Zanzibar Spice Tour
brief overview T his day trip takes you to the spice shamba (farms) of the Zanzibar islands. Such a spice tour is an ideal way to give you an insight into the life of the village people and the natural beauty of this mysterious island. The visit of the ruins of the summer palace of Sultan Barghash and the Persian baths of Princess Sheherazade are the historical highlights of today’s day.
As this excursion is named for the famous Spice Tour, you will also get to know the various tropical fruits and spices for which Zanzibar is so famous. On the spice plantations you will have the opportunity to admire and taste some of the different spices, herbs, fruits as well as decorative plants and flowers. Our trip is rounded off by a visit to the Persian Baths in Kidichi, which the first Sultan had built for his wife.
Zanzibar (Ugunja) Spice Tour
You will be picked up from your accommodation by your guide and drive into the interior of the island. First you will pass by the house of Dr. Livingstone. From there the famous African explorer prepared his last expedition to Central Africa in 1866. About 3 km outside the city you will reach the first destination of the trip, the ruins of Sultan Baghash’s Maruhubi Palace. Here he had housed his harem, about one hundred women who lived in this palace together with their eunuchs (who acted as servants and guards). At that time, in 1882, when the palace was built, there was running water, indoor toilets and bricked bathing ponds artfully placed between the ambulatories with their painted arches. The ruins are located quite close to the sea, from where a pleasant breeze always provided cooling. Fragments of the large stone wall that surrounded the palace at that time are still standing today, as well as some of the mango trees that the Sultan had specially imported from India. In 1889, the palace burned down to its foundation walls, fortunately, the baths survived the fire to some extent. – The bath water was led from a nearby spring via a large aqueduct to the baths. The marble slabs of the baths have unfortunately been stolen in the meantime. But some of the massive columns are still standing, the support posts for the large balcony that surrounded the upper floor. In the northeast corner of the palace ruins (near the newly built restaurant) are the fragments of a rectangular outbuilding, probably used by the Sultan as a reception room. The building was provided with round towers, loopholes and peepholes, in case of an offensive.
At the village of Bububu, the road branches off to the right and you reach the village of Kidichi. Here you can see the old Persian baths, which Sultan Barghash had built in 1850 for his supposedly very pretty favourite Persian woman, called Sheherazade. She was the granddaughter of the first Shah of Persia and was obviously a very headstrong woman, who was particularly fond of big game hunting on horseback. – The baths of Kidichi are located on the highest point of Zanzibar (123 m). They are extremely well preserved and are lined up as individual bathhouses with domed roofs and deep stone tubs (with large seats). The interior of the main bath is richly decorated with Persian stucco work. The decoration covers large wall surfaces and depicts flowers, palm fronds and birds. The artist was probably brought from Persia especially for this work.
Now we continue with the actual spice tour: The driver, who is also the guide, brings you into contact with the local farmers, who will lead you to their orchards and spice gardens with their friendly manner. You can try out the delicacies on display, chew on various spices and eat freshly picked fruit: lychee, the shaggy rambutan, the mangosteen (which tastes like strawberry), the tasty stinky fruit (dorian) and the giant jackfruit, which grows directly from the trunk of the jackfruit tree. A teenager nimbly climbs up a coconut palm and presents you with an unripe coconut, which is called “Dafu” here. With a bushwhack, the top piece of the nut is cut off and you can take the opened coconut to your mouth like a round drinking vessel and enjoy a cool, vitamin and nutrient-rich drink.