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The ultimate 12 song-playlist to inspire a trip to Tanzania

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    A trip will be more enjoyable with a playlist playing in the background, particularly if you’re doing a trip to Tanzania.

    We’ve all experienced it. When that particular song comes on the radio, you are instantly transported to another world. You’re often left with a sneaky grin, sheepish eyes, and a mild state of euphoria. Music is the fuel of travel and memories. That’s why holiday playlists are important. It’s just another way to help us remember those encounters.

    So, whether you are in the office, sitting on the bus on your way to work, or busy packing your suitcase for your Tanzanian adventure, our playlist is guaranteed to get your foot tappin’ your head noddin’ and who knows, maybe even a little jiggle as you walk to the water cooler 🙂

    So without further ado, here is our selection of songs to add to your playlist Tanzanian Travel Inspiration playlist…

    Ps. We take no responsibility for wanderlust for the Serengeti’s plains caused by the music. We can however help you out with some stellar options if you’d like to come and visit.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #1. Africa by Toto

    Well yes, of course this is our first choice. With lyrics like “I know that I must do what’s right, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” you can’t not have Toto in pull position.

    Find the song on iTunes and Google Play, or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #2. Under African Skies by Paul Simon

    Within the first 3 seconds of Under African Skies, you are already transported to Africa. Under African Skies comes from Paul Simon’s very successful album titled, Graceland. Graceland has frequently been called one of the best albums of the 1980s, and appears on numerous lists of greatest albums created by top publications.

    Find the song on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #3. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira

    Waka Waka was the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – the first to be hosted on African soil. Colombian singer, Shakira joined forces with South African band, Freshlyground for the song. Shakira had people of all ages, in all places around the world dancing and singing“Tsamina mina, eh eh Waka waka, eh eh Tsamina mina zangalewa …This time for Africa!”

    Find the song on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #4. Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba

    Makeba, also known as Mama Africa, was among the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition. She brought African music to a Western audience, and popularised the world music and Afropop genres. 

    She was also a United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist and an an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. Upon her death, former South African President Nelson Mandela said that “her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.”

    Find the song on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #5. Special Star by Mango Groove

    Mango Groove is an 11-piece South-African Afropop band formed in 1984, whose music fuses pop and township music, especially marabi and kwela. Because their music is so fun, playful and packed with joy, we added three of their songs to the list. No matter how much you dislike dancing, Mango Groove will have you shufflin’ around the kitchen like a pro.

    Find their music on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #6. Makeba by Jain

    Jain’s musical style is influenced by the various places she and her family lived during whilst growing up, four years in the Middle East and four years in Congo. Her single Makeba was released in 2016, as a tribute to Miriam Makeba, who was and still is an inspiration for her. Her multicultural upbringing is tangible in her music.

    Find the song on iTunes and Google Music or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #7. Sabali by Amadou & Mariam

    Known as “the blind couple from Mali”, Amadou & Mariam are a Grammy Award-nominated musical duo, who met more than 30 years ago at the Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind. Amadou lost his vision at the age of 16, while Mariam became blind at age 5. 

    For years they’ve been stars in France and West Africa, but in the past decade, their audience expanded significantly. The duo now frequently performs at indie rock festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury.

    Find the song on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #8. Shosholoza by Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Friends

    “Shosholoza” is a traditional Ndebele folk song that originated in Zimbabwe. The word Shosholoza means to “go forward or make way for the next man” in Ndebele and was sung by Ndebele all-male migrant workers that travelled by steam train from their homes to work in the diamond and gold mines. 

    The original author of the song is unknown. This form of African a capella music was popularised by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and is called Mbube.

    Find the song on iTunes or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #9. Osiyeza (The Crossing) by Johnny Clegg

    Sometimes called “The White Zulu”, British born Johnny Clegg has become an icon in the music industry for his flair of mixing African music with various Western Styles. Clegg was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Government in 1991 and recently became a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

    Find the song on iTunes and or YouTube.

    Trip to Tanzania playlist #10. The lion sleeps tonight by The Tokens

    This popular song has a long and fascinating history. The first recording of this song was by Solomon Linda and his band, The Evening Birds in 1939. 

    However, it has since been re-recorded numerous times, and in the process popularised by western musicians and films. The Solomon family filed a lawsuit against Disney and a record label in order to regain the rights to the song. 

    An article in the Rolling Stone magazine recounted Linda’s story and estimated that the song had earned $15 million for its use in the Disney movie The Lion King alone. The piece prompted filmmaker François Verster to create the Emmy-winning documentary A Lion’s Trail. 

    In February 2006, Linda’s descendants reached a legal settlement with Abilene Music Publishers, who held the worldwide rights and had licensed the song to Disney, to place the earnings of the song in a trust.

    Find the song on iTunes and Google Play or YouTube.

    11. Africa by Salif Keita

    Salif Keïta is an afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali. He is notable not only because of his reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa” but because he has albinism. Born to royal lineage, with ancestral roots going back to Soundjata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire in 1240, Keita was disowned by his father after announcing his plans to play music.

    Find the song on iTunes and Google Play or YouTube.

    12. Shauri Yako by Orchestra Super Mazembe

    Mazembe was a popular band based in Kenya playing Lingala (Soukous) music. The band formed in 1967 and disbanded in 1985. Super Mazembe is still considered as one of the golden era of Kenyan Lingala music acts. The song Shauri Yako was their biggest hit.

    Find the song on iTunes and Google Play or YouTube.

    Getting You There?

    Interested in visiting Tanzania — but not sure which tour, or agency to take? Easy Travel pride themselves on their 30+ years of experience providing amazing encounters, from safari tours to hiking tours as well as day tours. Check out our selection of tours here!

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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