What to bring from Tanzania – ideas for memorable gifts and souvenirs

When traveling to an exotic country like Tanzania, any traveler should like to take back a souvenir, to preserve a “piece” of the African holiday.

Through this article we will tell you what to bring home from Tanzania and Zanzibar.

What to bring from Tanzania

A diverse holiday helps the tourist decide what to bring from Tanzania as a gift to family and friends.

So, what Tanzanian specialties do we pay attention to?

Table of Contents

1. Spices – all your favorite flavors from Zanzibar

On the main island of the archipelago Zanzibar, many plants are grown, which are subsequently processed into spices.

Some of the major spices from Zanzibar are:
  • nutmeg
  • cardamom
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • turmeric
  • black and white pepper
  • ginger
  • other exotic varieties of culinary seasonings

At the center of the island there are many spice farms. While going for excursions, one can see how the bushes and trees look. Finished products are sold directly on the farms. Such a gift will be very useful for gourmets, lovers of exquisite taste and aromatic filling of dishes.

Spice Farm Carnation

Due to the fact that the sale of spices is one of the main sources of revenue of Zanzibar, it is not difficult for tourists to find points of sale. There are many shops and portable trays that will offer quality goods for every taste.

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2. Tanzanian Coffee- the best gift for connoisseurs

Coffee is the best gift for connoisseurs

The fruits of the Tanzanian coffee tree differ from Vietnamese and other varieties. Therefore, the drink itself also varies in taste and aroma from other varieties. What could be a better gift for your coffee lovers than to bring them a new variety of beans from Tanzania?

Pure arabica is grown on the islands. Tanzanian ground coffee is sold everywhere. The markets and stores will offer different packaging options for chopped and whole grains. At the central market in Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, you can find goods with the lowest price. 1 kilogram of coffee beans costs only 7-9 USD.

3. Fruits

Zanzibar is a fruit paradise. And the king among all the fruits is the smelly durian. It reaches 30 cm in size, sometimes weighing more than 8 kg. The surface of the fruit is hard, covered with spikes. Inside, in several chambers, there is a tender and juicy pulp with a nut-cheese flavor. People who have tasted fruit for the first time interpret taste sensations in different ways, but, unlike the smell, everyone likes it. The aroma of durian mainly results in negative feedback.

Durian fruit

According to the reviews of tourists who have tried mangoes in Zanzibar, the fruit is different in taste and flavor from varieties growing in Asia.

Depending on what time of the year is chosen for traveling to Tanzania, the following types of fruits will be available to tourists:

Fruit in Zanzibar
  • bananas
  • lime and oranges
  • breadfruit
  • cream apples
  • Coconuts
  • other types of outlandish fruits

All local fruits are sold inexpensively if purchased in small markets. In resort places, prices are inflated 3-4 times. But, regardless of where to buy exotic fruits, the question of what to bring from Zanzibar as a gift will be resolved. And enjoying a new taste will undoubtedly bring pleasure to your loved ones.

4. Decorative items made of wood and stone

Décor items can get quite exotic in Tanzania. Original items of various sizes are made here from mango and other trees.

Masks and figurines made of wood
  • Figurines in the form of animals. Figures are made by craftsmen also of stone. Such things are suitable in the form of gifts to colleagues or collectors
  • Masks for wall decoration
  • Panel
  • Dishes
  • Jewelry, rosary
  • Carved doors, made to order. The waiting time for the finished product is approximately six months

Zanzibar souvenirs are sold everywhere. Therefore, it is possible to search for the necessary options, save money. Local craftsmen often give the goods for sale. But if you find outlets where manufacturers offer their own products, then the price will be lower, without markups. They can order the manufacture of the desired gift to bring friends a unique souvenir.

5. Tanzanite Jewelry and Souvenirs

Only from Tanzania is it possible to bring authentic precious jewelry with this type of stone. The accumulation of a mineral of volcanic origin – tanzanite – is located directly in Kilimanjaro. This is the only source worldwide.

