Welcome to Unforgettable Tanzania!

Being overshadowed by its northern neighbour Kenya has rather worked in Tanzania’s favour. Tourism has developed here more quietly, more thoughtfully, with fewer cheap packages and more personalised experiences. It’s more stable and laid-back, and enormous enough to keep some corners well hidden. But its attractions are anything but low-key: Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, the Maasai, Zanzibar, the Big Five, and of course, the Great Migration, which propels itself around the northern plains throughout the year.

Despite the big names, it’s often the smaller details that remain in the memory – the fiendishly good fusion of Arabic, Swahili and Indian cuisine; an eye opening bushwalk with a Maasai guide; a glimpse of an endangered wild dog in the little-visited south; the silhouette of a dhow at sunset. Our Tanzania travel guide will leave you in no doubt as to why this land has attracted travelers for centuries – and that it will be sure to attract many, many more in the years to come.

Info-Box

Capital City:
Dodoma

Population:
61,2 Mio. (2021 estimate)

Official language:
Swahili, English

Currency:
TZS = Tanzanian Shilling

Independence Day:
December 09

Flag of Tanzania

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

We don’t think there’s a best time to visit Tanzania! The Great Migration swirls around the Serengeti – you can follow its course. The Mara River crossing occurs in Jun-July; drier weather also means more wildlife around waterholes. Jan-Feb bring fewer vehicles and greener landscapes after the short rains; you’ll see baby wildebeest… and more predators. Jun-Aug are cooler, ideal for anyone wanting to avoid the harsh heat. Kilimanjaro is icy year-round; while the coast is warm – you can head here to thaw out.

Which are the most exciting National Parks in Tanzania?

Serengeti National Park

The kind of place where you’re going to find yourself humming Toto’s “Africa”; the Serengeti needs almost no introduction. It is the stuff of African legend, the savannah traversed by a million wildebeest – zebras and gazelles in tow – during the world’s greatest migration. At 15,000km2, Tanzania’s oldest park has space for lodges and camps to suit all tastes, plus Big Five game drives, walking safaris and even cyclists.

Serengeti-Tanzania

Photo credit: pixabay/Michelle_Raponi

Kilimanjaro National Park

Each year thousands of visitors visit the infamous Kilimanjaro Mountain. Its beauty and magnificence are simply unmatched. Whether it be looking out from within the mountain, or from afar toward Mount Kilimanjaro, there is no doubt that it is a stunning natural spectacle.

As the highest mountain in Africa, it is a dream trek for many. En route to the top one must pass by sloping lowlands, farmlands and alpine areas. However, it is not just for the experienced trekkers anymore, first-time enthusiasts can partake in a trip to this legendary national park via more gentle trips to the top or by stopping in for a day trip.

Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania

Photo credit: pixabay/GregMontani

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

This is a giant, 25km-wide bowlful of 30,000 animals – including massive bull elephants, elusive leopard and black rhino. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the easiest place to see the Big Five year-round – hence the high number of vehicles. The crater’s Olduvai Gorge is home to some of the world’s oldest human remains – including a 1.75 million year old skull – which has shaped our understanding of evolution.

Ngorongoro Crater - Tanzania

Photo credit: pixabay/NajmaB_80

Tarangire National Park

Just a short hop from the northern parks, Tarangire is just as bustling with wildlife – but empty of tourists. Elephants swarm in herds of up to 300 against a surreal backdrop of silvery baobab trees. Fringe-eared oryx and gerenuk antelope cannot be seen anywhere else in Tanzania. Walking safaris allow you to enjoy the wilderness – and heighten your senses to the ever-present wildlife.

Tarangire National Park - Tanzania

Photo credit: pixabay/carolehenderson

Gombe Stream National Park

Few know that chimpanzees live in Tanzania, but they are here – on the forested shore of Lake Tanganyika. Track them by their shrieks, scat and discarded food, and meet the primates made famous by Jane Goodall, who encountered them here over 50 years ago. Few Tanzania itineraries include Gombe, out in the far west, but a tailor made trip can be tweaked to include this gem.

Chimpanzee - Tanzania

Photo credit: pixabay/BelaMarie

Saadani National Park

Tanzania’s only coastal national park, Saadani is also one of its newest – resulting in a heartwarming increase in wildlife. Conservation projects focus on elephants as well as green turtles – the projects are lovely places to visit and learn, especially for families. The coastal Zaraninge Rainforest shelters a huge diversity of species. Coconut palm-dotted ishing villages date back centuries, to when the coast was visited by Arab traders.

