Travel Tanzania: The People, Culture & Food!

Hello amazing journey rockstars, happy new year! 2018 is going to be a year filled with lots of travel adventures and I will be here to share them all with you. Well over the Christmas holiday, I had the privilege to visit Tanzania for the first time and this post is the 1st in a 3-part series that takes a look at the unique experiences I had in Tanzania. Let’s get to it then, shall we??

If I were to describe Tanzanians in one word, it would be “chilled.” Tanzanians are some of the most relaxed and easy going people in the world. There seems to be no rush whatsoever and everyone really takes a chill pill on a daily basis. A particular experience I had buttresses this point. We were on our way from Moshi (a city in Tanzania) to Dar es Salaam (Major city in Tanzania). It is a 10-hour journey by bus and we had just travelled for an hour when we heard a loud bang and the bus slowly ground to a halt. The bus had lost one of its tyres. Everyone on the bus alighted and immediately looked for shades to rest while some others went about to look for something to eat. Not a single person went up to the driver to harass him about the bus breaking down. In fact, the driver didn’t have a jack so he spent another 30minutes flagging down fellow buses to get a jack yet not a word from anyone. My friend and I, the only Nigerians on the bus couldn’t believe our eyes. In Nigeria, the driver would have a good piece of a few people’s minds? but Tanzanians are so chilled, we all just basically hung out with some drinks and biscuits till the bus was fixed and we got going again.

Our (non) luxury bus

This chilled nature of Tanzanians translates into a warm sense of hospitality and they are always ready to help in spite of the occasional language barrier. Swahili is the lingua franca in Tanzania and we quickly learnt a few Swahili words/phrases which were quite helpful. For instance, Mambo Rafiki translates to Hello my Friend and the average Tanzanian is always excited to see foreigners make an effort to speak their language. You can check out @JourneymanRocks for other common phrases that will come in handy when you find yourself in Tanzania. The Maasai people are also one of the predominant tribes in Tanzania and an easy way to recognize them is through fanciful jewellery hanging from elongated ear lobes.

A traditional Maasai Woman

Tanzanian food is pretty decent although their food is usually cooked with a minimal amount of spices so we always had to add spice to our food. One of the staple meals I quickly fell in love with is called Chipsi Mayai (Pronounced as Chips in my eye).

Chipsi Mayai in the making

It is a dish made with a mixture of fried potato chips and eggs. Fried chips are put in a hot pan and raw eggs are poured over it and allowed to fry for a while. Afterwards, the whole combination is turned over and the eggs would have totally covered the fried chips. The combination is allowed to fry for a while before it is brought down and served with a mixture of spices according to what your taste buds allow. I could feel the fat creeping in as I indulged every bit of chipsi mayai but I assured myself that I would lose all of it at the gym?.

Chipsi Mayai Final Product…with lots of spice

All in though, I really love Tanzanians and their chilled approach to life. Whether I can survive there for 6 months is another case entirely because there is too much “Nigerian-ness” in my blood. I did a quick comparison between Nigerians sense of urgency & Tanzanians chilled nature and I concluded that Nigerians are on VLC speed 1.0x while Tanzanians are on 0.5x (If you have no idea what this is, open up vlc player, play a video and reduce the speed twice?). The 2nd post in this series will look at a distinct experience with wildlife at Tarengeri National Park & waking up to an amazing view of Mount Kilamanjaro. See you next Wednesday?.

12 thoughts on “Travel Tanzania: The People, Culture & Food!”

    1. I honestly don’t know how they do it. It was something that was definitely done from a young age. As for your date with chipsi Mayai, make reservations for two. I am tagging along. Thanks for reading.

  1. Being a fan of fried potatoes chips, eggs and ketchup (which I just finished eating btw :), I’m sure I will looove this Chipsi mayai. I’d try to make it….lol

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