Food in Tanzania
Amongst the uninitiated, Tanzania isn’t well-regarded as being a foodie paradise. But those who have been there know that not only is Tanzania culturally rich, it also has amazing food. On top of that, the food offered on our Kilimanjaro trek never fails to impress - the quality of the meals that the cooks can prepare at over 4,000m is truly phenomenal.
Kilimanjaro: The Food on Your Challenge
As you trek toward the Roof of Africa, you’ll mostly be stopping off for packed lunches made up of sandwiches, chicken, fruits, cake and fried plantain or crisps. During the evening, you’ll kick off your walking boots and head to the dining tent where you’ll eat carb-heavy meals to help you refuel after a long day of trekking. Sample meals include spaghetti bolognese or macaroni. Here are some particular highlights from our trek menu.
After a long day trekking, everyone is pretty hungry and heads straight for the dining tent. Whilst you're bonding with the rest of the team and swapping stories about the day, the porters bring over great big bowls of popcorn to snack on whilst they prepare your dinner. Whilst you're at breakfast you'll be given packets of nuts whilst you wait for the main breakfast to be served. Having these little snacks is invaluable as you gain altitude; if you feel your appetite start to wane, eating small amounts to begin with can.
One of my absolute favourite parts about being in Tanzania is the bananas! The bananas on your trek come from the side of the mountain itself, which makes them taste particularly delicious. They're also unique as they're really small, which makes them taste sweeter than the bananas we usually import into the UK. Bananas fried with sugar are a Tanzanian speciality, and they make an excellent post-summit celebratory dessert!
Everybody knows that the British love tea, and you won't have to forego this home comfort whilst you’re in Tanzania. Whilst you're relaxing with the team in the dining tent after dinner you can enjoy some of the local tea, Chai Bora. There's lots of sweet powdered milk and sugar you can add, or you can drink it the way I like to, black with lots of honey! There's also plenty of coffee (Tanzania make some of the best coffee in the world), and also Milo, for those of you wanting a sweet treat.
Flaky, crispy flatbreads; chapatis are a staple of Tanzanian cooking, and subsequently of our Kilimanjaro trek! They're perfect for mopping up your soup with dinner, or treated like a pancake and drenched in honey and eaten with bananas at breakfast. Tanzanian chapatis are a little different from their Indian cousins, as they aren't cooked with ghee, but they are equally delicious, and very versatile!
On all our treks, the chefs and porters make sure you are extremely well fed, with huge dinner portions and lunches packed to the brim. This means that before dinner each evening, you are actually given a big bowl of soup as a starter. The soup is different most days, and the onion soup I had after the first day of trekking was so delicious that a member of my team got the recipe from the chef!
Chicken and Chips
One of the staple meals of our Kilimanjaro treks is the infamous chicken and chips night, with fresh potatoes and meat brought up the menu. For those of you who don’t eat meat, please take a look at the vegetarian and vegan options on your trek!
Beyond Ugali: The Food of Tanzania
Those of you who are lucky enough to be sticking around after your climb will have the opportunity to explore Tanzanian cuisine a little more. Whilst the food on the trek is great, as the porters carry everything up the mountain with them as you trek you don’t necessarily get to sample a lot of local cuisine. When you return from your trek, why not try one of these iconic Tanzanian dishes.
Ugali is a maize flour and water based carbohydrate - it’s essentially the consistency of mashed potato, but thicker. Whilst many foreign tourists aren’t huge fans, when it’s dipped in curry or enjoyed with Nyama Choma, it can be pretty delicious!
Nyama Choma is grilled meat that’s cooked over hot coals right in front of you. It is usually goat meat, and the slow cooking over coals means it acquires a delicious smoky flavour. It’s the perfect afternoon meal, best enjoyed in the sunshine with a Kilimanjaro beer in hand.
Easily one of my favourite comfort foods of all time, chips mayai is essentially an omelette filled with chips! It is phenomenally delicious and best served with local hot sauce or ketchup. You should be able to order it whilst you’re in Zanzibar!
Special mention - Kilimanjaro beer!
The local brew most participants like to enjoy during a post-climb celebration is named after the Roof of Africa itself!
For more information about our Kilimanjaro food, drop us an email. Don’t forget to take a look at our Kilimanjaro hub to find out more about Tanzania before your trip.