Ruaha National Park

This remote park is for the truly intrepid traveller. Barely a handful of visitors make it here – but the rewards are plentiful: the Great Ruaha River bursting its banks following the rains, and shrinking down to wildlife-filled pools in the dry season, attracting fierce predators from lions to hyenas. Ruaha is bordered by several game reserves, making it a vast wilderness able to support huge herds of elephants.

Lake Manyara National Park

Ernest Hemingway remarked that this park had the loveliest lake in Africa, and he may have been right. Manyara Lake is really stunning. It covers one-third of the park size, and despite its high salt content, it is safe for animals to drink so it remains an essential life source for many animals in the area.

It is also the main hangout spot for wild flocks of flamingos, and other bird life. However, truly unique to Lake Manyara National Park is their resident tree-climbing lions. Researchers have still not come to a conclusion as to why these lions habitually laze among the treetops, but nevertheless, it is an extraordinary sight to see.

Arusha National Park

Although somewhat small in comparison to other national parks in Tanzania, Arusha packs a punch. It has truly varied vegetation made up of grasslands, rainforest, and alpine areas and thanks to these conditions it is home to incredible wildlife diversity.

One of Africa’s largest mountains, Mount Meru occupies the space alongside Africa’s largest concentration of giraffes. Animals that are regularly seen include waterbucks, buffalos, elephants, hippos, flamingos, and monkeys. However, due to the size of the park, no more than a few hours are needed to see the entirety of it and can be explored via a walking, or canoe safari. Most travelers stopover en route to larger parks.

Best Cities in Tanzania to Visit

Tanzania is a beautiful East African nation. If you see cities in Tanzania map several major Tanzania cities a wide range of cultures and fascinating destinations. Most cities in Tanzania features a combination of factors like beautiful urban scenery, architecture, good amenities, attractions, housing facilities to make the country one of the most beautiful cities in Tanzania. It has one of the most beautiful places and the biggest cities in Tanzania you can ever visit in your lifetime. Compared to any other country in Africa Tanzania has more wild animals per square kilometer and the world’s highest and largest free-standing mountain also majestically rests. Due to its rich diversity, culture, beauty, minerals, history and diverse wildlife, no wonder the country is fondly referred to as ‘Soul of Africa’. Here are several largest cities in Tanzania you must visit once in life.

Dodoma

Dodoma is one of the best cities to visit in Tanzania and situated in the heart of the country, Dodoma is the country’s political capital and the seat of the legislature. In spite of the less popular than Dar es Salaam, the city has a developing wine industry. Nyerere Square, Museum of Geosciences, Bunge, Gaddhaffi Mosque, Anglican Church, Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque are some major tourist attractions found in Dodoma.

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salam is one of the most beautiful cities in Tanzania. It brags one the world’s best regular harbors shows despite everything employing its waters while burrowed outs, pilled with a fish bounce by the harbor side. It is considered one of the largest cities in Tanzania. Despite developing to get one of the greatest business center points in East Africa it stays as a position of interest with numerous tokens of its beautiful provincial past. Shops, eateries, temples, a Bavarian style railway, Botanical Gardens, and Gymkana, the roman catholic church St Joseph Cathedral and the Lutheran Azania Front Church all despite everything stand today in the City bearing proof of Dar es Salaam’s rich frontier history.

Arusha

In the shadow of Mount Meru and located in the north of Tanzania, Arusha City is the safari capital of Tanzania. It is one of the main cities in Tanzania. Because most of the safari destination Arusha is called the safari capital and all are fairly close to Arusha. Before embarking on their Safari around the Northern CircuitTourists usually spend overnight here which boasts of major attractions such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kilimanjaro among other attractions. Arusha’s clock tower is the midway point between Cairo in Egypt & Cape Town in South Africa.

Bagamoyo

The city of Bagamoyo is home to world-class Historical locales and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with rich social legacy holding up you to explore. Found some 70km north of Dar es Salaam, on the coast inverse Zanzibar, Bagamoyo town was at one time a most significant trade port along the East African Coast and a German East Africa Capital. This big city in Tanzania is home to numerous ethnic gatherings, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo, and Wazigua. Aside from the local communities, different societies including individuals of Arab plunge live in Bagamoyo making the town a quiet and cordial spot for guests from everywhere throughout the world.

