Plant-Based Eating in Tanzania + Tanzania Safari Tips


Learn all concerning the wealthy cultural meals traditions on this beautiful nation in Africa, the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from nature parks boasting wildlife on a Tanzania safari, in addition to scrumptious plant-based, vegan consuming in Tanzania.

Peter and me at sundown on safari in Tanzania
Zebra among the many iconic panorama of Tanzania—purple dust roads, golden savannah, brilliant blue sky, and puffy clouds

Jambo! (That’s hi there in Swahili.) I simply returned from a tremendous journey in Tanzania, the place I fell in love with the wildlife, in addition to the folks and meals of this East African nation. I’m giving my prime journey and plant-based consuming suggestions in the event you plan a visit to this lovely vacation spot. Tanzania is finest recognized for its 22 nationwide parks, the tallest mountain in Africa, world-renowned safari excursions, and an enormous distinctive tradition. The plain fact is that Tanzania affords unspoiled magnificence and experiences round each bend. I’ve been requested the questions: is Tanzania protected? I discovered it to be very protected, whether or not it was experiencing safari animals up shut, spending time in cities, or having fun with scrumptious meals. You simply have to take just a few precautions to get pleasure from your time safely and healthfully. 

Sunset in Tanzania, with elephants grazing within the background

Tanzania is a rustic in Eastern Africa, simply south of Kenya. The local weather is heat and humid as a result of its bordering of the Indian Ocean, but it surely adjustments relying on the situation, season, and microclimate. With its huge panorama encompassing plains, mountains, and savannas, Tanzania has breathtaking pure magnificence. You can discover elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos in elements of Tanzania, and far, rather more. 

I noticed the “Big Five” and a lot extra in Tanzania, together with lots of of elephants. 
Lots of lions have been noticed on safari, together with this pleasure of younger males in a tree. 

Background on Tanzania

To get just a bit background on Tanzania, mainland Tanganyika and the Zanzibar islands got here collectively in April 1964. Both entities had been underneath British management. Tanganyika gained independence in 1961, and the Zanzibar Islands gained independence simply earlier than forming Tanzania in January 1964. Today, most individuals in Tanzania communicate Swahili, the official language of Tanzania, and English as a result of previous British influences. The predominant faith in Tanzania is Islam or Christianity. Most Muslims who apply the Islamic religion in Tanzania apply the Sunni department of Islam.  

Produce on the market by native farmers close to Arusha, Tanzania

Traditional Foods of Tanzania

Because of that numerous rising local weather, you’ll find many generally grown crops in Tanzania embrace chickpeas, maize, wheat, rice, candy potatoes, bananas, beans, sorghum, and sugar cane. In addition, quite a lot of greens and fruits are cultivated, together with leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, squash, bananas, pineapple, mango, and papaya. Due to its proximity to lakes and the ocean, fish is often included in Tanzanian meals. Because of a lot meals cultivation, the folks in Tanzania are blessed with a very good provide of meals. 

Traditional Tanzanian meals served at Escarpment Luxury Lodge, Ngorogoro Crater 

Here is an inventory of plant-based meals Tanzanians generally devour.

  • Ugali: This dish is Tanzania’s nationwide dish. It is a bland bread steadily paired with stew, fish, meat, greens, or bean sauce. It is ready with cornmeal, cassava flour, sorghum, or millet. 
  • Wali wa nazi: a well-known rice dish cooked in coconut milk and water and seasoned with salt. It is often served with curries and stews. 
  • Wali na Maharage: Reserved for particular occasions reminiscent of holidays, weddings, and spiritual festivals, this dish is a combination of rice and beans. Traditional recipes recommend the beans get cooked first, then the beans and the rice are added to cook dinner collectively. Today’s model is usually made by cooking the rice and beans individually. The beans are mixed with numerous veggies reminiscent of carrots, onions, pepper, and spices. The rice and beans are served independently in trendy variations. 
  • Irio: This dish is Tanzania’s model of consolation meals. This dish is made with mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and inexperienced is derived from the Kikuyu tribe. 
  • Mchuzi wa Biringani: This is basically fried eggplant. To improve the flavour and shade, tomato, onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger are generally added. Coconut milk or yogurt is often added to make this meal right into a curry. 
  • Ndizi: Ndizi refers to plantains. Plantains develop exceedingly abundantly in Tanzania and are utilized in many various sorts of dishes, reminiscent of soups or fried plantains. 
  • Sukuma wiki: Sukuma, as it’s referred to as in Swahili, is often known as Colewort or collard greens. Collard greens are mixed with tomatoes, onions, and spices reminiscent of cumin, coriander, and saffron. This dish is served all yr lengthy and is very reasonably priced.
Meeting a Maasai chief in his village
We have been so comfortable to strive on native conventional Maasai garments throughout our go to. 

Maasai Traditions 

One of the massive teams that inhabit Northern Tanzania is the Maasai folks. The Maasai folks dwell a semi-nomadic life-style. Maasai life-style is centered round cattle and goats, their major supply of meals. The extra cattle and kids a person has, the wealthier he’s. The Maasai folks have traditionally struggled with fixed displacement from the federal government. In the early 1900s, the Maasai folks have been evicted from their lands in Kenya to make room for ranchers. In the Forties, the Maasai folks needed to go away their lands between Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to create a nationwide park. This downside persists right this moment. Maasai folks drastically recognize the earth and promote sustainability by their semi-nomadic existence. During occasions of drought, the Maasai folks drank cow’s milk and blood and eat livestock. I used to be lucky sufficient to go to a Maasai village and be taught extra about their life-style. Check out my Instagram video chatting with a Maasai chief right here.

