP. The island has a number of thriving designated spice plantations definitely worth visiting. Lady Lynne and I were lucky enough to visit here in December as part of our continuing trip of a lifetime.

Zanzibar Spice Tour Man Collecting Coconuts

Welcome to part 4 of our African adventures – Zanzibar spice tour and final days.

BTW. You might want to check out the previous posts first:-

African Adventures Pt.1 Glasgow to Uganda

African Adventures Pt.2 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

African Adventures Pt.3 Zanzibar – Wildlife and Sightseeing

just to bring you up to date with where we are before you continue to read below. :)

Well, we weren’t to know that the day we’d booked for our Zanzibar spice tour and visit to Stone Town was the day that a tropical storm would choose to unleash itself. But, I suppose it was only one day out of our entire 8 days holiday in Zanzibar, all of which had so far been hot and sunny, so it’s best to be thankful for these things.

But why oh why did it have to be that particular day?

So, back to Tuesday 15th December and we made our way to reception for the our taxi pick up at 07.50. It was a little wet underfoot, from a night of light rain, but nothing in the sky to give us a clue as to what was to come. It was only once we were in the taxi, and on our way, that nature began to unleash it’s heavy tropical storm which then proceeded to go on all day!

Zanzibar Spice Tour Nutmeg

Arriving at the spice tour (we were the only ones there due to the weather) we huddled under an umbrella as we were taken around the plantation and shown all of the spices and exotic fruits that are cultivated and exported from Zanzibar. Above you can see Nutmeg seed in it’s pod.

Just look at the river of water flowing past us too! We had to dodge these rivers as they formed, flowed and filled up the trenches around the growing crops. It’s also worthwhile noting the temperature drop from it’s usual 30 odd Degrees to 22 that day. And we felt it!

Zanzibar Spice Tour Pineapple

Anyway, being from the Northern Hemisphere there were just so many plants that we had never seen or even got close to in their original state before. We normally just see fruits like pineapples on our supermarket shelves so plants like that totally fascinated us.

Fresh Coconuts. Wow! We’d never had a coconut so fresh before. A guide actually climbed up a palm tree for us (the main image at the top of this post) retrieved a coconut, cut the top off and let us taste the sweet nectar that came from within the shell as well as the fresh coconut itself. I’d never tasted anything quite like it!

By this point the socks and shoes I’d worn (thinking I was sensible) had been swapped for a pair of flip flops I’d had to hire from one of the plantation guides. Let me tell you that walking in those flip flops, having accidentally sun burnt my feet a few days earlier was extremely tricky painful! 😮

Zanzibar Spice Tour Neil and Lynne

Do we look wet? We were!

Lady Lynne made me post this photograph. She said it was “funny”.  I’m never sure of putting photographs of me up. Lynne’s so much more photogenic.

But anyway what do you think of the cool hats that the plantation guides made for us? 🙂

I could have sold them easily as “rain hats” back in Glasgow if they wouldn’t have rotted by then!

Zanzibar Spice Tour Spice Hoard

Above is our Zanzibar spice tour hoard.

Now here’s a challenge for you!

See if you can match the names of the spices and exotic fruits in this list below to the actual spices in the picture above:-

  • Cinnamon (there’s two!)
  • Red pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cloves
  • Iodine
  • Cocoa
  • Ginger
  • Lemon grass
  • Cardamom
  • Vanilla pod
  • Green orange
  • Lime
  • Star fruit
  • Flower cotton

I wish I could have flown all of these home with us, exactly as they are in the picture, to show everyone and to let them experience the smelling, touching and tasting part of the Zanzibar spice tour.

Despite the wet we absolutely loved the Zanzibar spice tour. It was absolutely brilliant and a “must” for your to-do list if you ever go there.

I did manage to bring home a selection of dried spices for neilshealthymeals cooking purposes! Some cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger, which I’ve already been using in plenty of recipes!

Anglican Cathedral Christ Church Zanzibar

While the Zanzibar spice tour was fantastic. Despite the rain, it had JUST been possible to do it.

Unfortunately not so with what was to be our afternoon touring around the world heritage site of Stone Town.

