The Black Expat Family: We Felt At Home In Tanzania, So We Decided To Stay'
Photo Credit: Photo by JG Photography

Photo Credit: Photo by JG Photography

The Black Expat Family: We Felt At Home In Tanzania, So We Decided To Stay'

living abroad , Tanzania
DeAnna Taylor
DeAnna Taylor Sep 18, 2020

What started as a family trip to Tanzania for Rukiya McNair and her children, eventually led to her completely relocating to the East African country. The Pittsburg native enjoyed her time so much, that she now resides in Dar es Salaam, and she couldn’t be happier.

“Once me and the children arrived here, we all felt so at home that I decided it’d be best for us to stay,” Rukiya told Travel Noire.

The laid-back atmosphere, ocean views, delicious African cuisine, and endless options of things to do— were heavy influences on her decision. She also enjoys nature and nature-based activities, and Tanzania definitely offers both.

Photo by Raw Photography TZ

“Also, because I am a single parent living abroad, safety is important to me. I feel extremely safe here in Dar es Salaam.”

While the decision to move literally sprang from a visit, there wasn’t very much planning that was involved. It was a very spontaneous move, but lots of patience and hard work made it happen.

Rukiya is an entrepreneur and works remotely. This made the move even easier, because she didn’t need to secure a job before going.

“I think an entrepreneurial mindset is an important attribute to have for anyone who wants to move to the continent,” she said. “I will be opening businesses here in the future.”

Photo by Raw Photography TZ

The cost of living in Dar es Salaam can vary, based on the type of lifestyle you want to live. The average price for a nice, furnished two-bedroom apartment is about $600 per month. You can find unfurnished 3-bedroom houses for around $500 per month. But, there are also luxury accommodations that can be as much as $3000 per month.

As for her children who are 9 and 11, she describes them as being happy with the transition to their new home. They were able to make friends instantly, and really enjoy their school and living the coastal life.

Some may wonder how Rukiya and her children are received in the African nation.

“Most people assume we are Tanzanian, so I don’t think I have been treated differently. Due to what people see on the news about the United States, some people have asked questions about it. Most people though, have been extremely welcoming and kind.”

Photo by Raw Photography TZ

The only thing that Rukiya wishes she would have done prior to her move was learning the native language. She is currently learning Kiswahili, but says it would have been much easier had she learned sooner.

If you have questions for Rukiya about her move, or you simply want to follow her new journey, you can find her on Instagram at: @themigratingmom.

Related: Inside The Tanzanian Cafe Where The Staff Are All Hearing Impaired