Tanzanian Food Culture

This world is a place filled with Beings which, like machines, run on fuel. Yes, this Fuel is Food, the essential ingredient needed in the survival of every living being on this planet. 

Cultures around the globe vary as we move across continents, and Food, which is an intrinsic part of every culture also changes as we switch through places and continents. Every culture has its unique dish or recipe which they are proud of, and treat it as an essential element and a characteristic of their tribe, be it urban or rural.


Speaking of tribes, Tanzania, in Africa, is an interesting amalgamation of urban living in the commercial towns of Arusha, and tribal living in the north-central regions surrounding Lake Eyasi, such as the Hadza tribe, who still survive by hunting for their food. Tanzania’s food culture has been inspired by Indian and the Middle Eastern regions and it shows when we wander around trying some street food in the lanes of Dar Es Salaam, which is famous for its street food and mshikaki (Marinated meat). This type of street food in a street setting will be a constant companion throughout our journey in this Country of ‘Natural wonders’.

Folks from India & the Middle East will surely ‘feel like home’, as this setting is quite similar to the one in their country and fast food such as Samosa and Pani Puri can be found in the local restaurants and street vendors. As expected from a region where human life originated for the first time, Africa has a lot of meat, beef and chicken to cook. 

Though we can surely suggest some vegetarian options in Tanzania, generally speaking, this place is a paradise for meat lovers. Fresh fish grilled to perfection, along with some chicken coconut rice is bound to leave us speechless, for its taste and unique flavours. Not only that, but Nyama Choma (grilled meat) and grilled fish is also available, filled with spices and cooked to perfection for us to try and drool over. All in all, Tanzania is a land of grilled meat and curry.

The Traditional

Rice is the staple food throughout Tanzania and Ugali is the National Dish. Ugali is a dough, similar to mashed potatoes and is made of cornmeal. It is served along with a sauce made of fish, beans or veggies. It’s easy to cook and is an affordable option. Talking about affordable options, most of the local restaurants and food joints around the country serve delicious food at affordable prices, thereby reducing the pressure on the wallet. We can fill our stomachs to the fullest and still have money left to get some drinks along with it. Tea is quite popular in Tanzania. A sugary cup of tea, along with Chipsi Mayai (Omelette and chips) is the perfect option for evening snacks or Breakfast.

The Fast Food

Fast food service isn’t prominent in the country, and hence local restaurants and home-cooked food is the preferred choice for the natives. The unique food culture in the country can also be attributed to the diverse demographics of mountains, wildlife, and beaches found in the country. Though meat and chicken are highly popular throughout the country, exotic fish dishes such as octopus curry can be found in the beaches across Zanzibar. Not only seafood but Pizzas in Zanzibar are also famous for its unique taste and a bucket-list-worthy for every pizza lover.

Tourists looking for vegetarian options have to rely mainly on snacks like Maandozi, a greasy chewy doughnut and fresh fruits which are in abundance throughout Tanzania. Since meat is such an ethnic part of the African Culture, Natives surely will act surprised when you reveal that you are a vegetarian; yet another funny take on our perceptions of preferred food choices for us, which is still debatable.

Food served in a culture depicts its very roots, and Tanzania in that regard is blessed with a lifestyle deeply rooted in the simplicity of living and appreciating whatever they receive

Food During Your Tanzania Safari Adventure

Most of you folks may be curious as to what kind of cuisine are you going to be served during your Safari cruise. 

Well, if your safari is in the Northern Circuit, which in most cases it is, you will have several European buffet options including mashed potatoes, grilled chicken, Sausages & hard-boiled eggs. 

Immediately prior to the Safari, the lunch boxes that you will be handed over are prepared keeping nourishment in mind since you will need all the energy you need during an exhilarating Safari Adventure. Speak to our Safari Designer in the chatbox or speak to our executive at the time of booking if you have any meal-related instructions in advance.    

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