Portal:Tanzania

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Tanzania Portal

The Tanzania Portal

Flag of Tanzania
Coat of Arms of Tanzania
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The United Republic of Tanzania (/ˌtænzəˈnə/; Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a sovereign state in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The states eastern borders lie in the Indian Ocean.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mkoa (regions). The current head of state is President John Pombe Magufuli, elected in 2015. Since 1996, the capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country's political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania, and is major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

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The Seven Sisters
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Mikumi National Park, a national park in Mikumi, near Morogoro, Tanzania. The park was established in 1964, currently covers an area of 3230 km² and is the fourth largest in the country. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. The area north-west is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru. The southeast part of the park is less rich in wildlife, and not very accessible.

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Map of Zanzibar

Zanzibar /ˈzænzɪbɑːr/ is the name for an archipelago in the Indian Ocean 25–50 km off the coast of East Africa, which is part of Tanzania. The archipelago consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, sometimes informally referred to as 'Zanzibar'), and Pemba Island. The archipelago was once the separate state of Zanzibar, which united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania (derived from the two names), and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. The city's old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.

Zanzibar's main industries are spices (which include cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper), raffia, and tourism. Zanzibar is also the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus and the elusive Zanzibar Leopard. The word "Zanzibar" probably derives from the Persian زنگبار, Zangi-bar ("coast of the blacks") and it is also known as Zanji-bar in Arabic. "Zanzibar" may also refer to the spice ginger (genus Zingiber). Pemba Island is the only island apart from Zanzibar that still produces cloves on a major basis which is the primary source of spice income for the islands.

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Hadzabe man
Credit: Idobi

A Hadza man preparing arrow in Tanzania. The Hadza people live around Lake Eyasi and number less than 1000. 300–400 Hadza people still live as hunter-gatherers.

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A large, grey tortoise on a grass lawn.


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This month in Tanzanian history

  • 11 May 1848: German missionary Johannes Rebmann became the first European to report seeing Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • 11 May 2006: Scientists announced that the Kipunji monkey found in 2003 belongs to a new genus of African monkey—the first to be discovered since 1923.
  • 28 May 1992: The Civic United Front liberal party was formed.

Wildlife of Tanzania

Bongo
Credit: Trisha Shears

The western or lowland bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus, is a herbivorous, mostly nocturnal forest ungulate and among the largest of the African forest antelope species. Bongos have a reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns. Indeed, bongos are the only Tragelaphid in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics.

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Tippu Tip

Tippu Tip or Tib (1837 – 14 June 1905), real name Hamed bin Mohammed bin Juma bin Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murgebi, was a Swahili-Zanzibari trader, notorious slaver, plantation owner and governor. Working for a succession of sultans of Zanzibar, he led many trading expeditions into east-central Africa, sometimes involving slave trade and ivory. He constructed profitable trading posts that reached deep into Central Africa.

He built himself a trading empire that he then translated into clove plantations on Zanzibar. Abdul Sheriff reported that when he left for his twelve years of "empire building" on the mainland, he had no plantiations of his own. However, by 1895 he had acquired "seven shambas [plantations] and 10,000 slaves."

His mother, Bint Habib bin Bushir, was a Muscat Arab of the ruling class. His father and paternal grandfather were coastal Swahili who had taken part in the earliest trading expeditions to the interior. His paternal great-grandmother, wife of Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murgebi was the daughter of Juma bin Mohammed el Nebhani, a member of a respected Muscat (Oman) family, and an African woman from the village of Mbwa Maji near Dar es Salaam.

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