Kigoma

Situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma is encompassed by tough mountains and backwoods that make it a satisfying and delightful area. This one of the best cities in Tanzania is the territorial capital of western Tanzania and a focal port in the region. A portion of the fascinating spots to visit with regards to Kigoma incorporate; Ujiji, the close by previous Arab slave-exchanging settlement, the popular gathering spot of Stanley and Livingstone, Gombe National Park for chimpanzee survey and Lake Tanganyika.

Moshi

Located on the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi is the coffee-producing hub and one of the most populated cities in Tanzania. Around the town and on the inclines of Kilimanjaro, there are huge ranches of espresso cover covering the zone. Coffee is a backbone of life in Moshi, and the regular coffee barters, whereby discount espresso is bidded for by universal purchasers, bundled and sold, is an occasion not to be missed in case you’re visiting the area. Be that as it may, the principal reason guests come to Moshi is to ascend the tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Swimming, Camel rides, rubs, espresso estate visits, cycling visits, and Moshi Town visits are a portion of the enjoyment exercises the cabin offers.

Mwanza

Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, in the northwest of the nation, this one of the cities in Tanzania Africa is the ideal base from which to visit close by Rubondo National Park, Saanane Island, and the Bujora Sukuma and Nyerere Museums. Otherwise called Rock City on account of the colossal stone outcrops extending out of the lake and strewn around the City, of which the most well known are the Bismarck Rocks named after the German Chancellor under whom this initially community was set up as the authoritative focus of German East Africa. Land travels, paddling safaris and angling for tilapia or goliath Nile roost are a portion of the attractions in Mwanza.

Tabora

The sleepy city of Tabora, in the hinterland of western Tanzania, stays a key travel point in the nation. It is one of the famous cities in Tanzania. Truly, Tabora was at one time a significant trade point and stopover for convoys that associated Lake Tanganyika and Central Africa with the beachfront town of Bagamoyo toward the upper east. Its previous significance is represented by the way that the notorious merchant Tippu Tip, who lived during the nineteenth century, made Tabora the focal point of his tremendous exchanging realm of ivory and slaves.

Where are the best beaches in Tanzania?

The best beaches in Tanzania are located on the island of Zanzibar, where you’ll find impossibly white sands lapped by turquoise waters. Other notable runners-up are located on Mafia Island and on Pemba Island.
Beach in Zanzibar

Photo credit: pixabay/Bobesh23

Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar

Located on the northwestern coastline of Unguja, Kendwa Beach is one of the liveliest and most touristic parts of Zanzibar and is the place to head if you want some quality nightlife. For instance, Kendwa Rocks organizes monthly Full Moon Parties; these are loads of fun as you party on the beach until the early hours of the morning.

In addition to the gorgeous sun-kissed beach, Kendwa has loads of bars, restaurants, and hotels catering to all budgets. Eating dinner while watching the sunset over the ocean is unforgettable.

There are plenty of activities and day trips for visitors to choose from (nothing on the island is more than an hour or two drive away), with the snorkeling and scuba diving being particularly fantastic. The local waters teem with marine life and are home to some beautiful coral reefs.

Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar

With its stunning setting on the northern tip of the island, Nungwi Beach is marvelous to lounge upon and has a more relaxed and down to earth vibe than neighboring Kendwa Beach. The bright white sands border the sparkling Indian Ocean, and the warm waters are great for swimming.

Sunsets are particularly impressive here, as the waters are painted in a whole range of dazzling oranges, yellows, and reds. What’s more, a fleet of dhows – local fishing boats – take to the waters around this time for night fishing; their sails stand out delightfully against the sunset and make for some fabulous photos.

There are lots of restaurant and accommodation options available, with a few chilled out bars to boot. Visitors can opt to take a scuba diving trip; Mnemba Atoll and the Haunted Wall are just two of the nearby underwater highlights.

Paje Beach, Zanzibar

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, the sleepy village at Paje Beach on the east coast of Unguja is the place for you. Located around an hour away from Stone Town, the beach is idyllic; its dazzling white sands are bordered by perfect turquoise waters, and palm trees provide shade from the blistering sun.

Nestled away along the coast, you’ll find some great restaurants and hotels. Paje Beach is a favorite spot among kitesurfers, who can be seen speeding across the warm waters when the right winds hit.