Blue Diamond Jewelry

The country also produces the following gems on an industrial scale:

  • sapphire and emerald
  • diamonds
  • rubies
Jewelry from Tanzania

The most competent decision will be to buy tanzanite in specialized jewelry stores in Tanzania. This approach is necessary from the point of view of security of acquisition and originality of goods. It is worth remembering the reference checks, which will serve as supporting documentation for the export of souvenirs from the country, will become the rationale for the tourist at the customs, indicating the origin of the jewelry.

6. Paintings in the style of Eduardo Tingatinga

Exquisite and totally unique souvenirs from Tanzania are the Tingatinga paintings. In the likeness of a famous Tanzanian artist, today many paintings have been created that copy his style of painting.

Paintings in the style of Eduardo Tingatinga

Enamel paints are applied to muslin. As a rule, such paintings are colorful and depict animals, fish, birds and silhouettes of people. Sometimes biblical stories. The painting got its second name because of the traditional form of the paintings – square painting.

Paintings in the style of Eduardo Tingatinga

What is even more positive that art from Zanzibar as a gift to people you want to please. It will fill their lives with bright emotions and colors. These “juicy” paintings are suitable for transforming any room. Whether it is an office or a children’s room, a bedroom or a large meeting room, this work of art will become an accent that attracts attention, evokes a smile and a positive mood.

7. Local clothes

In memory of the trip or as a gift, tourists purchase products that convey the culture, traditions and life of the African people. Fabrics made in Tanzania are very popular. It is a cotton material saturated with variegated flowers, sometimes semi-synthetics.

Fabrics made in Tanzania

You can bring home products from them. In general availability there are unique options for traditional clothing. Elements of the traditional clothing are:

Kanga – a rectangular cut with which the body is wrapped
  • kanga – a rectangular section with which the body is wrapped (women wear, sometimes men)
  • kittenj – a variety of scarf of dense structure, the pattern is made in the process of weaving (alternating threads of different colors)
  • kikoy – most often it is a striped fabric piece with a fringe and tassels
  • sundresses
  • skirts
  • modern t-shirts, t-shirts

The busiest place to trade is Stone Town.

Whatever you bring home from textiles, wearing these clothes is a pleasure. The color scheme will definitely remind you of a warm and welcoming country with its variegated colors. Such a souvenir will certainly be pleasant and unexpected for family people.

8. Sculptures

As a gift to people who want to surprise, you can bring Maconde figures. They vary in size, cost and texture. Tanzania is the birthplace of these figurines. The material is locally sourced African wood.

Maconde figures

The main ideas depicted in these figures are:

  • the struggle between good and evil
  • love
  • life and death
  • Human Origins
  • Vera
  • religious subjects
  • totems, images of various national deities

If you have not yet decided on the most acceptable option and do not know what you can bring from Zanzibar, then such figurines are a win-win option. In addition, they can not be found anywhere in the world other than in Tanzania.

Figurines at Mwenga Market

Large selection can be found in Dar es Salaam, Arusha. Shops are open on weekdays from 8.30 to 18.00. On Saturday – before lunch. The most popular place to order or buy is the Mwengue market.

According to the ancient legend of the people of Makonde, their sculptures come to life. Modern figurines are a modernist form of art intended for tourists and giving good profit to local craftsmen. Wood carving, which is used in Makonde, is distinguished by accuracy and flexibility of lines, a special attitude of craftsmen to small details.

What cannot be exported from Tanzania

Wild animals cannot be taken out without special documentation

Without special documentation, it is impossible to export from Zanzibar the horns of wild animals, products from gold, hides and ivory, diamonds. There are posters at the airport and other tourist sites in Tanzania that remind you of the impossibility of acquiring poaching goods.

It will not be possible to bring home a number of prohibited goods from this country:

  • drugs
  • toxic substances
  • explosives
  • wildlife plants
  • shells, corals
  • pornographic material on any type of medium

Along with all this, a traveler will not be able to take cloves from Zanzibar without documents that indicate the legitimacy of the purchase of spices.

Buying original souvenirs for your loved ones would not only put a smile on their faces but will also provide you a wholesome shopping experience around the streets of Tanzania and with our guided article you will be able to shop efficiently.

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