10 Fascinating Tanzania Facts

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Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the African great lake Region. It is bordered by Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; the Comoro Islands and 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. Tanzania has a population of about 56.3 million people spread across its 947.303 Km2 of land. The country gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 and Swahili are is it official language.

Tanzania, whose current president is Samia Suluhu, is a wildlife heaven. With that in mind, here are 10 facts about Tanzania that you probably didn’t know.

1. Tanzania has The Highest Concentration of animals per square KM in the World When it comes to wildlife, East African countries top the list around the world. Tanzania is a large country filled with different species of animals. In Tanzania, there are roughly 4 million wild animals, accounting for 20% of Africa’s large mammal population. It’s also home to the largest lion population on the planet; some numbers quote over 16,000 lions!. Tanzania’s fauna is notable both for sheer numbers and variety, with representatives of 430 species and subspecies among the country’s more than four million wild animals. These include zebras, elephants, wildebeests, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, antelopes, dik-diks, gazelles, elands and kudus.

 2. The Shortest War In History has Fought in Tanzania

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was a military conflict fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate on 27 August 1896. The conflict lasted between 38 and 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war in history. The immediate cause of the war was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed, who was more favourable to British interests, as sultan. Following a treaty signed in 1886, a condition for accession to the sultanate was that the candidate obtains the permission of the British consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement. The ultimatum expired at 09:00 East Africa Time (EAT) on 27 August, by which time the British had gathered three cruisers, two gunboats, 150 marines and sailors, and 900 Zanzibaris in the harbour area. Britain came out the victor with just one person wounded while the losing side suffered a somewhat greater loss with more than 500 dead or injured

3. Tanzania is Home to the Highest Mountain in Africa Mount Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, which is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, with its summit of 5,895 metres above sea level and at about 4,900 metres high from its plateau base. Kilimanjaro is also the fourth most topographically prominent peak on Earth. The first people known to have reached the summit of the mountain were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller, in 1889. The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. Because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields, the mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies. 

4. The world’s Largest Volcanic crater is found in Tanzania Ngorongoro Crater, is an extinct volcanic caldera in the Eastern (Great) Rift Valley, northern Tanzania. It lies 75 miles (120 km) west of the town of Arusha. The caldera measures between 10 and 12 miles (16 and 19 km) across and has an area of 102 square miles (264 square km). Its heavily forested rim rises 2,000 feet (610 metres) above the caldera’s floor to an elevation of 7,500 feet (2,286 metres). Ngorongoro is thought to have formed about 2.5 million years ago from a large active volcano whose cone collapsed inward after a major eruption, leaving the present vast, unbroken caldera as its chief remnant.

5. Tanzania is the 3rd largest country in East Africa by Surface Area

Tanzania has a surface area of about 947,300 square kilometres. Dar es Salaam, the most populous city, contains approximately 2.7 million people and accounts for most commercial activity. Tanzania is also the 13th largest country in Africa and the 31st in the World.

6. The largest land crab in the world can be found in Zanzibar

The earth’s largest land-dwelling crustacean. This crab is said to be the most delicious and can be found on Zanzibar’s Chumbe Island.

It is fast, likes to climb palm trees, and eats coconuts. Adult coconut crabs are about 40 cm long. They can weigh up to 4 kilograms. Legs can span up to one meter in length.

The shearing of the coconut crab is extremely powerful.

7. Tanzania’s richest man has a net worth of 1.5 billion dollars

Mohammed Dewji is Tanzania’s billionaire and the CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.

METL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.

METL operates in at least six African countries and has ambitions to expand to several more. 

8. The great migration in Tanzania is being considered as one of the wonders of the world

The Great Migration of the Serengeti is considered one of ‘The Ten Wonders of The Natural World’, and one of the best events in Tanzania to witness. A truly awe-inspiring spectacle of life in an expansive ecosystem ruled by rainfall and the urge for survival amongst the herbivores of the Serengeti plains.

Accompanied by 200,000 zebra, 350,000 gazelles and 12,000 elands this strange wonder of the natural world circulates the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, its path dictated by rainfall and the resulting growth of grasses on the plains. There is neither a start nor finish to their journey; merely a relentless sequence of life and death. The only beginning is the moment of birth and the only ending is death – which can come only too easily in the migration.

9. Tanzania has had a total of 6 presidents since independence

a) Julius Nyerere

1 November 1964 up to 5 November 1985

b) Ali Hassan Mwinyi

5 November 1985 – 23 November 1995

c) Benjamin Mkapa

23 November 1995 – 21 December 200

d) Jakaya Kikwete

21 December 2005 – 5 November 2015

e) John Magufuli

5 November 2015 – 17 March 2021

f) Samia Suluhu Hassan

19 March 2021 up to now

10. Lake Victoria in Tanzania is the largest tropical lake and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world

These include the 3 largest lakes in Africa – Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi – as well as lakes Turkana, Albert, Edward, Kivu, and several others.

The lakes are important habitats for a variety of fish and amphibian species, as well as abundant birdlife and crocodiles.

Elephants, gorillas, hippos, and other wildlife can be found in the Great Rift Valley’s mountains and valleys in the surrounding lake region.

Millions of people across several East African countries depend on the lakes’ resources and surrounding forests for their livelihoods and day-to-day lives.

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