35 Interesting Facts About Tanzania

  1. Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the African great lakes region. It is situated south of the Equator.
  2. Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa, with an altitude of 5,895 m. Its summit is about 4,900 m from its base, making it the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Tanzania’s second-highest mountain, Mount Meru, is the 4th tallest mountain in Africa. (Source)
  3. The place for the highest altitude pizza delivery on land is 5,897 m (19,347 ft.) at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This record was made by Yum! Brands (USA) and Pizza Hut Africa (South Africa) in 2016. (Source)
  4. Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania has the most continuous record of human evolution from 2.1 million to 15,000 years ago. It contains fossil remains of more than 60 human-like creatures. It also has the longest known stone tool. Olduvai Gorge is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Source)
  5. The oldest hominid footprints on earth were discovered in Tanzania in 1978. These footprints are 3.7 million years old that were preserved in volcanic ash. (Source)
  6. During the 19th Century, Tanganyika (now mainland Tanzania) got divided between Germany and Britain. Zanzibar became the protectorate of Britain
  7. The British Empire captured the entire area of today’s Tanzania after the defeat of the German Empire in WW1.
  8. Tanganyika gained independence from Britain in 1961, while Zanzibar achieved freedom in 1963. Both these territories united in 1964 to form Tanzania. Zanzibar is an autonomous region of Tanzania with its separate president.
  9. The union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar materialized after the Zanzibar revolution in 1964. Thousands of Arabs lost their lives, and many fled the island during this deadly revolution.
  10. The word “Tanzania” is derived by combining the first three letters of both Tanganyika (Tan) and Zanzibar (Zan).
  11. Tanzania fought a successful war against Uganda in 1978. It resulted in the overthrow of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
  12. Tanzania is the most populous country among countries that lie entirely in the Southern Hemisphere. The population of this African country is more than 61 million. (Source)
  13. Dodoma is the capital city of Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and main port in the country.
  14. CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) is the longest-reigning political party in Africa. It has been the ruling party in Tanzania since the country’s independence in 1961. (Source)
  15. Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania is the world’s only volcano known for the eruption of carbonatite lava. This coolest lava has very little silica and an abundance of carbonate minerals. (Source)
    Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania
    Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only volcano that expels carbonatite lava

  16. Kalambo Falls on the Tanzania-Zambia border is the 2nd highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa. It is also an archeological site due to the presence of primitive tools dating back to 300,000 BC. (Source)
  17. More than 61% of Tanzanians are Christians, while over 35% follow Islam. Almost the entire population of Zanzibar is Muslim.
  18. The rate of albinism in Tanzania is 1 in 1,400 people, while it is 1 in 20,000 in other countries. These people face persecution in Tanzania due to the belief in the traditional practice of Muti that their body parts have magical and healing properties. More than 76 albinos in Tanzania lost their lives due to homicide between 2000 and 2016. (Source)
  19. After Kenya, northern parts of Tanzania are the only residing place for the Maasai people, who are known for their unique dress and traditions.
  20. Tanzania has a longstanding dispute with Malawi over Lake Nyasa (known as Lake Malawi in Malawi), which is present in both countries.
  21. There are more than 120 African ethnic groups in Tanzania. The majority of these tribes are Bantu people.
  22. Swahili is the national and official language in Tanzania. English is another official language in the country.
  23. The Anglo-Zanzibar War is known as the shortest war in recorded history. It was fought between the British Empire and the Sultanate of Zanzibar in 1896 and lasted for less than an hour. (Source)
  24. The coconut crab is the largest arthropod on land. In Africa, these crabs are present only in Zanzibar (Tanzania).
  25. Serengeti national park in north-central Tanzania contains large herds of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras. It is the only place in Africa known for vast migration of land animals. (Source)
  26. Lions are usually unable to climb trees. But Tanzania is one of few African countries with tree-climbing lions. These lions are visible in two places in Tanzania: Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park. (Source)
  27. More than 38% of the total land area in Tanzania is designated as a protected area. These include national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and other landscapes with limited public access. (Source)
  28. Ngorongoro crater is an extinct volcanic caldera in northern Tanzania, formed 2.5 million years ago. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to various animals, including the densest population of lions in the world. (Source)
  29. Lake Natron in Tanzania has extremely alkaline water and high temperature. Its alkalinity is between pH 9 and 10.5, while the temperature can reach up to 60 C. This high alkalinity is due to the presence of natron (a mixture of sodium carbonate and baking soda) in the water, which is the product of volcanic ash. This high alkalinity causes death and the preservation of most animals. (Source)
    Satellite image of Lake Natron in Tanzania
    Lake Natron has extremely high alkalinity

  30. Gold and raw tobacco are the main exports of Tanzania. The major imports of the country are refined petroleum and palm oil. (Source)
  31. Ukerewe Island on the Tanzanian part of Lake Victoria is the largest inland island in Africa. It has an area of nearly 530 km2.
  32. Zanzibar was once the center of the East African slave trade. It became the largest slave market in East Africa during the 17th Century. This trade was mainly managed by Omani settlers. The slave trade in Zanzibar was legally abolished in 1873. (Source)
  33. Zanzibar is known as “Spice Island.” It was historically famous for the growth and trade of spices like pepper, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  34. In 1961, Tanzania became the first country to use the popular song “God bless Africa” as its national anthem. The same song is also the national anthem of Zambia and South Africa.
  35. There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tanzania. These include three cultural, three natural, and one mixed site. (Source)

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