Quite a number of years ago I worked for a seaweed farm in Namibia, where we made masks, face gel etc. from seaweed, so I really wanted to visit the Seaweed Center in Zanzibar and very happy we could squeeze it in. We did find it rather expensive but the guide was great and it was interesting.
We arrived just in time for the afternoon tour. You get a pair of shoes and a hat… 🙂
Seaweed farming was introduced to Zanzibar in 1989 from the Philippines, and 90 percent of the farmers are women.
They collect floating seaweed and tie it to rope. Then they tie the rope around two stakes a few meters apart and pushes the stakes into the soft ground below. The seaweed will grow underwater for about 40 days. When it reaches about one kilogram, the women pick it and dry it out in the sun to be processed further.
The women have learned how to make soap at the Zanzibar Seaweed Center . At the Seaweed Center, 10 local women are employed full time. They turn seaweed into soaps, body oils and body scrubs that sell as premium organic products.
After seeing how they farm the seaweed, you walk back to the center, get a refreshing glass of sweet-tasting seaweed juice, get your feet washed and then do a tour of the small processing factory.
After our tour we had a lovely drive home. I really am happy we got to explore so much of Zanzibar. It kept us very busy but it was absolutely worth it. If you plan what you want to do and see you can actually visit a few of the places in 1 day to cut down on all the driving. I hope my Zanzibar blog posts helps you plan your holiday!