Untold Goes Completely ‘Spice Boys’.
So, tell us what you want. What you really, really want. Idyllic beaches? Check. Azure seas? Check. Sun? Check. This is of course what most people want and expect when having a stay on Zanzibar or its surrounding islands. And if pristine white sands and blue waters is what you’re looking for they will certainly not disappoint.
Diligent as we are we explored some of them for you and will share the results of our extensive research into some beautiful beach properties, paradisiacal places and other astonishing activities later. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.
One of the things already worth mentioning is the plethora of spices on these islands. And today we fly to Pemba, the spiciest of them all.
But before we delve into the world of deliciously smelling spices we have to set the record straight. What most of us informally call Zanzibar is actually an archipelago, Zanzibar plus Pemba. The larger island of the Zanzibar archipelago where Stonetown is situated is called Unguja. So strictly speaking our trusted companions at Coastal Aviations flew us from Unguja to Pemba.
Pemba, known as the green island of Zanzibar in gastronomic circles, because of its hillier, greener and much more fertile soil is the home of ‘1001 organic’, an organic spice brand working closely together with local farmers. We met with Bakari Mataka, one of the founding members of the Daya Cooperative Society, a 100% organic farmer’s cooperative that grows cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and many other spices that make dishes all over the world so much yummier.
We were told about the respectful and profitable collaboration with the ‘1001 organic brand’, learned about the very delicate and time-consuming art of growing spices and were frankly astonished by the discovery of hand pollination of vanilla pods or the close collaboration between spices and the thick, shadowy forest they are planted amongst. We will of course explore this fabulous and fragrant world further in our upcoming book..
Speaking about exploring… Should you want to see this beautiful island from top to bottom, we can give you the number of our taxi driver who was supposed to take us to our lodge on the most southern tip of Pemba island. However, our taxi driver was absolutely convinced that our lodge was in the north. In short (but it took quite some time, actually) we drove up all the way there, only for him to discover he was mistaken. An honest mistake. And, trust us, it was one of those detours that are worth it. Pemba’s nature is gorgeous anyway and on the plus side, we also had a chance to catch a glimpse of Ngezi Forest, a big patch of thick tropical jungle and Pemba’s only National Park. Since we weren’t equipped (let alone inclined) to spend the night amongst monkeys, fruit bats and other jungle dwellers we kindly encouraged our driver to take us to ‘the other location’ of our lodge.