Tanzania: Did you know?

You’ve probably heard of Tanzania’s popular safari destination - the Serengeti - but did you know what its name means? Ever wondered which famous singer was born on Zanzibar or how the name Tanzania came into use? Make sure you’re in the know before you go with our quite interesting facts about this East African gem…

  • The late Freddy Mercury was born in Stone Town, Zanzibar on 5 September 1946.
  • The Ngorongoro Crater is home to Africa’s highest concentration of Black rhino.black rhino Ngorongoro Crater
  • Tanzania, officially the Republic of Tanzania, is so called because the country was created in 1964 by the unification of Tanganika and Island Sultanate of Zanzibar.
  • Tanzania shares borders with eight countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
  • The Serengeti - a Maasai word meaning ‘endless plains’ – is home to over 500 different bird species.
  • Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak at 5,895m. This dormant stratovolcano is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain and its summit is the only place you can see the curvature of Earth with your feet still on solid ground. Despite its close proximity to the equator, its height ensures the summit, Uhuru Peak, is always covered in snow and ice.

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  • Coffee is the country’s largest export crop, producing on average 30-40,000 tons of Arabica and Robusta coffee each year. The industry employs around 270,000 workers.
  • The country is bordered by three of the largest lakes in Africa: Lake Victoria (the world’s second largest freshwater lake), Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi.
  • There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania including the Serengeti, Selous National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Stone Town on Zanzibar.

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  • Tanzania’s protected wildlife zones cover 25% of the country.
  • Mto wa Mbu (meaning Mosquito River) is a village 120km from Arusha. Home to around 12,000 people from 120 different tribes (including the Chagga, Sandawe, Rangi and the nomadic Maasai), Mto wa Mbu is the only part of Tanzania where over 100 different languages are spoken. The main export of this tiny rural enclave is bananas.
  • The Coconut crab, native to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean islands, is the world’s largest land invertebrate and can span up to a metre wide.

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  • Arusha’s clock tower is the midway point between Cape Town in South Africa and Cairo in Egypt.
  • Tanzania only has four cinemas – three in Das el Salaam and one in Arusha.
  • Julius Nyerere, fondly known as the ‘Father of Tanzania’, was the country’s first president from 1961 - 1985.

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