About Tanzania

People and Food




The estimated population of Tanzania is about 40million.
Most of the people are of Bantu origin representing 95%, with some 126 tribes, none of which exceeds 10% of the population.
Groups of Nilotic or related origin include the nomadic Maasai and the Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya.

Others are of Asian, Arab and Afro-Arab as well as European origin. The biggest African group is the Sukuma: others include Masaai, Haya, Gogo, Nyamwezi and Chagga.

There are people of mixed blood in the coastal area known as Swahilis as well as Asian, Arabs and European minorities.


Mainland・・・Christianity 30%、Islam 35%、Traditional beliefs 35%
Zanzibar・・・Islam 97%


Official Language・・・Kiswahili
Kiswahili is universally spoken, in addition to various local languages, and is the medium of instruction in all primary schools.

Second Official Language・・・English
the country's commercial language and also the main teaching language in all science subjects in secondary schools and higher learning institutions.

Arabic is widely spoken in coastal areas and Zanzibar.


Almost each of the 126 tribes have preferred cuisine and drink types.
Along the coast, rice and green vegetables (mchicha) or fish or meat is the popular staple food


In the interior of Tanzania, people eat cooked or steamed green bananas (matoke) or maize and millet meal eaten with relish such as beans, fish or meat relish.
Relish for maize meal or rice is normally cooked with coconut stew obtained by grating the coconut and squeezing the fatty juice.
Maize cooked with beans or meat (makande) is also the staple food of several tribes especially the Pare tribe of Kilimanjaro Region.


Instruments for peeling maize, millet or rice are usually a wooden mortar and thick stick. Peeling is achieved by pounding the grain in the wooden mortar using the stick. Maize, millet or dry cassava is also pounded to flour and cooked into hard porridge or dough known as "ugali" . To eat, one makes a ball, dips into the relish broth and then into the mouth.

Drinks are made of different types of grain, or banana, sugar cane, honey, bamboo juice or palm juice. After the drink is processed, it is left over a night or several nights to ferment into a light or potent alcoholic drink.