Drawing Inspiration From Zanzibar!

We arrived in February during the Sauti Za Busara Music Festival, my two girlfriends and I. The hotel we reserved online was booked when we went to check in. All of the other hotels on the island were full. We overheard a South African man tell a Belgian woman about a beautiful hotel on the water at the northern tip of the island and thus began our two week improvised and utterly whimsical adventure in Zanzibar.  Everything worked out perfectly in the end and exceeded expectations. There was romance, there were encounters with wildlife, there were private beaches and music, savory food, perfect weather and more intended and unintended adventures than I can count.

When I think of Zanzibar, I am reminded of:

  • Rolling green spice plantations, the greenest, green, in vibrant bursts and dewy shadows. A cacophony of hues. A reminder to breathe, savor, and let go.
  • The deep and stirring sound of the Islamic call to prayer.  Everything would stop once the song rang out. The echo seemed to emanate from every building in Stone Town, reverberated off the fishing boats docked in the still water. Colorful mats were unfurled as around us, people dropped to their knees in ritual prayer.
  • The rich musk of the earth, the fragrance of fresh rain combined with the sweet crispy smoke of a wood burning stove. This scent followed us from the sprawling spice plantations inland, to the coral forests and even the white sand beaches along the coast.
  • Covering my head in Stone Town and feeling like I was in another world. My first time in a Muslim country, we followed polite protocol when wandering through the bazaars and markets in the less touristy areas. I was draped in a long white crepe scarf with blue and gold embroidery at the edges that I picked up in Ethiopia during an epic layover belonging to another adventure. Beneath that scarf, I witnessed the heartbeat of Zanzibar. So many wonderful smells, colors and textures were presented to me in the markets and bazaars.
  • Attempting to climb to the top of a palm tree and failing every time, but believing with each attempt that the next would be my moment of glory.
  • Hakuna Matata- really there were no worries in the Zanzibar of my memory. There was a care free charge in the energy in the air. The climate, mild, the people friendly and strikingly beautiful. A UNESCO world heritage site, the old colonial buildings of Stone Town, stood resplendent in the setting sun. Intricate Arabic architecture gave the space a distinctive charm and character. The happy hiccups of spoken Swahili, "Jambo" or "Mambo," or being greeted with the Islamic phrase "Assalam Alaikum." I found my land of Hakuna Matata.

Zanzibar, what a pleasure and an honor it was to be in your presence.

The product that was inspired by my adventures in Zanzibar is the Zanzibar Body Butter, an ultra-moisturizing creamy shea based body butter with earthy hints of clove, cardamom and sandalwood.

IMG_7184 If you can’t experience Zanzibar in person for yourself, take the journey with a Zanzibar Body Butter.

From now, until next Wednesday (10/1) enjoy 10% off the Anchorage Body Butter (by entering the code ZANZIBAR at checkout) and enjoy!

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The Meditative Beaches of Zanzibar

  The beaches of Zanzibar are so magical. I remember walking about twenty feet into the warm ocean on this beach. The water only rose to my chest and I could see straight down to the sand. It was so pristine and relaxing.

Zanzibar Spice Tour by Eco and Culture Tours


Memory, all alone in the moonlight, I can smile at the old days I was beautiful then. I remember the time I knew what happiness was let the memory live again. "- Musical "Cats" (sorry, was a theatre major, it won't happen again- at least not for a while)

Sharp green blades of grass prick your ankles. You're not quite certain how you came to be on the side of a small mountain. It is so green, the greenest green. Crayola hasn't even begun to capture green the way you see it. Standing amongst the hundreds of acres of wide open countryside you feel small and ethereal.

SONY DSCIf waking up in charming historic Stone Town is a shock, finding yourself rambling meditatively through miles of some of the richest spice plantations the world has to offer, is astonishing.


This was where I found myself, three years ago, when a group of friends and I embarked on a Spice Tour in Zanzibar led by Eco and Culture Tours.

There are many spice tours in Zanzibar. Few of those tours rival the experience of Eco and Culture.


We were whisked away in an immaculate white van for an hours ride out of the city of Stone Town into what seemed the heart of the earth. The reddest roads, the greenest trees, the smell of fresh rain in the air revealed themselves in layers as our van plop, plop, plopped over potholes and rivets.

SONY DSCIn a large open field we gathered. Our small tour was led through a cacophony of colors and textures. Cinnamon, black pepper, jasmine and cardamom scented the air. We rambled through forests and villages. SONY DSCWe met smiling short haired children. We saw the most beguiling brown eyes, watched amazed as butterflies landed on our hands, SONY DSC sampled tropical passion fruit, jackfruit, star fruit, and the fabled durian- have you ever tasted a gym sock?

Between stops beneath large shade trees, we learned of the many medicinal, culinary and traditional uses of the spices grown and harvested in the great green fields. We learned of Arab traders and African healers, of European exploration and the infusion of spices from India.

Three hours later, looking out over the distant hills and green spaces, a meal was prepared for us by local village woman. Shoes off, seated on colorful patterned blankets we filled ourselves with savory spiced beans, vegetables and squash until our fingers were tinged yellow with tumeric. SONY DSC

After lunch, a makeshift market was set up so we could purchase (very reasonably priced) spices, essential oils, and fruit. And before we could so much as look back, we were off. Downhill, our van sputtered, over red red roads, past green green vines, towards the narrow ancient charm of Stone Town. SONY DSC

As mosques signaled the call to evening prayer, we stepped from the van, havaianas meeting cobblestone, stars still in our eyes.

The setting sun illuminated our backs as we made our way down narrow slate streets, towards our small hotel with the iron balcony and tall blue doors. It had been a good day. A very good day indeed. SONY DSC


The BEST  Zanzibar Spice Tours are through Eco and Culture Tours

The tours are a half-day event and cost around $50.00 (this includes transport and a great meal you won't soon forget).

Eco & Culture Tours/ Zanzibar

P.O. Box 1390

Stonetown, Zanzibar

+255 242 233 731

*I am in no way, shape, or form being paid to promote Eco & Culture Tours. I am simply a dedicated enthusiast.

Do you have a favorite travel memory that invigorates your senses?