Native Customs and Traditions in Tanzania

June 18, 2020

Tanzania is a sprawling expanse of wonderful wilderness, teeming with game dominated by the visage of Mt. Kilimanjaro herself. Learn the customs and traditions of this nature lover’s heaven to make the most of your time in Tanzania.

At Nature Tours in Africa LLC, we give visitors an authentic glimpse into the real Tanzania, with local guides and off-the-beaten-path tours that you will never forget. From the pristine beaches of Zanzibar to the zebra-spotted plains of the Serengeti Park, we take you inside the beating heart of this beautiful African country with unique tours and inspired safaris.

Although you can certainly count on us to tend to all your accommodation, dining, and transportation needs, there are a few etiquette guidelines that you should brush up on before booking your flight. By following the tips outlined here, you can make the most of your time while ensuring that your local hosts are comfortable and appreciated.

Do you want to delve deep into Tanzanian traditions and customs? Our 6 Day, 5 Night Cultural Tourism for Ngiresi, Marangu, Babati, Mbulu, and Mkulu tour is a comprehensive and fascinating way to immerse yourself with a local safari guide.

Keep Your Temper in Check

There are many places where losing your cool in public is seen as bad manners. Tanzania is one of them. Most Tanzanians won’t let you see their stormy side, and you should follow suit as a guest in their country.

Not only is losing your temper seen as exceptionally rude, but it’s also considered highly unprofessional. Do yourself a favor: if you feel like you’re about to blow a gasket, step away from the situation and take a few deep breaths. Come back with a cooler head and a calmer demeanor. Trust us—you’ll get a lot further that way!

Show Respect to Everyone

Tanzanians pride themselves in showing respect to everyone, and that means approaching each person at a function or gathering with a smile, greeting, and a handshake. Take your time and make sure that every individual present truly feels the connection.

It’s also not uncommon for Tanzanians to hold hands throughout conversations, so resist the urge to pull away. It could come across as rude. Remember, you’re not in your home country.

Elders are highly respected in Tanzanian culture, as are professional titles. Err on the safe side by always using titles or more formal language when speaking to people, especially if they are older than you. When in doubt, pay attention to what others are doing and mirror them.

Remember to show genuine respect to your Tanzanian hosts while you are visiting.

Practice Modesty

Although Tanzania can get quite hot, you should leave your revealing clothing at home. Modesty is the key to dressing for success in Tanzania, and you run the risk of looking disrespectful to your local hosts if you show too much skin.

Remember, many Tanzanians follow Christian and Muslim traditions, and they value the importance of covering up. There are plenty of cute and cool fabrics that you can wear. Check out our post on the best things to pack for a safari or tour of Tanzania.

Family-Sized Meals for All to Enjoy

In Tanzania, you never have to worry about leaving a meal hungry at special events and occasions. Cooks prepare family-sized platters as it is considered shameful if guests leave hungry.

Tanzanians also eat as a family your right hand is clean, and your left hand is dirty. When invited to share a communal dinner with Tanzanians, use your right hand to eat. Don’t be surprised if you find that you have a whole platter to yourself if you accidentally scoop up mshikaki with your left hand!

When greeting others, always use your right hand. This change might take a little getting used to, and most Tanzanians will allow you a slight learning curve, but it is an important one to remember. Our seasoned local guides will certainly be able to show you the ropes.

In Tanzania, family sized meals are prepared for special occasions and events.

Avoid PDA

PDA, or public displays of affection, are not acceptable in Tanzania. Even holding hands is frowned upon in some regions of the country. When in doubt, save it for behind closed doors.

It’s better to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring natural wonder that abounds in every corner of Tanzania than to distract yourself with cuddling in public—we can say with certainty that you don’t want to miss a minute of your safari adventure!

Learn From Real Local Safari Guides

The best way to fully verse yourself in the native customs of Tanzania is to learn from the best source: local guides. At Nature Tours in Africa LLC, our guides are skilled and ready to help you navigate Tanzania’s tricky cultural terrain.

We’re excited to take you into the fascinating world of real Tanzania with our 6 Day, 5 Night Cultural Tourism For Ngiresi, Marangu, Babati, Mbulu, and Mkulu tour.

Tanzania and all her fabulous customs and traditions await! Contact us to book your adventure today.

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