Facts About Tanzania,Tanganyika became a Sovereign State on 9th December 1961 and a Republic in 1962. Zanzibar became independent on 19th December 1963 as a constitutional monarchy under the sultan and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar was established after the Revolution of 12th January 1964. The two Sovereign States formed the United Republic of Tanzania on 26th April 1964.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a sovereign nation in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 30 regions. The Capital City is Dodoma and the major commercial city is Dar es Salaam. Official currency is Tanzanian Shilling and the National language is Kiswahili whilst English is widely used in official communication.
The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
Moreover, Tanzania is one of the least developed countries which has great potential and prospects for attaining higher growth and development levels. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, pursues sound economic policies and has attractive investment policies.
Tanzania is a vibrant democracy and the government is seriously committed to good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights.
Tanzania is located in Eastern Africa between longitude 290 and 410 East. Latitute 10 and 120 South.Area: Total 945,000 km2
- Mainland: 881,000km2
- Zanzibar: 2,000 km2
- Water: 62,000 km2
- Forest and Woodlands: 3.350 km2
Tanzania is the world’s 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. However, Tanzania is the biggest of the East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda). Tanzania also has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands.
The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic view of the country. The Rift Valley runs to south of Tanzania splitting at Lake Nyasa; one branch runs down beyond Lake Nyasa to Mozambique; and another branch to north-west alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and western part of Uganda. The valley is dotted with unique lakes, which includes Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara.
The highlands include the famous Kipengere, Udzungwa, Matogoro, Livingstone, and the Fipa plateau forming the southern highlands. The Usambara, Pare, Meru, Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai, all form the northern highlands.
From these highlands and the central saucer plateau flow the drainage system to the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the inland drainage system.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of, respectively, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish); to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa.
Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10°C and 20°C (50°F and 68°F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20°C (68°F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25°C – 31°C, or 77°F – 88°F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15°C – 20°C, or 59°F – 68°F).
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is unimodal (December – April) and the other is bimodal (October -December and March – May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.
In the bimodal regime the March – May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October – December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro, Serengeti National where the white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s studies of chimpanzee behavior.
Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is the largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo, a huge community of which nest in the salt marshes of the lake. Areas of East African mangroves on the coast are also important habitats.
Tanzania’s population consists of Christians, Muslims, and followers of indigenous religions. The Christian population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics. Among Protestants the strong numbers of Lutherans and Moravians point to the German past of the country, the numbers of Anglicans to the British history of Tanganyika and others are Pentecostal groups. Most Zanzibar’s are Muslim.
On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areas, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former slave caravan routes. A large majority of the Muslim population is Sunni. There are also active communities of other religious groups, primarily on the mainland, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Bahais.
There are approximately 120 ethnic groups. Among them there are Bantu, Nilotic, Khoikhoi and Cushitic speaking peoples. Kiswahili is the national language. Kiswahili and English are the official languages, while Kiswahili is the medium of instruction at primary school level, social and political spheres; English is the medium at higher educational levels, technology, and higher courts.
Kiswahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language. English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Virtually all of Tanzania’s inhabitants speak Bantu languages.
Tanzania’s literary culture is primarily oral. Major oral literary forms include folktales, poems, riddles, proverbs, and songs. The majority of the oral literature in Tanzania that has been recorded is in Swahili, though each of the country’s languages has its own oral tradition.
The country’s oral literature is currently declining because of changes in family structure that make transmission of oral literature more difficult and because of the devaluation of oral literature that has accompanied Tanzania’s development. Tanzania’s written literary tradition is still relatively undeveloped; Tanzania does not have a strong reading culture, and books are often expensive and hard to come by.
Most Tanzanian literature is in Swahili or English. Major figures in Tanzanian written literature include Shaaban Robert, Muhammed Said Abdulla, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Penina Mlama.
The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hiphop known as bongo flava. Tanzania also has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi (“dance music”)
The Tanzanian national anthem is Mungu Ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa), composed by South Africa’S composer Enoch Sontonga. The song is also the national anthem of South Africa (with another tune), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Tingatinga are popular Tanzanian paintings, painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motifs are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania, Later he moved to Dar es salaam. Since his death in 1972, the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide.
One of the most famous African artists were born in Tanzania, such as George Lilanga. Other recognized Tanzanian abstract artists are David Mzuguno, Haji Chilonga, Salum Kambi, Max Kamundi, Thobias Minzi, Robino Ntila, John Kilaka, Godfrey Semwaiko, Evarist Chikawe, and many others.
Historically, there have been limited opportunities for formal art training in Tanzania, and many aspiring Tanzanian artists have left the country. Nonetheless, two Tanzanian art styles have achieved international recognition.
