The Tanzanian Cuisines – setting new Landmarks!

What makes the food of Tanzaniastand out is the mixed cultural heritage that it offers. Tanzanian Cuisines that are the basis of the common heritage that this land shares with other cultures attract thousands of food bloggers, travel enthusiasts, cultural travellers and tourists every year. The Tanzania Safari Tours are incomplete without tasting significant taste of the yummy cuisines of this East African country.

As you travel to this indigenous land of native Africans you will seep in into its diversity and uniqueness and dive deep into its history.

When in Tanzania you must try these!

The most important Tanzania Cuisine is the staple food of the country. It is called Ugali. This Tanzanian Dishes can be served in Breakfast, lunch or dinner and it is the personal favourite of the local people here. The dish is prepared by rolling a tiny bit of smooth and substantial cornmeal paste until it forms into a ball. This dish is consumed by dipping it into various stews and sauces.

Mchicha is another delicious Tanzanian vegetarian dish.

It is prepared with leafy vegetables such as amaranth or spinach and grated coconut, coconut milk, peanut butter, tomatoes, and onions are later added to it.

The most popular Tanzania food is that served on the local streets called Mshkaki. This mouth watering dish is prepared with skewered pieces of marinated meat such as beef, goat, or mutton that is slowly cooked over hot coals.

Some other Best Food in Tanzania -Mandazi (popular in Tanzania, Kenya Uganda), Mchemsho (trending in Northern Tanzania), Ndizinanyama(made using plantains or bananas -ndizi and meat -nyama as the main ingredients), Zanzibar Pizza and Chipsimayai or chips and eggs (staple of Tanzanian street food).

Where do the Tanzanian Cuisines find their Origin?

Interestingly there are more than 120 ethnic groups of Asian and European origins that live in Tanzania's mainland and coastline. The Tanzanian Cuisine finds its diversity in the cultural tastes of these different ethnic groups. The Tanzania Food Recipes have originated from various different contributors like:

  • The Muslims who had set up a trade route in Tanzania and travelled to and fro from the country in 800 A.D.

The Islamic taste of cuisines is present in the islands of Zanzibar and the coastlines of Tanzania.

  • The Portuguese contributed in introducing the cassava, which is a root containing a large amount of starch, and the groundnuts.

  • The British are responsible for the presence of tea plantations in Tanzania.

  • The Germans established coffee plantations.

Quick Facts about the Tanzanian Cuisine

  • The Tanzanian diet is high on starch and meat is not eaten widely. A traditional Tanzanian lunch or dinner starts with a soup course.

  • NyamaChoma, a popular grilled chicken or beef dish, is served alongside classic Tanzanian dishes such as Mbaazi Nazi (pigeon peas in a thick, rich coconut sauce), Ugali, the national food (a cornmeal staple not unlike polenta),Chapati (a simple grilled flatbread), and Kachumbari (mixed salad).

  • Another of the Tanzanian safari favourites is Sukuma wiki meaning stretch the week in Swahili. A very common dish in East Africa it is easy, nutritious and delicious, it is a way of stretching out kitchen resources. Sukuma wiki is typically served with ugali and sometimes also roasted meat or fish. It would also be great served over rice, couscous or whole grains.

The coastal cuisine is spicy compared to the mainland, thanks to its strategic location on the trade routes.

  • Pilau (wild rice/ mixed rice), Bagia, Biryani, kabab, Kashata(coconut or groundnuts rolls), Sambusa(Samosa) are widely consumed in the coastal regions. Wali Na Maharage a rice dish served with vegetables, fish or meat, Sorpotel, a tasty meat dish,Zanzibar pizza, cassava roasted over charcoal, a large variety of fresh fruits besides the incredible choice of seafood, like Tuna and succulent Mchuziwapweza (Octopus Curry) make the cuisines a delightful experience.

  • Desserts are always fruit based and flavoured with coconut and honey .Kaimati, dough fritters coated in warm honey syrup is a mouthful of heaven, to say the least.

