5 Things You Won’t Expect on Tanzania Tour Packages
Tanzania is one of the most popular countries in Africa and the world. It’s synonymous with Mount Kilimanjaro, the Zanzibar trade routes, and the majestic Serengeti. Every month, thousands flock to this African country to explore its national parks, archaeological sites, and of course, the warm Swahili culture.
However, the country never fails to amaze or surprise visitors. At Afrikan Adventure, we offer the best Tanzania tour packages. Every nature-loving traveller who comes with us leaves with a bag full of memorable surprises. We’ve had plenty of breathtaking adventures in Africa since 2016. But, these subtle aspects of Tanzanian culture never fail to surprise us –
1. Have Porridge for Breakfast
You’d expect to have porridge for breakfast in England or Scotland, not Tanzania, right? Well, porridge is surprisingly the national food in Tanzania. Tanzanian porridge is made with millet and sorghum flour. It’s called ‘Ugali’, and it’s slightly harder than regular porridge. You’ll have to break off chunks of Ugali, dip it in soup or stew (e.g., Nyama Choma), and pop it in your mouth.
Getting used to Ugali is an odd experience. But, this modest national dish is strangely addictive. It’s filling and flavourful – the ideal pre-trek food item. Here are some other Tanzanian delicacies we highly recommend –
- Chipsi Mayai (Swahili for chips and eggs)
- Nyama Choma, smoky grilled goat meat
- Mshikaki, marinated meat barbecued on coal
- Zanzibar pizzas, crispy, oversized dumpling-like pizzas found exclusively in Tanzania
If you’re on a Tanzania explorer safari, never refrain from trying new dishes. Tanzanian food is fresh, safe, and delightful. But, if you’re used to sniffing in the delicious aroma of your meals before eating, avoid it in Tanzania. Sniffing food is a cultural faux pas in Tanzania as it indicates disgust, suspicion, and distaste.
2. Hear the Zimbabwean and South African National Anthems
Why will you hear the national anthems of South Africa and Zimbabwe in Tanzania? Because they all have the same national anthems! The countries share the anthem called “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”, which roughly translates to “Lord Bless Africa.”
This pan-African liberation song has been translated into various languages, including Swahili (the official language of Tanzania). The Swahili version of the song is called “Mungu Ibariki Afrika.” You can hear “Mungu Ibariki Afrika” sung in Tanzanian and South African schools.
3. Get Called ‘Mzungu’
If a Tanzanian native refers to you as “Mzungu,” don’t be alarmed. It’s the Swahili word for “explorer.” Many travellers who trek around the country are called this word. It’s a term of endearment. India is on Tanzania’s green list for foreign travellers. So, if you visit Tanzania any time soon and get called “Mzungu,” take it as a positive note.
However, maintain social distancing guidelines, especially with villagers or tribal people. Also, avoid shaking hands with Tanzanian people with your left hand. In Tanzanian culture, the left hand is considered impure as it’s only used during bathroom activities. Only extend your right hand for handshakes when in Tanzania.
4. Relax in the World’s Largest Inactive Volcano
Talking about safari, Tanzania is impossible without mentioning the Ngorongoro Crater. Famously known as the ‘African Garden of Eden,’ this site in northeast Tanzania is the world’s largest inactive volcano. This unfilled and intact Crater is the biggest extinct caldera you’ll ever see.
- The Crater was formed over 2.5 million years ago when a volcano (probably as big as Mount Kilimanjaro) erupted and then warped on itself.
- 2.5 million years later, the caldera is home to rhinos, leopards, gazelles, gnus, black rhinos, zebras, and a variety of Savannah wildlife.
- No part of the 20 km wide crater wall has been ruptured by natural causes in the last 2.5 million years.
- This unfilled Crater is 2000 feet deep. So, during the rainy season, the short grass plains hide most of the wildlife. That’s why the dry months (March to June) are the best for visitors.
We can take you trekking up the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands. This region of Tanzania has the highest density of fauna in Africa.
5. Meet the Kindest Natives
Tanzania is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. There are over four million wild animals in this African country. It’s home to most large African mammals – from elephants to wildebeest to lions. However, when you leave Tanzania – the animals won’t be the first thing you remember. The first thing you’ll remember about Tanzania is the people.
Tanzanian people are extremely kind and patient with visitors, no matter from which part of the world you come from. As long as you observe the norms of Tanzanian culture, you’ll be treated like age-old friends by the natives.
Maintain basic courtesies like – dressing modestly, tipping locals (especially the Maasai people) after taking their pictures, and being kind. Afrikan Adventure runs a number of treks and safaris in Tanzania. We’re elated at the prospect of helping you explore this magical and surprising country.