50 Fascinating Facts about Tanzania

Located just south of the equator, Tanzania is an East African country that became a sovereign state in 1964. It includes the three spice islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, and Pemba. Three of Africa’s great lakes lie partially in Tanzania. In Tanzania, the poverty level is extremely high. 67.9 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Tanzania is a country with religious freedom as quite a few world religions have been a part of the country’s history. While there are over 100 languages spoken here, Swahili is the main language that is meant to unify the nation. People of different religions or groups rarely have any serious friction or fighting. Festivals for both Christians and Muslims are recognized equally.

Tanzania Facts

The population of Tanzania is 58,457,779.
Tanzania’s official name is the United Republic of Tanzania.
Tanzania is a sovereign state.
Tanzania was called Tanganyika, before the island of Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika. Soon after the merge, a clipped compound of the name of the two states created the name Tanzania.
The national language of Tanzania is Swahili.
There is a total of 126 languages spoken in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s government is a unitary presidential republic.
In 2015 the Tanzanian government made an announcement that it will stop the policy of using English as a language of education. Classes will only be taught in Swahili.
After 1967, religious surveys were removed from government census reports. Official statistics are no longer available.
The Tanzanian flag has a green triangle in the upper left corner and a blue triangle in the bottom right corner. There is also a diagonal black band with a yellow edge in the middle.
Tanzania is the twelfth largest economy in Africa and the second largest economy in East Africa.
The nominal GDP is an estimated $51,194 billion, and the nominal GDP per capita is $1,032.
Females have a higher unemployment rate than males in Tanzania.
Dodoma was made the official capital of Tanzania in 1974.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city and port in Tanzania and is the de facto capital, as most government administration is based there.
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is also a dormant volcano. It stands approximately 19,341 ft (5,895 meters) tall
Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the band Queen, was born in 1946 in what is now Tanzania. His birth name was Farrokh Bulsara.
Tanzania actually has an island called Mafia. It is governed from the mainland and the economy there is based on subsistence agriculture, fishing, and the marketplace in Kilindoni.
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling.
In Tanzania, they drive on the left side of the road.
A painting style called Tingatinga, was created in the second half of the 20th century near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and afterward spread to most of East Africa.
It is thought that Tanzania has the largest population of Albinos in Africa. Albinos are at risk of killing and dismembering due to superstitions in some areas. There are campaigns to try and stop the persecution of Albinos.
The literary culture of Tanzania is mostly oral and consists of proverbs, folktales, riddles, songs, and poems.
Tanzania currently has 17 public holidays.
The median age in Tanzania is 17.7 years old.
Tanzania adopted it’s first “National Science and Technology Policy”, in 1996 in hopes of boosting the economy.
There are over 100 landing strips or small airports in Tanzania in addition to their four international airports.
The economy in Tanzania is strongly based on agriculture.
67.9 percent of the population in Tanzania lives below the poverty line.
Nutritional deficiencies in Tanzanian women and young girls, happen more than they do in men. 33% of women in Tanzania are deficient in vitamin A, iron, and iodine and 2/5 are anemic.
Three of Africa’s Great Lakes are located partly within Tanzania.
More than 1,500 years ago, the Haya people who lived on the shores on the west side of Lake Victoria, invented a form of a high heat blast furnace, which let them make carbon steel, with temperatures reaching over 3,310 degrees F (1,820 degrees C).
There are at least 17 types of bananas grown in Tanzania. They are used to make stew, chips, and soup.
In the late 1800s, Germany colonized East Africa, including Tanzania.
After World War I, the British colonized Tanzania.
Lake Tanganyika is divided among four countries, including Tanzania. It is the second deepest, second oldest and second largest (by volume) freshwater lake in the world.
There are 310 mammal species and 960 bird species in Tanzania, mostly in their game reserves and national parks.
Tanzania’s Independence Day (also called Republic day), falls on December 9 and celebrates the end of British rule in Tanganyika in 1961.
Most of the travel in Tanzania is by road. However, the roads can be bumpy with potholes and places that are not paved.
Over 90% of the population of Tanzania lives in areas affected by malaria. Malaria and prematurity are leading causes of the death of children under the age of five in this country.
Tanzania is twice the size of California, with an area of 365,756 square miles (947,303 square kilometers).
The national anthem of Tanzania is “Mungu ibariki Afrika” which means “God bless Africa” in English. It is sang in Swahili.
Even though Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, it kept a semi-autonomous status with independence and has a local government set in Stone Town.
The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest national park and has a lot of wildlife, including over a million wildebeest (gnus).
Tanzania is bordered by the Indian Ocean and eight countries: Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Spicy foods are common along the coastal regions of Tanzania. These regions also use a lot of coconut milk.
Some regular Tanzanian mainland foods are mshikaki (marinated beef), chapati (a kind of bread), wali (rice), samaki (fish), ugali (maize porridge), nyama choma (grilled meat), and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat).
A popular sport in Tanzania is football. Other well-liked sports are boxing, volleyball, netball, rugby, and athletics.
Coffee is Tanzania’s largest export crop and is an important aspect of its economy.

Tanzania has a varying climate depending on location. Other than the highlands and mountainous areas, temperatures rarely fall below 68 degrees F (20 degrees C). Tanzania has an assortment of forest and games reserves in addition to 16 national parks. While the Tanzanian economy is greatly based on agriculture, many of the people of Tanzania live below the poverty line and do not get enough food. Tanzania has had several failed water supply initiatives, and access to water is a big issue for many in the rural areas. Contrary to other African countries, most of the population identifies as Tanzanian first before anything else. The children are taught to be respectful and polite from an early age. Despite all of their difficulties, there is a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood between strangers in Tanzania calling them kaka (brother), dada (sister), or ndugu (relative or comrade).


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