General Knowledge

Learn 10 interesting facts about Tanzania

Written by Wamiq Ali

Tanzania, a country in East Africa, includes islands as well as the main attached territory with the rest of the African continent. Tanzania makes up 6th most populated country in Africa when facts about the continent are concerned. Facts about Tanzania contain different geographical, economic and cultural perspectives. Tanzania contains islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. The country shares border with Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda.

1. Tallest mountain in Africa is in Tanzania

The country is home to the tallest mountain in the Africa, called as Mount Kilamanjaro. It’s 19,308ft in height which comes out to be 5,885 in meters. It’s a dormant volcano and a single-standing mountain. It also attracts tourism because of its unique nature as it’s a part of the Kilimanjaro National Park; therefore it’s a major climbing destination.

Kilimanjaro mountain in all its glory

2. Tanzania has 120 different ethnic groups

Like other African countries, Tanzania also has a diverse ethnic group of people. These people enjoy different ethnic backgrounds and show a diverse culture of traditions. In Tanzania around 120 different kinds of ethnic groups are present. Among these groups, according to the National Geographic statistics, Sukuma is the largest group. It lives in the north-western part of the country. A majority of the population lives in the rural settlements. Other groups include Nyamwezi, Chagga etc. Swahili is the official language of Tanzania and it’s most widely spoken in the country. The language has a unifying effect on the diverse groups residing in Tanzania.

3. Islam and Christianity are two major religions in Tanzania

The country has two major religions followers such as Muslims and Christians. Although there are people who still follow the folk beliefs, yet around half of the population counts itself as Christians – including Protestant or Roman Catholic branch. Muslims people constitute around 35.1% of the population. The muslim population include both Sunni and Shia sects. Recent stats show that 61.4% population is Christian, 35.2% population is muslim. Around 1.8% people follow the folk religion in Tanzania.

4. Britain and Germany had colonial rule on Tanzania

Zanzibar was a colony of the Britain, while Germany had Tanganyika under its control. Tanganyika in current times makes up an area in the mainland Tanzania. After World War II, Britain gained full control of the Tanzania. It wasn’t until 1964, that the colonial rule ended and Tanzania finally got freedom by merging the Zanzibar and Tanganyika. The two territories had relations which dated back to several centuries and the union was inevitable. Britannica descries the relation in the form of employment exchange, as the mainland citizens migrated to Zanzibar for earning a livelihood. The new country was named as United Republic of Tanzania in October 1964, as for a couple of months before this, it was called United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

5. Tanzania’s archaeology plays a vital role in understanding humans

The most important role played by the lands of Tanzania is the contribution towards the common heritage of the humans. The evolution of humans owes much to this territory. The earliest human skull which dates back to around 2 million years had been found in Tanzania, in the area of Olduvai Gorge. The famous East African archaeologist Dr. Leakey had discovered the skull.

6. Tanzania shares its national anthem with Zambia

It might sound a little strange, as countries don’t share their national anthem. However, contrary to this belief, the national anthem of Tanzania was shared between Zamia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Later, Zimbabwe and Namibia changed their compositions of the national anthem. The title of the national anthem is Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. The verse literally means Lord Bless Africa, as a result it can also be found in the South African national anthem. The tone of the national anthems of South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania are same. Tanzania uses the translated version of the Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika in the Swahili language, the composition becomes Mungu ibariki Afrika. Since the song is a pan-African liberation anthem, therefore, it has been adopted in the above mentioned countries in a way or the other.

The national anthem of Zambia is Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free, yet the tone is same as of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.

7. There are two capital cities in Tanzania

Pretty strange fact it might sound, yet it’s worth mentioning that Tanzania has two capital cities. One is Dar es Salaam and the other is Dodoma. The former was chosen as the capital when the country was founded in 1961, later a decision was made to move it to Dodoma. However, the movement and transfer is pretty slow. In a decade, the national assembly has been moved to Dodoma, yet the administrative structure transfer is to be made.

8. Freddie Mercury was born in Tanzania

The popular guy, Freddie Mercury, who was the lead vocalist in the rock bank Queen was actually born in Tanzania in the year 1946. It was known as the Sultanate of the Zanzibar at that time. Read the fact number 4 of this article, for more detail about the pre-independence Tanzania. Not to mention, a movie on the guy has been made named as Bohemian Rhapsody. The film was awarded several time and it became on of the finest performances of Rami Malek. The real name of Freddie Mercury is Farrokh Bulsara.

9. Tanzania exports Gold and Beans (Coffee, Nuts, Cashews)

Almost 29% of the Tanzanian exports consists of Gold, the rest 15-17% make up for the beans such as Nuts, Cashews, Coffee Beans. The export of Tanzania is around $5.3bn as of the year 2017. Although in comparison with the rest of the world, the Gold and Beans production isn’t a huge figure. The total revenue earned due to exports show the entire story. Further, due to more imports than the exports, the country also faces a fiscal deficit.

10. The second largest fresh water lake in the world is in Tanzania

Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, situated in Tanzania. It’s also the second deepest freshwater lake. It’s the sixth largest lake by area and its basin includes parts of Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi and DR Congo. It has a surface area of 32,900 square kilometre. The lake drains into the Congo River system and then the water eventually goes to the Atlantic Ocean.

About the author

Wamiq Ali

Programmer, Blogger and an Entrepreneur trying to make this web a better place by making others learn for free.

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