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Living in Mbeya  | Mbeya Expat Guide

Living in Mbeya | Mbeya Expat Guide

Living in Mbeya | An expat Guide | Mbeya Expat Guide | Where to live in Mbeya as Expat | Apartments in Mbeya | Accommodation in Mbeya |How to move to Mbeya as expat | Mbeya Travel Guide

“Tanzanians are generally friendly, genuine and delighted to meet people from other parts of the world and English tends to be somehow sponen in few areas, especially in the Cities like Dar-es-salaam, Arusha, Mbeya and Mwanza area. The down side of that can be that Kenyans are so anxious for you to feel welcome and happy in their country that they will tweak the truth in order to give you the answer they think you want, so don’t believe all you are told” 


Finding somewhere to live is a priority

People advertise properties to let on notice boards at shopping malls, in the local papers, and there’s usually a selection at  (which also advertises vehicles, furniture items etc for sale by expatriates leaving, amongst many other useful services and information). If you’ve got kids, you might need to look hard at the schools first, because there’s plenty of choice, it’s probably worth trying to live near school.

Properties vary from older houses with plenty of character (and occasionally the interesting plumbing and rat-gnawed electrics to go with it) to very modern houses, which might have a few teething problems. During the dry seasons, water can become an issue in Mbeya, so it’s worth checking out that there really is a reliable water supply before you move in. If things do go wrong, plumbers and electricians are plentiful, cheap and great improvisers – even if their methods might seem a little too alternative to the uninitiated.

There are an increasing number of new, secure apartment and housing complexes, which are popular and can be quite expensive. Very few people live in the city centre, but Mbeya’s many sprawling and pleasant suburbs have easily accessible shopping centres and malls , as well as smaller, friendlier stores.

Moving to Mbeya

Your Year of Eating Dangerously (but Really Very Well)

One expat wife says: “Everything tastes so much better here – it’s not so watered. The quality of the local fruit and vegetables, as well as the meat, is fantastic!” Eating out is also excellent value in Mbeya and you can get most types of fare, from European to Lebanese, while Indian and Chinese restaurants abound. 

Popular Tanzania’n fare is not appealing to all palates, and expatriates should be wary of their delicate stomachs initially…but it’s worth a taste of the staple maize meal baked to a cake-like consistency (ugali) and usually served with a fried green vegetable (sukuma wiki, literally translated as “push the week”, as it’s the poor man’s vegetable). Ugali can also be served as a porridge (uji), usually taken by school children before a long day at school, often taken with chai, tea leaves stewed up with milk and plenty of sugar. 

There are local tribal favourites too, varying from curdled milk mixed with cows blood and urine if you are Maasai, Makande, Makange, Ndizi and so much more.  Food from the Tanzanian coast tends to be spicier, while country-wide there’s the highly popular nyama choma, literally translated as burnt meat. Tanzanian sheep and beef are excellent, goat tends to be fatty, and it’s always worth confirming exactly what you are eating. 

Useful information

Getting around Mbeya
Tanzania airports and visa

More about Mbeya Travel Guide:


Planning your trip? Whether you’re looking for things to do in Mbeya such as events and attractions, key traveller information to make your Mbeya visit run smoothly or are planning where to stay in Mbeya, you’ll find everything you need for your Mbeya holiday on Our Website. Mbeya Travel guide has the information about latest events not to miss while you visit Mbeya – there’s always something going on, so don’t miss out on the latest exhibitions, shows and more on your trip Mbeya

Discover the best day trips from Mbeya  or other Tanzania’s Cities. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Dar-Es-Salaam  with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Mbeya holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Tanzania or planning a longer holiday in, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need. 

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