Local culture in Tanzania

Read our quick guide to Tanzania before your trip so you can appreciate this unique country even more!

Local Culture


Read Paul Theroux’s rich and insightful Dark star safari which covers his epic journey from Cairo to Cape Town.

In The Gunny Sack, Tanzanian author MG Vassanji explores the country’s rich ethnic mix through several generations of an immigrant Indian family.

Into Africa – The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard is an adventurous and fast-reading account focused around the life and times of the famous explorer and missionary.


Tanzania’s national dish is known as ugali, a doughy mixture made from cornmeal, cassava flour, millet, or sorghum. Ugali is often served with a combination of vegetables, beans, or a thin meat sauce. Tanzanians also love their grilled meat (nyama choma) if they can afford it, usually goat or beef, and can it be found all over the country.

Try some coastal Tanzanian cuisine, where dishes tend to be are a combination of Arab or Indian original tastes with an African twist. Zanzibar style biryani rice (spiced rice) worth trying, and dishes that use coconut milk and curry sauce are also popular.

The tropical climate also means you’ll be spoiled for choice if you love exotic fruit. Don’t miss the glorious pineapples, mangoes, avocados, jackfruit, and bananas.


Watch the spectacular IMAX documentary Kilmanjaro - To the Roof of Africa by David Breashears.


Let the experienced local guides take you out on a boat safari to discover what secrets lie under the waters of the Rufijj River in the Selous Game Reserve.

Explore the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater on a 4x4 tour, spend the night under the stars at a luxury tented camp, and explore the Serengeti Plains on horseback.


Listen to Taarab, a form of local music that is a mix of sounds and styles from India, Arabia, and Africa. Taarab shows are as much about audience participation as they are about music.


Celebrate Sauti za Busara in Stone Town, which means "songs of wisdom" in Kiswahili. This annual festival of Swahili music attracts the best musicians and performers from all over East Africa, as well as visiting groups from West Africa.

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