Etiquette in Tanzania

Tanzania is located in East Africa and is home to 49.25 million people.

The country is a united republic, formed by the merger of mainland Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar. It’s a one-party dominant state.

Though Tanzanians speak over 100 languages, Swahili is the second language of 90% of citizens. 10% speak it as their primary language, and along with English it is one of the two official languages of the country.

Roughly 35% of the population practices traditional African religion, another 35% Islam, 30% practices Christianity.

The currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling.

Greetings Etiquette

Handshakes are important in Tanzania. Don’t be surprised if people hold your hand throughout a full conversation.

Don’t shake with the left hand; shake with the right. Also try not to pass things with the left hand.

Dress Etiquette

It’s considered inappropriate to keep any part of your body uncovered. While it’s fine to be casual at home, you shouldn’t wear short shorts or tank tops out in public.

Dining & Visiting Homes Etiquette

Always eat with the right hand.

Note that you should never place your left hand in bowls or on serveware. Dine from the part of a bowl or plate that is before you on a communal plate or in a bowl.