One of the most remarkable things about Paje is that the tide retreats right until the horizon, so at low tide, you can walk for kilometers out into the Indian Ocean with the water reaching just up to your ankles. An amazing experience, it is particularly worthwhile doing at night; you can feel the moon’s pull on the water as it shimmers in the moonlight.

Utende Beach, Mafia Island

Just off the southeast coast of Dar es Salaam, this is a perfect destination for a beach lover who also loves exploring below the surface, and one that’s largely overlooked by the waves of tourists breaking in Zanzibar. Contrary to its name this is an inviting island, and Mafia is the old Arabic word for “over there”. The main attraction, Mafia Island Marine Park, encompasses around 50% of the coastal waters of the island, with Utende beach being its heart and soul. There are many other smaller, more difficult to reach beaches along the south-eastern coast of the main island, if you’re the type of adventurer who likes a challenge.

Misali Island, Pemba Island

Misali Island lies off the west coast of Pemba Island. It’s surrounded by plunging coral reefs and with over 300 fish species recorded in its waters, its one of East Africa’s best destinations for scuba diving and deep sea fishing. You can take your pick of postcard-perfect beaches, many of which are seasonal nesting sites for green and hawksbill turtles. Baobab Beach on the island’s northeast coast is arguably the most scenic for a day spent sunbathing or swimming in the shallows. There are no permanent lodges on the island so it’s accessible via day trip only.

Pemba Island, Zanzibar

Photo credit: pixabay/parusciom

Travelers Meet Locals

The great excitement of our travels is meeting people. That’s what makes our trips memorable and unique. Meeting people from different cultures and ways of eating, behaving and thinking makes us richer and more open minded. We are so happy to present you here some Tanzanianswho have become our friends. We have already learnt so much with them and hopefully them from us.

Our lovely friends from Tanzanians

Our Tanzanians friends are your local experts and some of them became travel-related partners.

Captivating Cultures

Wherever you go in Tanzania, opportunities abound for getting to know the country’s people and cultures. Meet red-cloaked Maasai warriors. Spend time with the semi-nomadic Barabaig people near Mt Hanang. Experience the hospitality of a local meal and the rhythms of traditional dance. Chat and barter at local markets. More than anything else, it is the Tanzanian people that make visiting the country so memorable. Chances are you’ll want to come back soon, to which most Tanzanians will say “karibu tena” (welcome again).

Best dishes to try in Tanzania

Your Tanzania bucket list probably has the icons like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro and the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar… But what about the food in Tanzania? It’s all about big flavours and hearty comfort food here, with amazing spices, heartwarming stews and perfectly barbecued meat. We dive into the delicious world of Tanzanian cuisine, including the best dishes to try.

Zanzibar Pizza

Despite the name, this classic Zanzibar dish doesn’t have much in common with traditional Italian pizza. It’s just as tasty though and you’ll find it sold by street vendors all over Zanzibar.

The locals make it with a thin sheet of dough filled with meat, onions, peppers, raw egg and sometimes mayonnaise and cheese. It’s then wrapped up and fried in a pan of ghee or oil until it’s a golden, crispy pocket of deliciousness. You can even get sweet versions like chocolate, bananas, peanut butter and mangoes. Warning: Zanzibar pizza is utterly addictive and you’ll want to eat them every day!

Biryani & Pilau

These popular Indian-inspired rice dishes were originally brought to East Africa by Indian migrant workers. They’ve since been given a Swahili twist, and you’ll taste some of the best biryani and pilau of your life in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

While biryani is made with a tender meat and potato stew cooked in a spiced gravy with fragrant rice, pilau is usually a one-pot rice dish flavoured with meat, stock, vegetables and spices. It’s the incredible array of spices that really makes the amazing flavour of biryani and pilau, and you’ll find your dishes generously spiced with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves and pepper.

Ugali

Ugali is undoubtedly the most common foods in Tanzania and you’ll find it served with almost every meal. Made from boiled cornmeal paste, this doughy porridge-like dish is the best thing to mop up sauces and dip into soups and curries.

The best way to eat it is by rolling a piece into a ball, making an indentation with your thumb, and using it as an edible spoon! The taste and texture can be a little odd at first but you’ll soon look forward to eating a hearty slab of ugali with every meal.

Taste traditional food in Tanzania

You can try ugali and other traditional Tanzanian dishes on an incredible adventure to the village of Mto wa Umbu with Trafalgar. You’ll meet the locals and take a walking tour through the village, strolling by farmlands, markets and schools, and soaking up the community spirit. You’ll even get to learn how they make the local banana beer (and try some yourself!), before enjoying a delicious home-cooked lunch prepared by the local ladies.

