Clove Export around 1940

A clove avenue. Even today this mode of transport (seen below) is very common in Zanzibar and Pemba.

1_Clove avenue

Clove Trees can grow up to 10 to 15 meters in height.

2_Clove Tree

Little branches with leaves and the flower bud known as clove are picked from the trees.

3_picking cloves

Only the aromatic flower buds dry in the sun of Zanzibar.

4_stemming cloves

A very good sample of cloves. Size, degree of dryness and an existing flower head are traits for perfect product quality.


Cloves will be weighed…


before they are transported to the harbour.


The cloves are stored in big warehouses,

8_mountain of cloves 1

where they are packed in bags and prepared for export.

9_packing bags

Labeling is another important step to prove the cloves’ origin.


Daily wharfage activities: Bags are carried to the barges…

11_wharf workers

and loaded. In the background you can find the House of Wonders and parts of the Sultan’s Palace. Das 1001 Organic office is within spitting distance.

12_Loading cloves

Barges ship the cloves to steamers laying in anchor. Those former giants of the oceans bring Zanzibar cloves to Europe and the rest of the world.


This procedure remains almost the same until today. Trucks as a new mode of transport make the work much easier for men and livestock. The clove bags are nowadays stored in containers and loaded directly to container ships in the port of Stone Town where the long journey of 1001 Organic cloves starts.