Tanzania – Some Interesting and useful facts

  • Barry 

With thanks to Jules the following is an extract (with some minor embellishments in italics and in brackets ) from Julies WhatsApp broadcasts – If you would like to be included on the WhatsApp broadcasts just drop us a comment in this blog and we will oblige.

For many, Tanzania is synonymous with the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.

The country is beautiful, populated by a warm Swahili culture, and is arguably home to some of the best wildlife on this planet.

Here’s a few snippets about this special place….

The world’s oldest known human skull was found in Olduvai Gorge, near Oldivai Lake (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olduvai_Gorge)

Tanzania’s name Is a combination of the two separate states. The “Tan” comes from Tanganyika (which means something like “sail in the wilderness” in Swahili), the “Zan” from Zanzibar (from Arabic meaning “black coast”).

It is home to some of Africa’s most amazing lakes – Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and a slice of Lake Malawi.

There are more languages in Tanzania than in any other country in East Africa – well over 100! And what’s more there isn’t an official language although Swahili is like a lingua franca with about 10% of people speaking Swahili as their first language, and about 90% as a second.

It’s home to the highest and lowest points in Africa – the famous Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet above sea level, and the floor of Lake Tanganyika is 1,155 feet below sea level.

Almost 40% of the country is protected for conservation.(https://www.researchgate.net/)

Sadly the human rights record of the past is not so great – low gender equality, life imprisonment for gay men, a lack of freedom of expression, albino Tanzanians killed and mutilated for body parts … hopefully the new president will right these wrongs.

Only about 7% of the rural regions are blessed with electricity and only 24% of Tanzania’s urban centers have actual electricity. Droughts are often the cause, as hydroelectricity relies on water. Blackouts are also pretty frequent.

Northern Tanzania is home to the majestic Maasai people. Living in circular huts built with mud and grass, the Maasai – hunters by trade – are famous for their brightly-colored clothing (shuka), dyed red hair, beads, and jumping really, really high.

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar to Parsi Indian parents. Fleeing the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, teenage Freddie and his parents found themselves in Middlesex. The rest is history!


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