Interesting facts about Tanzania

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      352

The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East Africa, and was formed on April 26, 1964 by the merger of the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. Thus, the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar came into being. In October 1964, the name was shortened, and the country was called Tanzania. Currently, the country has an area of just over 945,000 square kilometers and a population of over 60 million.

Approximately 4/5 of the total population lives in rural areas. The average life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world. Less than three percent of the population lives to be 65 years old. Almost half of the population is children under the age of 15. In Tanzania, there are two official languages - Swahili and English. Only a small part of the population speaks English. Totally on the territory of the state, there are over 120 languages of different tribes.

In the territory of Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, which is 5895 meters high. In Swahili its name means “mountain that glistens”. Kilimanjaro is a volcano, which has long been inactive. The first conquest of the peak was recorded October 5, 1889 on that day the German Hans Meyer and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller climbed Kilimanjaro. Although Mount Kilimanjaro seems to be gentle, climbing to the top is difficult. About half of all climbers failed.

An unusual epidemic of laughter swept Tanzania in 1962. It began in the village of Kashasha, where three pupils of the local school suddenly laughed incessantly. The attacks could last for days. Gradually, the phenomenon spread to neighboring villages. Scientists could never unravel the phenomenon, and the epidemic only finally subsided after a year and a half.

The largest city in Tanzania is Dar es Salaam, which has a population of over 4 million people. Despite the fact that this city is the seat of government of Tanzania, since 1993, the status of the official capital of the country belongs to the city of Dodoma. Dar el Salaam is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Every year, its population increases by more than 4%. Until 100 years ago, it was home to 25,000 people.

On the border of Tanzania and Kenya is an unusual lake, Natron. Its surface is covered with mineral salts, and the water temperature can reach 60 degrees. The birds, once in the lake, die, turning into statues. This unique feature was first noticed by photographer Nick Brandt, who made a series of pictures that looked like shots from horror movies.

In the north of Tanzania live Maasai - a nomadic people, which in the XXI century has preserved the traditional way of life. Ethnographers even find it difficult to name the exact number of people. They have no passports, and the sleeping sickness caused by tsetse fly bites leads to a high mortality rate. The Masai are very hardy. David Rudisha, a representative of the people, is a two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters. However, he was not born in Tanzania, but in neighboring Kenya.

Tanzanian athletes made their debut at the Summer Olympics in 1964. At the Olympics, they did not reach great heights, only in 1980 in Moscow, Tanzania athletes could win two silver medals in athletics. A local celebrity is also basketball player Hashim Thabit, who played several seasons in the National Basketball Association. That said, basketball is far from the most popular sport in Tanzania.

Although seven years of education in the country is compulsory, many children in Tanzania do not attend school at all. And others drop out as soon as they learn to read and write. The country’s literacy rate is 73 percent. In 1963, schoolboy Erasto Mpemba discovered that hot water in the freezer freezes faster than cold water. This phenomenon was called the Mpemba effect.

A famous Scottish explorer, David Livingstone, visited the territory of modern Tanzania in the 19th century. In memory of him, Tanzania minted a coin of 1,500 Tanzanian shillings in 2013. The coins are made of 999 gold, each weighing only 0.5 grams, with a mintage of 15,000 copies. By the way, the national currency of Tanzania is forbidden to take out of the country and bring it back.

Almost a third of the country’s territory is occupied by nature reserves and national parks. Here in natural conditions you can see rare animals, which in other countries of Africa are on the verge of extinction. The diversity of animal life in Tanzania attracts tourists from all over the world. Their total number reaches one million a year.