Learn how they make each dish and hear stories about village life, all while savouring this wonderful meal. Best of all, your visit to the village will Make a Difference and contribute to the livelihood of these families. 

Chipsi maya

Swahili for “chips and eggs”, chipsi mayai is one of the most beloved street foods in Tanzania. It’s made with hand-cut potatoes, peeled and fried until crispy and golden, then mixed with eggs and cooked to make a kind of omelette.

It can also be mixed with peppers and onions, and it’s usually served with a tangy kachumbari of tomatoes, onions and chillies. Do as the locals do, and top it off with a squirt of ketchup and eat it with a toothpick. 

Mshikaki

It doesn’t get more Tanzanian than mshikaki, the skewered pieces of marinated meat (usually beef, goat or mutton) slowly cooked over hot open coals. It’s best to try it in the evening when street vendors serve it up fresh after a few hours of slow roasting. Be sure to order a few at a time, because you won’t be able to stop at just one of these tangy, smoky meat skewers.

Makai paka

Makai paka, or corn cobs in coconut curry, is one of the most popular dishes in Tanzania. This tasty dish uses corn, one of the most common crops grown in East Africa, and cooks it in spiced coconut milk. The locals usually serve it over a fragrant bed of rice, for the perfect dish to eat on a lovely summer’s day.

Ndizi na nyama

This beloved Tanzanian dish is made using plantain bananas (ndizi) and meat (nyama), cooked in a stew of curry powder, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste and coconut milk. It’s usually dished up with steamed rice or ugali.

It’s a Tanzanian tradition to make ndizi na nyama for new mothers, as the dish is believed to help mothers regain their strength after labour. So if you’re feeling a little weary after your travels, this is the perfect nourishing dish to eat.

Mchuzi wa samaki

Tanzania and Zanzibar are famed for their delicious seafood, and one of the best dishes is mchuzi wa samaki. The locals make this traditional Swahili dish with white fish cooked with curry powder, garlic, onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. It’s then served over a bed of fluffy steamed rice, the perfect side dish to the spicy sauce.

Nyama choma

Nyama choma means “burned meat” and it’s essentially a very delicious barbecue. The locals will set up a grill over hot coals, then leave the meat (usually goat) to grill slowly, giving it an amazing smoky flavour. Since the meat takes a while to cook, you can join the locals sitting around the grill, chatting and enjoying a few drinks before the nyama choma is ready.

Vitumbua

You can’t go to Tanzania without trying their vitumbua! These doughnut-like treats are a beloved dish in East Africa. In Tanzania, the locals make them with rice flour and fry them in hot oil until fluffy, then dust them with icing sugar or cinnamon, or serve with fruit-flavoured dips.

While the locals love to eat vitumbua with a masala chai for breakfast, you can eat them for lunch, dessert or even as a late-night snack. Yum!

What not to eat in Tanzania

There are a few things you should avoid eating and drinking in Tanzania to avoid getting sick while traveling.

Tap water and ice

Tap water is not safe to drink for foreigners. It’s often contaminated with bacterias that can make you very sick. The same goes for ice, as it’s often made with frozen tap water. Stick to bottled water, or bring a reusable water bottle to refill from filtered water stations at hotels and lodges.

Peeled fruit

It’s best to only go for fruit with the peel still on like oranges and bananas. Peeled fruit has often been exposed to harmful bacterias and chemicals. The same rule applies to fruit juices and salads as the raw vegetables are often not washed properly or washed in contaminated tap water.

Meat

If you want to taste the famous Tanzanian nyama choma, ask locals guide for the best places to try it. You want to be sure that the meat is fresh and properly cooked, as raw meat is prone to harmful bacteria.

Street food

Always ask your guide for recommendations on where to try the best Tanzania street food. Many street food stalls are a breeding ground for bacteria or use old reheated oil to cook the food.

Restaurants

Zanzibar Coffee House

Café, Zanzibar Town

The top spot in Zanzibar for a serious cup of genuine East African Rift Valley coffee is undoubtedly this charming cafe. Alongside espressos and cappuccinos are milkshakes, crêpes, salads, sandwiches and toasted bruschetta. Tours of the roasting area can be arranged. Upstairs are eight guestrooms, decorated in traditional Zanzibar style.

