Tanzania Culture

Tanzania Culture

Tanzania is well-known for being a premier safari destination in Africa and attracts travellers from across the globe annually. Alongside the wealth of wildlife and breath-taking landscapes, the country is rich with culture.

Tanzania with over 120 different tribes is home to some of the most incredible tribal diversity in Africa. One of the most recognized tribe is the Maasai Tribe, they inhabit the northern regions of the country. They are known for their distinctive red shuka, memorable jumping dance, colourful beads and warrior nature.

The local residents are friendly and polite to visitors, and there is a strong sense of national pride that reverberates throughout the country.


The official language of Tanzania is Swahili and English. However, Swahili is the national language. Apart from these 128 more languages are spoken in Tanzania.

Social Etiquettes

Handshaking and saying “jambo” is most of the greetings in Tanzania.

Tanzanians eat food with their right hand only, so guests are expected to do the same when partaking in a meal, especially of the more traditional variety. According to cultural belief views the right hand as clean, and therefore appropriate for picking up food and greeting people

In Tanzania, it is believed that elders possess greater knowledge due to their many years of living, and they should be treated with the greatest respect.

Smelling food is a no-no

In West, smelling in the aroma of a meal before eating is a part of the gratification. However, in Tanzania sniffing food is viewed with suspicion and a sign of distaste. Cultural beliefs dictate that food is only smelled when there is something wrong with it, or it is considered to be rotten.


40-45% of the population is Christian in Tanzania. While 35-40% is Muslim and most of the Muslim population live on the coast and on the islands. Sikhism and Hinduism also have minority followings while some members of the population still follow traditional beliefs and customs.

Request before you take a photo

Most of Tanzanians are quite happy with visitors taking their photos, and will often encourage you to do so as they show off their traditional garb and way of life. As a rule of thumb though, it is best to take permission before taking their photos..