With more than 120 ethnic groups in 31 regions, Swahili is the lingua-franca of Tanzania, a country which takes immense pride in its food and cultural traditions.
Tanzania runs on
Union Cafe in Moshi serves up fresh coffee grown by the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union, a collective of small-share farmers. Coffee curious? Book a walking tour through Chagga country, on the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro with Kahawa Shambani Coffee Tours, and learn about coffee production from seed to simmer.
Follow your nose to the so-called spice islands of Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of mainland Tanzania. An array of alluring spices and herbs, appreciated for their culinary and medicinal value, awaits. Take an intoxicating walk through Kidichi Spice Farms and wander through the ruins of the nearby royal Persian Baths, which date back to the 1850s.
Dig your hand into a steamy heap of ugali (cornflour) before dipping it into
Eating the ubiquitous staple, that keeps East African bellies full, feels like a warm hug.
Tanzanians fiercely debate the best
In October, the Stone Town Food Festival, in Zanzibar’s UNESCO World Heritage city, features the best of Swahili coastal food in a celebration of food and culture.
While in the islands, don’t miss culinary classics including
Tanzania is home to many festivals to stir the soul.
In Zanzibar, there are many festivals including Sauti za Busara (Voices of Wisdom) which bring thousands of visitors to Stone Town every February for four days of live African music. In July, the Zanzibar International Film Festival screens compelling films and holds workshops celebrating African filmmakers.
July's Mwaka Kogwa (Year’s Cleanse), is a traditional Persian new year celebration held in the rural village of Makunduchi, Zanzibar. With communal ritual battles and a hut-burning, this festival dates back to Shirazi settlers who arrived on Zanzibar’s shores in the 10th century.
On the mainland, head to Bagamoyo, home of the Bagamoyo Arts and Culture Institute, an hour north of Dar es Salaam. Soulful Bagamoyo hosts the Bagamoyo Festival of Arts and Culture every September, and the Karibu Music Festival held every November.
In Dar es Salaam, the Nafasi Art Space hosts
Beyond Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania has incredible, lesser-known hiking and trekking possibilities, that are all worth strapping your boots on for.
Nomad Jo discovers how we can take the first step in helping be part of the solution, and how we can reduce our travel footprint.