The Basis of the Tanzanian Cuisine

What makes the Tanzania Traditional Cuisine so delicious and nutritious is the usage of starches such as millet, beans, cornmeal, sorghum, and pilaf within almost every dish.

Apart from this these dishes have three main ingredients:

  • Coconut and its derivatives.

  • Beans.

  • Every Tanzania Diet meal consists of these above key components. Also the groundnuts are used as spices to add some flavours to the dishes. A typical Tanzanian meal consists of the following:

  • Breakfast: Some important breakfast dishes are - Chappati, Flabread or Mandazi, fried dough served with tea.

  • Lunch: The lunch usually consists of Ugali or rice with beans, vegetables such as Mchicha, which are a variety of spinaches and chapatti bread. The lunch is the biggest meal of the day and is consumed around 1:00pm.

  • Dinner: The supper is very identical to the lunch but in addition to it the meat dishes are well-liked in this meal.

Beverage: The favourite beverage of Tanzania is Chai.

Yearning to taste these diverse Tanzanian cuisines?

The Tanzanian spread of cuisines is an eclectic mix of flavours textures and food influences that cause an explosion of tastes in your mouth

Infused with best influences of Arabic, Portuguese, Indian, European culinary cultures, and Tanzanian plate is an assortment of indigenous produce colliding with eastern spices to make a delicious meal. If you desire to know more about these luscious dishes of the safaris in Tanzania you can contact our safari experts or read from our very informative Tanzania Safari Faq's page. Our well trained travel guides make the safari vacations of all our clients unforgettable and valuable. They also provide various helpful Tanzania Safari Tips to make the travel of all our clients risk and hassle free.

You shouldn't miss the opportunity to taste the appetizing and mouth-watering dishes of Tanzania. Lifetime Safaris make provide customised and unique Tanzania Safari Tours and plans that suit your needs. Call us now and book your travel safari packages today!

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Lifetime Safaris Guide

Lifetime Safaris is not only about organizing your Tanzania Safari Tours, we also aim to be a positive force in the development of our local society here in Tanzania! Sustainable traveling and tourism is one of the guidelines for Lifetime Safaris. All our arrangement is put together with the concern of the local environment and with a respect for the wildlife and the people living around the areas that we visit.

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Tanzania Safari Frequently Asked questions

Lifetime Safaris Practical Guide To Planning A Trip To Tanzania

  • 1
    Can I make my own itinerary?

    Yes! You can definitely plan your own personalised travel itinerary with Lifetime Safaris. We provide private Tanzania Safari Tours which are customised according to your needs. For planning a perfect Tanzania Safari itinerary, you can speak to our Travel experts who will guide you about the destinations of your choice. We also take utmost care of the safety, hygiene of our clients. The Food will be of your choice requested as per your recommendations during the time of safari bookings.

  • 2
    Can I take my children on safari?

    Yes you can surely bring your children on Safari. But you must be aware of the minimum age restrictions at various national parks and lodges which is about 4 and 12 years of age. As all safari activities are not open to children, you must check with our travel exerts regarding the age criteria at the different destinations planned in your itinerary.

  • 3
    Will I stay in tents or lodges?

    Whether you stay at tents or lodges depends on the type of packages you have purchased like luxury safaris, budget safaris or a standard Tanzania Safari where we will bring our own tents, camping, a cook to prepare your meals, food and other cooking equipments.

    You can choose to upgrade your accommodation, to enjoy a more comfortable and luxurious experience as well.

  • 4
    What size are your safari groups?

    In a safari group in Tanzania we take anywhere around 4-6 people in our vehicle depending on the type of safari you have chosen. In group tours six people are taken at max. While for a private tour less than three guests will accompany in the safari vehicle.

  • 5
    What Kind of vehicles do you use?

    The safari vehicle provided by Lifetime Safari is a 4×4 safari vehicle. Mostly we accommodate around six guests in throw rows of seating in our closed safari vehicles which has a pop-top roof hatch that will allow you to view wildlife Form a height. These safari vehicles can also be minibuses or 4X4 Land Cruisers or 4X4 Land Rovers.