This establishment is affiliated with Utengule Coffee Estate in Mbeya on the mainland, from where much of the coffee is sourced. If you want a souvenir, decorated packs of beans and ground coffee are for sale; if you just want good coffee, the same stuff is sold in plain packs for a lower price.

The Rock

Seafood, Michamvi Peninsula, Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar’s most photogenic restaurant is perched on a coral outcrop in a stunning location surrounded by sea. At low tide you can walk to it; at other times (maybe after a long lunch) boats are provided. Of course, you’re paying for the location, but the food is good and unsurprisingly includes prawns, lobster, crab, fish and other seafood.

The Rock is just off Kijiweni beach, opposite Upendo (villas and restaurant) about halfway between Michamvi and Bwejuu. Reservations recommended.

Best Festivals in Tanzania

It should come as absolutely no surprise that one of the largest East African nations is also among its most diverse. With that said, there are a plethora of fascinating festivals across Tanzania to really highlight its cultural prowess. No matter where your interests lie, there are plenty of memorable moments to be had throughout the year in this fine country.

Unification Day

Often referred to simply as Union Day, one of Tanzania’s biggest national festivals is also one of its most important for the local people. Honouring the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika on 26 April 1964, cities across Tanzania bustle with patriotic vigour every year. In waving flags and partaking in cultural performances, the local people are truly following the mantra that in unity, there is strength.

Mwaka Kogwa Festival

There are an abundance of reasons to visit Zanzibar, and the Mwaka Kogwa Festival in July/August deserves a place on that list. Commemorating the Shirazi heritage of the first non-Africans to settle there, there are a number of associated rituals to welcome in the Persian New Year. Village men settle arguments by battling one another with banana stalks, while the women sing and dance. A straw hut is then set on fire. These activities are all symbolic, and serve to expel any acrimonious feelings from the year before, and encourage positivity for the one ahead.

Zanzibar International Film Festivals

As the largest festival of its kind in East Africa, Zanzibar International Film Festival proudly showcases global cult films alongside the most promising African art films. The works of the African diaspora are particularly celebrated, with the hope of then promoting them across the continent. Each year has a different theme, and it is certainly worth a visit by fans of the cinematic arts.

Sauti za Busara

In Swahili, Sauti za Busara means “sound of wisdom”. This annual festival is held in Zanzibar over the course of four days, and shines a spotlight on the rich diversity of African and Swahili music. It is an absolute must to participate in the parades and carnivals whilst appreciating the sheer brilliance of the beats – joined by thousands of others from around the world.

Serengeti Cultural Festival

Join a global congregation for this annual event held at the iconic Serengeti National Park. Behold the sights of a traditional art and dance festival, adding yet another dimension to one of the world’s most fascinating natural wonders at perhaps its most glorious time – that of the annual wildebeest migration. The festival takes place in July.

Bagamoyo Arts Festival

The month of October is a particularly exciting time to visit Tanzania‘s arts capital, Bagamoyo. Whether observation or participation is your preferred method of immersion, there are a multitude of activities to get involved with at Bagamoyo Arts Festival. Witness everything from poetry readings to acrobatics and show respect to the craftspeople, sculptors, thespians, and general artists currently enriching the fabric of the communities all over East Africa.

Nyama Chomo Festival

The people of Tanzania are akin to people everywhere else in the world when it comes to their love of food. Barbecue fans ought to rejoice in the month of March at this Arusha-based event, which literally translates from Swahili to the “roasted meat” festival. Here you will enjoy a spectacular array of grilled meats and recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival

For those who are never happier than when they are at the waterfront, this jubilant festival celebrating the beach life of the region will be much appreciated. Each year sports play an integral role in the festivities, and there are tournaments in beach football, rugby, and volleyball. For something that’s perhaps more unique to the area, there are goat races to be enjoyed as well. If you’re less sports-inclined, there are also a host of other activities to keep you entertained, such as competitions and yoga. The action slows its pace with live music and food stalls.

Kilimanjaro Marathon

A marathon may not be everybody’s idea of a festival, but every March at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, amateur runners from around the world flock to compete during one of the coolest months. There is a full marathon, a half marathon, and even a wheelchair marathon to promote inclusion, too. Since there are no professional athletes participating, it is easy for one to get involved.

