If you wish to experience climbing to the top of the world’s highest freestanding mountain, then you should visit this country of Tanzania. A tourist guide could take you to the highest altitude possible of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you could not take the pressure, the climb in this 5th highest peak in Africa that you could find in Arusha National Park. If you would like to have close encounters with the chimpanzees, then take a turn to visit the Mahale Mountains National Park. This country has lots of parks to choose from where you could spend the entire vacation, learning more things about the locals on how the very rich history has influenced their lives.
Important and Interesting Facts about Tanzania
- Tanzania is a country in East Africa in the African Great Lakes region. It is 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 border is formed by the Indian Ocean.
- Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.
- Tanzania weathered the Great Recession, which began in late 2008 or early 2009, relatively well. Strong gold prices, bolstering the country’s mining industry, and Tanzania’s poor integration into global markets helped to insulate the country from the downturn.
- The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, which accounts for 24.5 percent of gross domestic product, and accounts for half of the employed workforce;
- Tanzania is the 13th largest country in Africa and the 31st largest in the world, ranked between the larger Egypt and smaller Nigeria.
- Serengeti National Park is a vast treeless plain with thousands, even millions of animals searching for fresh grasslands. As the largest national park in Tanzania, the Serengeti attracts thousands of tourists each year. The best months for wildlife viewing are between December and June. The wet season is from March to May, with the coldest period from June to October.
- The Zanzibar archipelago consists of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The island of Zanzibar, also called Unguja, is a major holiday destination known for its beautiful beaches. This island has some of the best beaches in the world with varying surf depending on what side of the island you are on. Visitors will find soft white sand and clear shallow water, along with traditional boats. Stone Town is located in the heart of Zanzibar and features old Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways and a busy port.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area -This huge volcanic crater draws all kinds of wildlife, making it one of the most popular attractions in Tanzania. With a permanent supply of water, animals stay in this area rather than migrating as they do in other areas of the country. Visitors come here primarily for viewing large game and bird watching.
- Lake Manyara National Park is comprised of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. Two-thirds of the park is covered by water and Lake Manyara is host to thousands of flamingoes, at certain times of year, as well as other diverse bird life. The highlight of Lake Manyara Park is the large population of elephants, tree-climbing lions and hippos that can be observed at a much closer range than in other parks. This park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons in the world.
- Mafia Island draws divers and snorkelers from around the world to the undersea world protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park. The best months for diving are October to March but the best weather on Mafia Island is May to October, March and April are months of heavy rain. Mafia Island Marine Park has excellent coral gardens, an abundant variety of fish and a relaxed diving atmosphere.
- Tarangire National Park was established in 1970 and is best visited in the dry season from July to September when the animals gather along the river. During the dry season, Tarangire National Park has one of the highest concentrations of migratory wildlife. Wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the lagoons. One of the most noticeable highlights of Tarangire National Park is the baobab trees that dot the grassy landscape.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Tanzania
- Some of the houses were made from mud and cow poop.
- Mountain Dew was just introduced to this country on 2010.
- People’s work day starts at 6am but is called the 1st hour. So when they say that church is at 10 (the 10th hour) it actually means 4pm.
- It’s interesting how women can just breast feed in public with out covering themselves and not get any strange looks but women can’t have their knees showing and must wear skirts.
- Mpingo trees (a.k.a. Africa blackwood trees, commonly seen in Tanzania) are the most expensive hardwood tree in the world.
- The world’s earliest human skull was found in theOlduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
- Tanzania is the home of the coconut crab. This crab, the largest crab in the world (and reportedly one of the most delicious), can be found on Chumbe Island of Zanzibar.
- Tanzania is a home to the Maasai people, famous for its cervical rings. From an early age, girls make their necks longer, adding to it new and new rings. The sign of beauty in the tribe is the ears with a huge hole in the earlobe (which was specially formed from childhood).
- Sadly, one out of every ten people in Tanzania is affected with HIV/AIDS.
- About 33% of the Tanzanian population is illiterate.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Tanzania
- Arab traders first began to colonize the area in 700. Portuguese explorers reached the coastal regions in 1500 and held some control until the 17th century, when the sultan of Oman took power. With what are now Burundi and Rwanda, Tanganyika became the colony of German East Africa in 1885. After World War I, it was administered by Britain under a League of Nations mandate and later as a UN trust territory.
- Although not mentioned in old histories until the 12th century, Zanzibar was always believed to have had connections with southern Arabia. The Portuguese made it one of their tributaries in 1503 and later established a trading post, but they were driven from Oman by Arabs in 1698. Zanzibar was declared independent of Oman in 1861 and, in 1890, it became a British protectorate.
- Tanganyika became independent on Dec. 9, 1961; Zanzibar on Dec. 10, 1963. On April 26, 1964, the two nations merged into the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name was changed to Tanzania six months later.
- On Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam was bombed by terrorists, killing ten. The same day an even more devastating explosion destroyed the U.S. embassy in neighboring Kenya.
- National cuisine of Tanzania is very exotic. Most of the dishes are made of different kinds of meat of wild animals and birds. Beef and pork in these areas are traditionally expensive. Usually, locals offers any exotic meals for tourists – filet antelope, stew elephant, crocodile meat with a salad of bananas, fried warthog and roasted simmered meat “nama-Choma” or “mishikaki” of all kinds – “Nyam – nkombe” (roast beef)” Nyam – boo” (chicken), “Nyame-on-ndizi” (meat with steamed bananas), etc.
- Both the symbolic and practical cornerstone of Tanzanian socialism was ujamaa , a Swahili word meaning “family” or “familyhood.” The core structure of ujamaa is the traditional extended family and clan structure of most ethnic groups, which provides a framework for mutual assistance and cooperation. It was believed this structure would provide the foundation for socialist production.
- In many rural areas of Tanzania, tribal customs advocate a gender division of labor: women and girls take care of the household chores, small children, and livestock, and plant and weed the agricultural fields. Men prepare land for cultivation, care for large livestock, market produce, and make the important financial and political decisions for the family.
- Tanzanians are proud of their disciplined upbringing. The ability to keep control of one’s temper and emotions in public is highly valued. Young men and women in rural areas are not supposed to show mutual affection in public in daylight, although this rule is often broken in urban centers. Boys and men, however, are commonly seen in public holding hands as a sign of friendship or camradarie. In many rural areas, women are not supposed to smoke, talk in a raised voice, or cross their legs while sitting or standing.
- Indigenous religious practitioners differ significantly according to ethnic group. For example, in some cases among the Haya, the omufumu (“healer” in the Kihaya language) uses herbs and spiritual power to diagnose and cure illnesses. Acting spirit mediums, the Wazee (“Ancestors” or “Old ones” in Swahili) “come in to the omufumu’s head” and speak through him or her. The Wazee have the ability to travel great distances and bring about a therapeutic cure, such as the recovery of stolen objects or even success in soccer matches.
- A thriving tourist industry supports thousands of artisans in Tanzania, the most famous being the Makonde carvers of ebony from the extreme southeast corner of the country.
- Traditional clothing of Tanzania has not died out. The traditional piece of cloth is locally known as ‘khanga’. The khanga is unique to the east African nation of Tanzania. The cloth is rectangular in shape. Khanga is made from pure cotton. The Tanzanian clothing is characterized by a border all around the periphery of the cloth. The khanga is brightly colored and printed in bold designs.