The Tingatinga school of painting, founded by Edward Said Tingatinga, consists of brightly colored enamel paintings on canvas, generally depicting people, animals, or daily life. After Tingatinga’s death in 1972, other artists adopted his style; the genre is now the most important tourist-oriented style in East Africa.
Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga. George Lilanga who died in 2005, was one of Tanzania’s most famous sculptures. People in Tanzania often sculpt images of people and animals, usually out of clay or a metal.
Football (soccer) is very popular throughout the country, with fans divided between two major clubs, Young Africans S.C. (Yanga) and Simba S.C. Other popular sports include netball, boxing, running and busketball. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.
Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied. Along the coastal regions (Dar es salaam, Tanga,Bagamoyo,Zanzibar and Pemba), spicy foods are common, and there is also much use of coconut milk.
Regions in Tanzania’s mainland also have their own unique foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods includerice (wali), ugali(maize porridge),chapati(a kind of bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki(marinated beef), fish, pilau, biryani and ndizi-nyama,(plantains with meat).
Commonly used vegetables include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach), njegere (green peas), maharage [beans] and cassava leaves. Famous Snacks: maandaz [dogh]kishet, kashata, kebab(kabaab), samosa[sambusa]mkate wa kumimina (Zanzibar rice bread), vileja, vitumbua (rice patties), bagia, and many others.
Since a large proportion of Khoja Indians had migrated into Tanzania, a considerable proportion of Tanzanian cuisine has been influenced by Indian cuisine Famous chefs such as Mohsin Asharia have revolutionized dishes such as kashata korma tabsi and voodo aloo. Many Khoja Indians own restaurants in the heart of Dar es salaam, and have been welcomed by indigenous Tanzanian
One of Tanzania’s, and other parts of eastern Africa’s, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is usually composed of corn and is similar in consistency to a stiff paste or porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge.
Mixtures of cassava and millet flours are locally used for ugali. Rice and cooked green bananas are also important staples. Beef, goat meat, beans, yoghurt and a wide range of fish and green leafy vegetables all add nutrients to the dishes.
Many people drink tea in Tanzania. Usually tea is drunk in the morning, during breakfast with chapati and maandazi, and at times at night during supper.coffee is second, and is usually taken in the evening, when the sun is down, and people are on the front porch, playing cards or bao. Many people drink coffee with kashata (a very sweet tasting snack made from coconut meat or groundnuts).
There are also local beverages depending on the different tribes and regions. for coastal regions, such as Tanga and Dar es Salaam, mnazi or tembo is widely consumed. Other brews include wanzuki and mbege among the Chagga, and lubisi, nkencha, nkonyagi, and mbandule among the Haya found on the shores of Lake Victoria.
- From snow-capped mountains to wildlife-filled game reserves and white-sand beaches, this country offers diverse attractions for exciting vacations.
- Tanzania is the home of Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park, two lands of legend. Gaze up at Africa’s tallest mountain and see grazing wildlife. Travel to the island of Zanzibar for cultural sites and beach excursions.
- Across the nation there are more than 13 national parks, many with land or air safaris offering views of Africa’s big game animals. See zebras, gazelles, giraffes, elephants, lions and numerous bird species in the huge Serengeti National Park. More than 1 million wildebeest migrate between here and Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Park between July and October.
- Look for the chimpanzees made famous by Jane Goodall at Gombe Stream National Park. Hike the trails of Udzungwa Mountains National Park to Sanje Waterfalls and watch for delicate African violets growing in the wild. Tarangire National Park is known for huge elephant herds, very large birds and ancient rock paintings near Kolo.
- The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most famous spots in Tanzania. See the abundant wildlife grazing in the crater, plains and Olduvai Gorge. This region and its animals formed the inspiration for Disney’s The Lion King film. Here in 1959, Mary Leakey discovered the skull of a human ancestor that lived over a million years ago.
- In Kilimanjaro National Park, climb at least partway up the 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) of the very accessible Mount Kilimanjaro. Travel from tropical conditions through desert toward the snowy peak. Be sure to arrange proper gear and allow time for acclimation to the high altitudes.
- Ferry to Zanzibar to see the remains of the country’s Slave Market in the Swahili Stone Town. Participate in turtle conservancy at Mnarani Natural Aquarium. Nungwi Beach and other spots along much of the island’s coastline offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sun, sand and water.
- Fly into Zanzibar City, Kilimanjaro Airport or Tanzania’s capital of Dar es Salaam to access the country. Arrange safaris well in advance to ensure you can have your desired timing and locations.