Stone Town is the old and historic part of Zanzibar City. It’s the soul. It’s filled with beautiful churches of all religions, cobbled streets and a mixture of buildings built from the Arabic, Indian and European influences that have taken place in Zanzibar over the centuries.

As you can imagine Stone town has lots stunning achitecture to view. This is of course when you can look up, without getting soaked in the process.

Try though, we did to navigate around the narrow, ancient and historical streets, with our poor guide trying desperately to keep us enthusiastic, and dry, under the one umbrella.

Above I managed to capture the Anglican Cathedral Christ Church Zanzibar. But unfortunately that’s all the photographs from Stone Town I could get. I had to protect my precious camera from the ongoing deluge.

I felt guilty walking wading past shopkeepers standing in their doorways trying to entice us in to show their wares.  But we just wanted to get back to hotel to get dry!

Stone town would have to wait until another time. And possibly another visit?

Zanzibar Spice Tour Hideaway of Nungwi Resort Zanzibar

Of course, no sooner had we returned to our accommodation (pictured above – we were in the lower part) at the Hideaway of Nungwi, the rain went off and the sun came back out again!!

Zanzibar Spice Tour Hideaway of Nungwi Resort Zanzibar

Our final days here were spent with a routine of going to the gym at 07:00, breakfast, lounging by the pool, cocktails, lunch, lounging by the pool, cocktails, get dressed for dinner, dinner and repeat. Not a bad life really.

Even though we were this close to the beautiful blue sea and golden beaches, as it was pretty hot for us, it was easier to spend time by the pool where the bar was as it was nearer.

I also get easily annoyed by beach sellers hassling you to buy stuff you don’t need so I tend not to go near beaches when on holiday. I mean I know they’re just trying to earn a living and they’re mostly pretty decent people, but I just cant abide those pushy ones who won’t take a “no”.

Zanzibar Spice Tour Hideaway of Nungwi Resort Zanzibar Sunset

Such beautiful sunsets, the picture pretty much says it all!

This was the view in the early evening as we walked the short distance from our accommodation to where food was served. Heading for another stuffing of goat curry, or maybe fresh grilled fish, or maybe just a huge plate of fresh fruit and salad. Almost always finished with a home-made pistachio ice cream!

Zanzibar Spice Tour Kilimanjaro Tanzania

When we flew back from Zanzibar to Nairobi to catch our home flight connection we were 2 of only 4 passengers on board. How likely is that? Was it because it was another 0200 awakening and 0530 flight? Too early for the chilled out citizens of Zanzibar perhaps?

I thought this one final photograph, was rather appropriate seeing as we started with an airplane photograph in part 1, albeit that shot was a good deal wetter!

Plus it was a really nice surprise seeing Kilimanjaro from the airplane. How stunning is that? And I said to Lady Lynne “we really must look into climbing that”.

It’s since been added to the bucket list. 🙂

Lady Lynne and I love sharing our holidays with you. This was more than just any holiday, as I mentioned several times it was a “holiday of a lifetime”. Judging by the comments on these 4 posts you guys enjoyed these. Thanks for your positive contributions and taking the time to read and comment. You make it all worthwhile, so much so we’ve decided to plan something fantastic for 2017. We’re already saving hard. I’ll update you in February as to where exactly that is and we’re going to.

So, and in order not to miss any updates, or new recipes, why not make sure you’re following neilshealthymeals by adding your email* to the subscription list at the very top of this post and clicking “Subscribe” or by “following” via your favourite social media channel below.

And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity! :-)

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Comments

  1. I am absolutely, positively envious of your travels, you have NO IDEA. I have wanted to go to Africa my ENTIRE LIFE!

    It’s happening!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…A Not So Ribbiting Taste TestMy Profile

  2. Okay so I know that I see lime and starfruit in your stash, buuuuuut that’s pretty much all I’m 100% sure about 😆 I’m definitely a little envious, though — how amazing must those taste?!?! And that shot you captured of Kilimanjaro from the plane just gives me shivers. It would definitely be an amazing experience to be able to climb that!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…they put WHAT in my makeup?!, size matters, and puppy dog eyes (ToL #167)My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Before I went on the spice tour, I probably would have only got the lime and starfruit too!