  • 6
    I am interested in a Tanzania safari… What is my next step?

    It's a great choice to choose Tanzania safari as your next travel or vacation destination. As you have already made up your mind for visiting this spectacular country, we suggest you to call our Lifetime Safaris travel experts to inquire about and book a suggested itinerary of your choice. You can accompany us in our group safari trips or even plan a personalised private Tanzania safari which offers flexible dates, location and safari durations. After selecting your package or travel itinerary you can proceed with booking the safari.

  • 7
    Will I have a chance to interact with local people of Tanzania?

    Tanzania for many years has been a home to thousands of native tribes and people of different origins, and culture. Tanzania is the home of 120 African ethnic groups and more than 26 million people live in this East African country. You will be amazed to encounter and closely interact with the Maasai people of Tanzania who will show you how to light a fire without any combustibles. Other lesser-known tribes like the Datoga and Chaga and their rich cultural tapestry can be explored in your Tanzania walking or cultural tours

  • 8
    What additional costs can I expect when traveling in Tanzania?

    In your Tanzania Safari Cost the following expenses are not included in your safari package:

    • Airport departure taxes

    • Travel Insurance

    • Excess baggage fees

    • International Flight Travel expenses

    • Tanzania Visa or passport costs

    • Medical expenses, meals or activities included in the safari package (up gradation of stay or additional activities included after travel bookings)

    • Tips to drivers/guides/tour leaders

  • 9
    How far in advance should I book my safari?

    It is advisable to book your international flight tickets at least three months in advance if you do not wish to face problems getting seats on British Airways or KLM. If you are planning your trip in the peak season, it is advisable to book your safari to Tanzania at least nine months before.

  • 10
    Can I use a credit card to pay?

    Yes you can use credit cards to pay your bills however these are only accepted in big hotels or restaurants. However in other local markets only Tanzanian Shillings are accepted. There are ATM machines in Arusha, Dar and Zanzibar where you can get local currency with your Visa or MasterCard.

  • 11
    Should I bring some cash with me?

    Yes you can bring cash around in either Tanzania Shilling (TSh) or American dollars as cheques and cash are acceptable in many places here around town.

  • 12
    What will my means of transport be?

    Uber is the least expensive means of road transportation in the Tanzanian town as for 30-40 min ride they charge a minimum of $3.50. There is affordable public bus transportation in Tanzania called Dallas-Dallas, which can be difficult to navigate in town, as the bus stations don't have any name on it and you will have to ask around for directions. To go around the towns you can take the Rapid Transit System as well but these do not go into the peninsular areas.

  • 13
    What about Tanzania Safari Tips?

    Tanzania Safari Tipping is not compulsory but customary. Lifetime Safaris recommends you to tip moderately depending on the level of satisfaction you have received from the services.

    • Safari guide(s) US $10 per day;

    • Cook US $7,

    • Camp staff US $3 $5 per day.

  • 14
    Do I need a visa to enter Tanzania?

    To enter this marvellous country of diverse wildlife and unique culture, some countries like USA, Australia, UK, require a Tanzania Visa which cost around $50 US cash for non US citizens and $100 for US citizens. You can obtain this visa on arrival at the airport as well.

  • 15
    What Are The Entry Requirements?

    The various documents needed to enter Tanzania are listed below in the Tanzania Travel Requirements :

    • Passport valid for at least 6 months

    • Two Blank Passport pages

    • A Tourist Travel Visa for entry

    • Yellow fever vaccinations are required if travelling from a yellow fever endemic country. You can consult your physician for any other vaccine requirements.

    • Can I get a visa upon arrival?

  • 16
    Can I get a visa upon arrival?

    Yes you can purchase a Tanzanian Visa on arrival at the Airport upon entry by paying $50 after some document verifications (which is a 30 min procedure only). American citizens need to pay 100 US$, and get only a multiple entry Visa (since September 2007).

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