BnBNation encourages cultural exchanges between people and travelers belonging to different parts of the world. So, when we got a wind of a fellow travel blogger, Joanna from Spain, who stayed with a Tanzanian family and that too in a Tanzania homestay, our curiosity knew no bounds!
Below are the questions we asked Joanna over her experience in a homestay in Tanzania.
Q1. Was this your first visit to Tanzania? If yes, what made you choose a Bed and Breakfast accommodation over an equivalent priced hotel?
I traveled to Tanzania for the first time over December and January. It was my first time on the African continent as well. When I travel, I love to get to connect with the local community, to learn about their traditions and culture, and experience the way they live. I find that the only way to do this is through a homestay.
Q2. How far was the BnB from the airport or the nearest point of transit?
The homestay was around two hours away from the nearest touristic city. I liked that nothing in the village seemed touristy and that the locals were not used to seeing travelers around.
Q3. Did you face any difficulty in reaching the BnB?
Reaching the homestay was pretty straight forward. I connected with the host via WhatsApp before I arrived in Tanzania, to let him know about my location and when I will be arriving at his place. The village was on the main road from Moshi to Dar es Salaam, so it was easily reachable by bus. As there aren’t timetables for the local buses in Tanzania, I texted the host when I left Moshi and he knew when to wait for me at the bus station.
The bus actually ran out of petrol on the way there, so we were delayed for around 20 minutes. Still, when I arrived in the village the host was waiting for me by the side of the main road.
Q4. How different was the welcome in the BnB from the welcome you have got in a hotel before?
The welcome in the homestay was so much different than one I usually get in a hotel. The host introduced me to his family and then showed me the schedule of the following days. Then they showed me my room and we took a short walk around the house. You never get this kind of welcome in a hotel.
Q5. During your stay, did you find time to interact with the hosts? If yes, how was the experience?
Yes, I interacted with the hosts all the time. I went with their youngest daughter to the local market, I learned how to cook the local dishes from the wife, and I’ve joined a traditional African dance with the women from the village.
On New Year’s Day, I joined the family to their orchard, at a nearby lake, where I met their other relatives. We have a lovely copious lunch after which we went to see the local teen fishing.
Q6. If you had a meal with the hosts, Did you like Tanzania home-cooked food?
Yes, I think homemade Tanzanian food is the best. In Tanzania, especially in the countryside, people are cooking with rudimentary equipment, outside, over wood fires. Rarely you will see a kitchen equipped with a modern cooker for example. My host family didn’t even have electricity in the kitchen. But they still cooked amazing dishes. The wife taught me how to make traditional pilau rice.
Q7. Did Tanzania hosts help you plan out your itinerary for local tours or give you advice on travel within the city?
As the village was very tiny, they didn’t However, when I left, they took me to the bus station and spoke with the driver to take care of me. In Tanzania, minibusses are always overcrowded and journeys are often very uncomfortable. My host made sure to make my journey easier by securing me a seat in front, next to the driver.
Check out the category of Tanzania covered by the author:
Q8. What was the best part of staying in the BnB?
I think the best part of my homestay was the interaction with the locals. I got to learn about how a simple family lives in Tanzania and how they run their household. Also, chatting with the family daughters, I’ve learned a lot about their own dreams and aspirations for the future.
Q9. Was there something you didn’t like about staying in a Bed and Breakfast accommodation? (We hope there is none!!)
I wish there were more activities available. Before I arrived, I was given a list full of activities but once I got there, only a few were available. For example, to get to the Maasai village I was asked to pay extra for petrol. I wouldn’t have minded but the price quoted was as high as covering the entire tank of petrol, and I thought that was a bit unfair, so I declined.
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Q10. Can you proudly say that you have an extended family in Tanzania and that you would recommend staying in a hosted Bed and Breakfast accommodation?
I can say that I enjoyed the experience and I would definitely do it again. I do have the email address and the phone number of the family, but I did not stay in touch with them. Unfortunately, the company I went through has stopped taking bookings for homestays in Tanzania due to financial difficulties. I do hope that the families in this program will continue to host people as I know how much it helped their income. Hosting foreigners didn’t only help the family but the entire village itself, as part of the fees would go to a fund helping the small businesses run by local women.
The original post can be found here:
About the author:
I’m Joanna, the author of The World in My Pocket and the voice behind the blog. Born in Romania, I lived in England for a while and have now settled in gorgeous Spain.
I have a major thing for writing and photography. From childhood, my answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is always a creative one. “A movie director,” “a writer,” or “a radio journalist” are among my favourite answers. So, while I enjoyed subjects like Computer Science and Maths in the upper school, my first love — writing — always beckoned me to return. Upon completing my Bachelor of Arts degree at the Journalism University in Bucharest, I knew my life would center around travel. I haven’t looked back since.