      Oh you should so come and climb Kilimanjaro with us! We haven’t planned it yet, it’s only on the “bucket list”, but it would be amazing wouldn’t it?

  3. Wow whoa, and egad. That spice tour sounds like a real eye opener, even in a deluge. I love love love how you and Lynne are no-holds-barred travelers. You truly immerse yourselves into your expereicnes, and I think that is omething that so few people do. Sure, You have your beach and sun days, but you really go after ADVENTURES, not just things to do. Bravo. And I can’t wait to hear about the next adventure! Maybe with a stop in Chicago?? To pick me up on the way, of course 😀
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Lemons into Applesauce Part II: Major Life UpdatesMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      There’s just something about touching, holding and smelling those spices that takes you right back to nature.

      I love to immerse myself into the whole thing! The food, the scenery, the travel, the day trips and try to see as much as we can. I often think “I’m only here on this planet once” and I just want to try and grab every experience and make the best of it.

      There’s also the fact I’ve paid a lot of money, and being truly Scottish. I’m going to get my money’s worth. 😉

  4. A spice tour sounds amazing! Isn’t it incredible that God made so many awesome spices?
    Emily recently posted…Recovery Series IV: Defined by LoveMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      It was amazing Emily. Such beautiful smelling spices and exotic tasting fruits. I’m very grateful for everything this world has to offer, yes 🙂

  5. I would be in heaven on the spice tour!!!
    And that sunset :O No words!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Chocolate Chip Raspberry GranolaMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      As a fellow foodie, like me, you would probably spend a lot of the spice tour thinking about what dishes you would use certain spices for! 🙂

      Yes. That sunset. Say no more…… 😀

  6. That’s really interesting about cloves, I never knew they were such a big deal to them.
    Also, I only recently discovered that was how pineapples grew. I am not sure how I thought they grew before haha.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos by DanniiMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      I only really had a vague idea of how these spices grew at all, so the cloves thing was even more of a revelation!

      And yes, I always thought pineapples hung down from trees. I thought I’d better take a picture to prove to everyone back home, they don’t! 🙂

  7. Can I come on your next adventure?! Lol I’ll squeeze in a suitcase. Luke can stay in Glasgow. 😉 I’ll say it again, I’ve had friends and family go to Africa before but this really captured the experience as a person visiting should. Thanks for sharing your adventure!
    Erin@BeetsPerMinute recently posted…February Intentions Workout ChallengeMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thanks Erin! 😀

      It was great for me to re-live all of the fantastic adventures we had in Africa, as I wrote up these 4 posts.

      The only problem I had was trying to fit in, only the most interesting parts and the best photographs, when I actually had loads of pages of notes and hundreds of photographs! 😆

  8. Lady Lynne and you make a good looking pair – and, have you tried selling those hats as “rain hats” yet? 🙂
    I have so enjoyed these posts on y’alls trip of a lifetime and cannot wait to hear what’s next!
    Now – about those spices – I thought there’d be an answer key? Photo? I am so curious …
    Gorgeous photos from throughout your trip – feel like I was there with y’all and that final photo from the plane of Kilimanjaro is GORGEOUS!
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Sweet Potato Pistachio BarsMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Ha ha ha, why thank you Shashi. Lightroom makes some good adjustments on me eh? 😉

      Thanks so much for following our trip with us. We love how you enjoy them so much and you’re really enthusiastic about them. Yeah, sorry I should have done an answer key to the spices photograph shouldn’t I. Next time I do something like that, I will.

      Isn’t Kilimanjaro amazing. We were so lucky to see it at that time we were flying in the morning because usually it’s covered in clouds. I hope one day that we’ll climb it. 😀

  9. LOVED reading these all- I wish you had time to check out the Ngorogoro Craters- most amazing experience! PS- Have you finished off the malaria tablets yet 😉
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Healthy Flourless Blueberry Breakfast CakeMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thanks Arman 🙂

      Hopefully we’ll get to the Ngorogoro Craters one day!

      Yep, finally finished off the malaria tablets a few weeks ago. I’m not too bad with them, but they seemed to be making Lynne feel ill at the end of her course.

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