Shopping

Cultural Arts Centre Zanzibar

Art, Zanzibar Town

Organised by the dedicated Hamad and other local artists, with an emphasis on quality and distinctiveness, this arts centre and shop provide a refreshing change from the wooden animals and tinga-tinga art found elsewhere in Stone Town. On sale are stunning paintings in traditional and contemporary styles, plus jewellery, candles, soaps and craftware items, mostly made by local cooperatives around Zanzibar.

Courses in soap-making, painting, screen-printing and so on (from around TSh25,000, three to four hours – book in advance) are available here and at the connected Cultural Arts Gallery in the Old Fort.

Maasai Honey

Food, Northern Tanzania

This wonderful community-run concern has taken the local tradition of bee-keeping and transformed it into an income-generating project. It’s been so successful that you may have seen its honey on your breakfast table at one of the Serengeti’s lodges. In addition to honey (expect to pay around TSh12,000 for a 500g jar), it sells lip balm, soap and candles.

Schwari

Arts & Craft, Arusha

Schwari is an internationally recognized design house specializing in clothing, accessories, shoes, and home decor — inspired by traditional Maasai beading and the vibrant fabrics of Africa. Their products may be also found in luxury boutiques across Tanzania. All creations are ethically produced in Arusha.

Shanga

Arts & Craft, Arusha

What started as a small enterprise making beaded necklaces has branched into furniture, paper, clothing and many other products, mostly using recycled materials and made by workers with disabilities. The products are sold around the world, and a visit to the workshop and store, based at Arusha Coffee Lodge, is quite inspiring.

Nightlife

Fig & Olive

Bar, Arusha

On the terrace of the large Cultural Heritage complex on Arusha’s western outskirts, Fig & Olive has a Thursday cocktail night, and mellow live jazz and soul at 2pm on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Union Café

Café, Moshi

The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union, representing tens of thousands of coffee smallholders, runs this stylish shop. Although it also serves good pizzas, pastas and burgers (meals Tsh8000 to Tsh18,000), it’s all about the coffee – the cooperative’s own beans are roasted on-site. It also has a generator, reliable wi-fi and an atmosphere that’s trendy but carries echoes of colonial Africa.

Livingstone Beach Restaurant

Bar, Zanzibar Town

This worn but popular place in the old British consulate building has seating inside and outside on a deck under trees directly on the beach. Food is available lunchtime and evening, but mainly this is the place to come for drinks, especially at sunset or after dark when the setting is delightful by candlelight. There’s often live music too.

Flames

Club, Mwanza

The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union, representing tens of thousands of coffee smallholders, runs this stylish shop. Although it also serves good pizzas, pastas and burgers (meals Tsh8000 to Tsh18,000), it’s all about the coffee – the cooperative’s own beans are roasted on-site. It also has a generator, reliable wi-fi and an atmosphere that’s trendy but carries echoes of colonial Africa.

Practical Advice

Tipping

  • Restaurants: Tipping is generally not practised in small local establishments, especially in rural areas. In major towns and in places frequented by tourists, tips are expected. Some top-end places include a service charge in the bill. Usually, however, either rounding up the bill or adding about 10% to 15% is standard practice.
  • Safaris and Treks: On treks and safaris, it’s common practice to tip drivers, guides, porters and other staff.
  • Taxis: Tipping is not common practice, except for longer (full-day or multiday) rentals.

Tips for staying well in Tanzania

Here are a few quick tips to help you avoid getting sick in Tanzania:

Always wash your hands and use hand sanitiser too – before and after eating, using the bathroom, and after handling money. And keep your hands away from your face!
Only eat at popular food locations in Tanzania and ask locals for the best recommendations.
Wipe down plates, cups and cutlery with antibacterial wipes before using them.
Use your own stainless steel straw or bring your own travel cutlery that you can sanitise after each use.
Try to ease into eating food in Tanzania, as it can take a while to get used to the heavy spices.

Where to get more Information about Tanzania?

Tanzania Tourist Board

Tanzania Tourist Board welcomes you to Tanzania’s official destination portal, with everything you need to know about this beautiful country in one easy location.

You will find links to specific locations, travel advice, historical and cultural background on this diverse country. Looking for the best dive sites on the Swahili Coast? Want to find out more about trekking trips through the Ngorongoro Highlands? You’ve come to the right place. As they say in Swahili, karibu sana, and enjoy!

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1 Comment

  1. Hi everyone my name is Loveness im 33 years old From Tanzania living in Dar es Salaam City owner of Tour company With experience over 20 years is Andrea Loveness Tours your Partner for Safari’s in Tanzania

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