The republic of Tanzania is situated in the Eastern section of the African continent. The country is considered to be a union between the island of Zanzibar and the state of Tanganyika. Tanzania has a distinctive architecture featured with an Arabian Islamic style because the country used to belong to the Omani Empire in the past. Many tourists coming from all over the world have started organizing tours to Tanzania because of its marvelous beaches and amazing natural life.
The Geography of Tanzania
The land of Tanzania stretches from the Indian Ocean in the East in the form of sandy beaches, coral reefs, and swamps that contain many mangrove forests. Parallel to the sandy beaches of Tanzania, there is long valley with its widest point is at the central region to the West of Dar Al Salam, the capital of the country that started attracting many travelers who come for vacations in Tanzania.
To the West of this valley, there is a high plateau with an average height of 1500 meters. Many high mountains are located on top of this plateau like the Mountain of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, offering amazing hiking trips for tourists coming to spend their tours in Tanzania. This is the section of Tanzania where the Rift Valley passes through the country.
The lands of Tanzania also host a huge section of freshwater lakes with a surface area that exceeds 53 thousand square kilometers. This section includes half of the Victoria Lake, a section of the Tanganyika Lake, and a part of the Malawi Lake. This is besides many other smaller lakes of fresh water. The wild life and the flora of this region has become a favorite touristic spot during the past few years attracting more and more guests who travel to Tanzania to enjoy their time and live in a different environment.
The climate of Tanzania
The climate of Tanzania belongs to the African wet tropical climate but the large surface area of its lands, made the country have a variety of different climates. The coastal section of Tanzania is featured with a rather rainy hot weather that is quite similar to the equatorial climate where it rains almost all year long. On the other hand, in the central and Southern section of Tanzania, the Sudanese climate is dominant where the temperature is low on high grounds.
The people of Tanzania
The inhabitants of Tanzania belong to more than 120 tribes. The most important among them is the Bantu and the Yaw tribes. The Moslems who live near the shores of Tanzania are around one million residences. The shores of the country have started receiving many tourists who travel to Tanzania to enjoy the sea and the beaches.
The population in Tanzania is mainly divided between the Moslems that are estimated to be more than 62% and the Christians estimated to be around 38% of the total population of Tanzania.
The languages of Tanzania
Being occupied by Great Britain for a long period, English is considered to the official language of Tanzania. This is besides some tribal languages like the Bantu and the Swahili Languages that are spread near the coastal areas of the country. A large portion of the Tanzanian people speaks Arabic as well as no one can deny the influence of the Arabs over Tanzania and the whole region as well. The cultural diversity of Tanzania has attracted a large number of tourists who come to spend their holidays in Tanzania. Many affordable tours to Tanzania can be organized from the United States and Europe.
The source of income
Due to the fertile soil of the country, agriculture is considered to be the major source of income for the Tanzanian people with 85% of the inhabitants of the country working in cultivating different plants and crops that include rice, corn, cotton, cloves, and sugar canes.
The second most important source of income of the Tanzanians is breeding different types of livestock. Tanzania has more than 11 million cows and more than 10 million sheep. This is besides some extractions of iron, copper, phosphate. And tin. Group tours to Tanzania have made many of the locals work in tourism as well, considered to be a new industry in Eastern Africa.
The ancient history of Tanzania
Archeologists and historians believe that Tanzania was the home for the most ancient human settlements. Some fossils that were discovered in the Northern section of Tanzania included some bones that are believed to date back to more than two million years. This is besides the oldest human footsteps to be discovered all around the world. Some scholars assert that some of these fossils unearthed in Tanzania date back to more than 3.6 million years.
More than 10,000 years ago a number of tribes who have mainly worked in hunting different wild animals have settled in Tanzania. Starting from the period from 7000 BC and until 5000 BC other groups of people, who came from the North, from Sudan and other nearby regions, have joined the tribal communities in Tanzania.
At that point in time, the inhabitants of Tanzania developed the basic techniques of agriculture. This fact made them expand their communities and started receiving a large number of immigrants coming from other regions in Africa.
Around 1500 BC, the members’ Bantu tribe, one of the most important tribes of the country nowadays, arrived in Tanzania coming from the Western Africa. Many of the members of the Bantu tribe knew other skills and they were able to enrich the work and the civilization of Tanzania at the time. Many of them knew iron forging and they were able to produce many beneficial tools. They were even able to present new political and social concepts to the original inhabitants of Tanzania.
Tanzania in the middle Ages
Many travelers and tradesmen coming from the Arabian Gulf and Western India have visited the Eastern coast of Africa during the first millennium AD. Many human settlements were established at the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania at the time. With the beginning of the second millennium BC, many trading routs were established between the people living in Central Tanzania and other partners and tradesmen from all over the Indian Ocean.
In the period from 1200 to 1500 BC, the ancient town of Kilwa, situated on the eastern coasts of Tanzania, was one of the most powerful and wealthy centers of the Indian Ocean. When Ibn Batouta, the famous Arabian historian and traveler, visited Tanzania and Kilwa in particular during the 14th century, he stated that the town is among the best human settlements he has ever visited in the whole world and he added that all proofs of civilization were evident at Tanzania at the time.
The discovery of Zanzibar
The first person to discover the Island of Zanzibar was the famous Portuguese traveler, Vasco De Gama, who visited the Eastern shores of Africa in 1498 and he stayed there for around 30 days.
The Portuguese were the first to recognize the importance of the resources and the geographical location of Zanzibar. This was what made the Portuguese armies take control of the island in 1505 and this occupation remained until the beginning of the 18th century when the Arabs coming from Oman started showing their attention in Tanzania.
Tanzania, which is the name of an ancient empire that flourished in the region in the old times, became a point of attraction for the European countries that used to take control of many regions in Africa to make use of their resources in the last quarter of the 19th century. Britain, Germany, and France conspired together to divide Eastern Africa among them. The same nationalities today visit the country as part of their custom tour to Tanzania.
Great Britain and Germany have signed an agreement in 1886 and according to the provisions of this agreement the Germans took control of Tanganyika until the end of World War I and then Britain governed this section of Eastern Africa until 1961 when Tanzania gained its independence.