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ClickAfrique - 10 Random Facts about Tanzania.

Last Updated: 12/10/2006 1:04:50 PM

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9th of December, 2006 is Tanzania's 45th year of independence from the United Kingdom and ClickAfrique presents ten random facts about Tanzania.....

The flag of Tanzania
The flag of Tanzania

1)The name Tanzania is an amalgam of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika is the name of the mainland of the east African country, and the Zanzibar islands lie off the eastern coast of the country. Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania in 1964.

2) Tanzania is home to Africa's highest Mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, at 19,341 feet (5,895 metres), the snow capped mountain is located in the Arusha region in the north east of Tanzania close to the Kenyan border.

3) Tanzania is also home to two of Africa's largest lakes Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. Lake Victoria at 26,560 square miles (68,800 square km) is Africa's largest lake and approximately twice the size of Belgium. 66% of the lake lies within Tanzania with the remainder lying in Uganda and Kenya. Lake Tanganyika, Africa's second largest lake, is 12,700 square miles (32,900 square km) of which 41% lies in Tanzania with the rest lying in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world and the second largest by volume.

4) Tanzanite is a gemstone that is found only in Tanzania, after which the stone was named. The gemstones were first discovered by Masai shepherds in 1967 in the Merelani hills near Arusha in north eastern Tanzania.

5) Tanzania has many national parks and reserves but the most famous of these is The Serengeti. Sandwiched between Lake Victoria and the Kenyan border the Serengeti is home to over six million wildlife and is famed for its annual migration where millions of wildlife migrate each year to the north over a distance of 25 miles through crocodile infested waters.The name Serengeti derives from the Masai word Siringitu - "the place where the land moves on forever." Serengeti is part of the Tanzania's tourist trail known as the Northern Circuit.

6) Tanzania's original capital was the coastal town of Dar Es Salaam, however in 1973 the government announced the re-siting of the nation's capital to Dodoma in the centre of the country. Although a number of Government organisations have moved to Dodoma, Dar Es Salaam (Arabic for "Haven of Peace") still remains the commercial and economic capital of Tanzania.

7) Tanzania like other East African nations has failed to make an appreciable impact in African football. Tanzania's national team, popularly known as the Taifa stars, has never qualified for the World Cup and has only got to the African Cup of Nations once in 1980. At a club level, major Tanzanian clubs include Young Africans, Simba SC, Arusha FC, Mtibwa Sugar, Kagera Sugar and Moro United. Simba FC and Young Africans both of Dar Es Salaam being the most successful having won the domestic championship 30 times between them since 1965 (Young Lions 14, Simba 16).

8) The Olduvai Gorge located in northern Tanzania is reputed amongst archaeologists to be the cradle of mankind. It was here that Dr Louis Leakey discovered the earliest human remains anywhere on the planet at the time.

9) Tanzania's populations is currently estimated at 34,671,453 (2002) making it the 7th most populous country in Africa. The most populous region on the mainland is Dar Es Salaam, which includes the capital of the same name, at 2,547,217. The least populous is Pwani on the eastern coast at 848,316. The islands of Zanzibar have a combined population of 1,003,794.

10) Tanzania like most African countries is multilingual. The two national languages are Kiswahilli and English, with pupils being taught in both languages through primary and secondary school.

Map of Tanzania
Map of Tanzania


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