Portal:Tanzania

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Tanzania Portal

The Tanzania Portal

Flag of Tanzania
Coat of Arms of Tanzania
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Tanzania (/ˌtænzəˈnə/, Swahili: [tanzaˈni.a]), officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.

Many important hominid fossils have been found in Tanzania, such as 6-million-year-old Pliocene hominid fossils. The genus Australopithecus ranged all over Africa 4 to 2 million years ago; and the oldest remains of the genus Homo are found near Lake Olduvai. Following the rise of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago, mankind spread all over the Old World, and later in the New World and Australia under the species Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens also overtook Africa and absorbed the older archaic species and subspecies of humanity. One of the oldest known ethnic groups still existing, the Hadzabe, appears to have originated in Tanzania, and their oral history recalls ancestors who were tall and were the first to use fire, medicine, and lived in caves, much like Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis who lived in the same region before them.

Later in the Stone and Bronze Age, prehistoric migrations into Tanzania included Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from present-day Ethiopia; Eastern Cushitic people who moved into Tanzania from north of Lake Turkana about 2,000 and 4,000 years ago; and the Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, who originated from the present-day South Sudan–Ethiopia border region between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago. These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They subsequently migrated across the rest of Tanzania between 2,300 and 1,700 years ago.

German rule began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa. This was followed by British rule after World War I. The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

The United Nations estimated Tanzania's 2018 population at 56.31 million. The population is composed of several ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The sovereign state of Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic and since 1996 its official capital city has been Dodoma where the president's office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, and leading commercial centre. Tanzania is a de facto one-party state with the democratic socialist Chama Cha Mapinduzi party in power.

Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area. The Kalambo Falls, located on the Kalambo River at the Zambian border, is the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa.

Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. The country does not have a de jure official language, although the national language is Swahili. Swahili is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, and as a medium of instruction in primary school. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, although the Tanzanian government is planning to discontinue English as a language of instruction altogether. Approximately 10 percent of Tanzanians speak Swahili as a first language, and up to 90 percent speak it as a second language. Read more...

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Dar es Salaam
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

A panoramic view of the city of Dar es Salaam. Visible are the Bank of Tanzania twin towers, the PPF Towers, the Mafuta House and the Julius Nyerere Pension Tower, to the right; the Kariakoo area next with the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium at the back, followed by the slums.

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Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar

The post of Sultan of Zanzibar was created on 19 October 1856, after the death of Sa'id ibn Sultan, who had ruled Oman and Zanzibar as the Sultan of Oman since 1804. The Sultans of Zanzibar were of a cadet branch of the Al Bu Sa'id Dynasty of Oman.

In 1698, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman. The Arabs established garrisons at Zanzibar, Pemba, and Kilwa. In 1832 or 1840, the date varies among sources, Sa'id ibn Sultan moved his capital from Muscat in Oman to Stone Town. He established a ruling Arab elite and encouraged the development of clove plantations, using the island's slave labour. Zanzibar's commerce fell increasingly into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, whom Sa'id encouraged to settle on the island. After his death in 1856, two of his sons—Majid ibn Sa'id and Thuwaini ibn Sa'id—struggled over the succession. Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities. Majid became the Sultan of Zanzibar, while Thuwaini became the Sultan of Oman. During his 14-year reign as sultan, Majid consolidated his power around the East African slave trade.

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Children in Arusha
Credit: Fanny Schertzer

School children in Arusha, Tanzania. There are four schools in and around Arusha. One, the School of St Jude, provides free education to children from poor local families.


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Wildlife of Tanzania

White Rhinoceros
Credit: drplokta

The White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is one of the five species of rhinoceros that still exist and is one of the few megafaunal species left. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. The White Rhino consists of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhino and the much rarer Northern White Rhino.

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Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin (Ruete) p 002.jpg

Emily Ruete (1844–1924) was born in Zanzibar as Sayyida Salme, Princess of Zanzibar and Oman. She was a daughter of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid, Sultan of Zanzibar and Oman.

Sayyida Salme was born on 30 August 1844 as daughter of Sultan Said and Jilfidan, a Circassian concubine. Her first years were spent in the huge Bet il Mtoni palace, by the sea about eight kilometers north of Stone Town. (The palace was mostly demolished in 1914). She grew up bilingual in Arabic and Swahili. In 1851 she moved to Bet il Watoro, the house of her brother Majid bin Said of Zanzibar, the later sultan. Her brother taught her to ride and to shoot. In 1853 she moved with her mother to Bet il Tani. She secretly taught herself to write, a skill which was unusual for women at the time.

When her father died in 1856 she was declared of age, twelve years old, and received her paternal heritage. This consisted of a plantation with a residence, and 5,429 pounds. After her father's death, her brother Sayyid Thuwaini bin Said al-Said became Sultan of Muscat and Oman, while her brother Majid became Sultan of Zanzibar.

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