At the Arusha Coffee Lodge, plant-based menu objects have been clearly marked on menus
Typical Tanzanian breakfast, together with beans, candy potatoes, chapati, and fruit.

Plant-Based Eating in Tanzania

I discovered it extraordinarily straightforward to eat a vegan eating regimen in Tanzania. I requested this upfront for my safari, and there have been vegan choices on every menu with none earlier request! There are numerous plant meals obtainable in Tanzania, which makes it straightforward to get pleasure from native dishes at each location. 

In the Landcruiser throughout our safari sport drives

Tanzania Safari Tips

You’ll need to go to the CDC web site to plan for a wholesome journey to Tanzania, together with getting your vaccines and recommendation about security and well being. I acquired all the crucial vaccines, packed alongside malaria drugs, an emergency antibiotic, anti-diarrheal, and anti-nausea medicine. You have to keep away from consuming any faucet water whereas in Tanzania—don’t even brush your enamel with faucet water, and maintain your mouth closed throughout showers. You additionally have to deliver alongside insect repellant, and be cautious about consuming meals from dependable foodservice operations that apply protected meals pointers. Be cautious of snakes (I by no means noticed any venomous snakes, however they exist), and keep away from confronting animals, reminiscent of baboons, elephants, zebras, and even feral canines and cats.  

My Tanzanian Safari

My safari was booked by Adventure Life and supplied by Albatross. Please notice that this weblog is just not sponsored in any approach; I’m offering my experiences with you as a public service with no profit to myself. Here’s a glimpse of my safari, together with the gorgeous, plant-based consuming experiences I loved. 

My pretty grilled salad at Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania 


Arusha, which is understood for its espresso manufacturing, is usually the assembly place to your first day of safari. It’s about 1 ½ hours from the JRO airport, and my lodge was on a beautiful espresso farm, with cottages dotting the realm. Monkeys performed within the timber, and you may get pleasure from a peaceable sojourn earlier than you begin your safari. The meals was scrumptious, together with many plant-based choices and South African wines. 

Rooms at Arusha Coffee Lodge
Shade grown espresso in Arusha
Lovely conventional plant-based meal on the Escarpment Lodge that includes meals grown from the chef’s personal backyard
There have been so many baboons at Lake Manyara 

Lake Manyara National Park & Escarpment Luxury Lodge Nogorogoro Crater 

Our first sport drive was to Lake Manyara, which was nice, shady, and crammed with rivers and many animals. We spied lions, elephants, buffalo, baboons, pythons, giraffes, and tons of gazelles of many types. The meals was particularly scrumptious on the lodge, because the chef has his personal vegetable backyard and prepares conventional meals, together with fermented greens, bean dishes, curries, and chapati. 

The sport drives embrace picnic lunches within the nationwide parks, and vegan choices are scrumptious, reminiscent of this corn chickpea salad with vegetable pastries. 
The views from our balcony at Escarpment Luxury Lodge Nogorogoro Crater
A pair of cheetahs in Serengeti

Serengeti, Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp

Our subsequent a part of the safari was two days in Serengeti with two nights on the pretty Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp, which is definitely positioned within the Serengeti. You can hear lions roaring at evening, and hearken to the nice migration behind your luxurious tent! 

Our lovely lodging at Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp
Breakfast with freshly baked breads, native brewed espresso, and native fruit unfold—simply the primary course of breakfast thoughts you! 
Lion consuming from mud puddle in Serengeti 
Great migration of zebra and wildebeest in Serengeti
A beautiful hearth dinner within the bush at Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp
The lovely tent lodge at Lemala Ngorogoro Tented Camp

Ngorogoro Crater National Park, Lemala Ngorogoro Tented Camp 

Next, we visited Ngorogoro Crater National Park and stayed at Lemala Ngorogoro Tented Camp. We noticed so many animals: lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, baboons, hippos, cheetah, flamingos, rhinos, and rather more. The meals was very scrumptious, with numerous plant-based choices, together with breads, fruits, bean dishes, soups, salads, and curry dishes. 

So many giraffes!
Buffalo in Ngorgoro Crater
Always lovely native fruits right here
Drink made from baobab, as we stayed in a baobab treetop lodge

Tarangire National Park, Elewana Tarangire Treetops

Our final day of safari was at Tarangire National Park. We noticed so many animals, together with tons of elephants, lions, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, and extra. The meals was simply scrumptious on the lodge, with fritters, root chips, potato salad, and my favourite breakfast—beans with complete grain bread, mushrooms, and fruit. Oh, and occasional. 

Delicious snacks by the pool with elephants within the background
Breakfast on the Elewana Tarangire Treetops lodge
Lions at Tarangire 

After Tarangire, we headed off to the JRO airport to go residence. Our keep was pretty in Tanzania. The areas have been beautiful and bountiful, the folks beneficiant and heat, and the meals plentiful and artistic. Africa is now underneath my pores and skin, in probably the most pleasant approach. I can’t wait to return.


For different plant-based consuming guides, take a look at: 

Plant-Based Eating in Sicily
Plant-Based Eating in Thailand
Plant-Based Guide to Morocco
Plant-Based Eating in Lisbon
Plant-Based Eating in Vienna, Austria


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