Tanzania

Map of Tanzania

Capital:                       Dodoma Population: 43 739 000 (est. 2009)

GDP: US$22 318 billion

Per Capita Ann. income: US$1500 – nr 203 out of 230 countries.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a country 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 country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.

Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country’s political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam, remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de-facto seat of most government institutions.It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

History:

Tanzania is probably one of the oldest known inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Cushitic and Khoisan speaking people. About 2,000 years ago, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations.

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD.

Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the center for the Arab slave trade. It is presumed that between 65% to 90% of the population of “Arab-Swahili” Zanzibar, was enslaved.

In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. During World War I, an invasion attempt by the British was thwarted by German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who then mounted a drawn out guerrilla campaign against the British. The post-World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi.

British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence.

Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. Soon after independence, Nyerere’s first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to socialism in Pan-African fashion. After the Declaration, banks were nationalised as were many large industries.

After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964.

Economy:

From the late 1970s, Tanzania‘s economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania also aligned with China, seeking Chinese aid. The Chinese were quick to comply, but with the condition that all projects to be completed by imported Chinese labor.

From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania’s GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.

The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, provides 85 percent (approximately) of exports, and employs approximately 80 percent of the workforce. Topography and climate, though, limit cultivated crops to only 4 percent of the land area.

The nation has many resources including gold and natural gas. Extraction of natural gas began in the 2000s. Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced 2004, with natural gas being pumped in a pipeline to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, with the bulk of it being converted to electricity by the public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay.

Lack of overall development has hampered the extraction of these various resources, and even up to the present there has been effort to develop the natural resource sector but no major quantifiable results.

Tanzania has vast amounts of natural resources including gold, diamonds, coal, iron ore, uranium, nickel, chrome, tin, platinum, and other minerals. It is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. Tanzania is also known for the Tanzanite gemstones.

Landscape:

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake), known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tourism:

Tanzania has dozens of beautiful national parks like the world famous Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, that generate income with a large tourism sector that plays a vital part in the economy. Gombe National Park, on Lake Tanganjika in the west, is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s studies of chimpanzee behavior.

Mt Kilimanjaro:

Mt Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is an inactive strato volcano in north-eastern Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895m above sea level. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain as well as the 4th most prominent mountain in the world.

The exact meaning and origin of the name Kilimanjaro is unknown. It is thought to be a combination of the Swahili word Kilima (meaning “mountain”) and the Kichagga word Njaro, loosely translated as “whiteness”, giving the name White Mountain. Another variation is “Njaro” in Chagga/Kichagga means “our” and hence Kilimanjaro means our mountain. This is from the Chagga people who live at the base of the mountain.

Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895m; Mawenzi 5,149m; and Shira 3,962m. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.

Kilimanjaro is a giant strata volcano that began forming a million years ago, when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was recorded just 200 years ago.

Although it is dormant, Kilimanjaro has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater on the main summit of Kibo. Scientists concluded in 2003 that molten magma is just 400 m below the summit crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.

Some estimate that more people have died to date climbing Kilimanjaro than Mount Everest but Everest is attempted by much fewer climbers. In August 2007 four climbers died within a week underscoring the point that climbing it should not be taken casually. Multiple people (climbers, porters, and guides) die on the mountain each year. Majority of these deaths are porters, from hypothermia.

Religion:

Mainland – Christian 30%, Muslim 30%, indigenous beliefs 30%;

Zanzibar – more than 99% Muslim.

MBEYA:

Mbeya is a city located in southwest Tanzania, Africa. Mbeya’s urban population was 280,000 in 2005. Mbeya is the capital of the surrounding rural Mbeya region.

Mbeya is the first large urban settlement encountered when travelling overland from the neighbouring nation of Zambia. The main language is colloquial Swahili, and the English language is extensively taught in schools.

Following the 1905 gold rush, Mbeya was founded as a gold mining town in the 1920s.

Services and corrugated iron roofing are seemingly the main business activities, after smallholder agriculture. Local crops include maize, rice, bananas and potatoes. Tanzania has a free market in agricultural produce, and Mbeya transports vast amounts of its maize to other areas of Tanzania. There is also extensive animal husbandry, with dairy cattle predominating. Smallholder agriculture is not standardised; methods vary greatly and are often innovative. High-value export crops are also grown, such as tea and coffee. There is some smallholder cultivation of tobacco.

The general range of temperature is between -6°C in the highlands and 29°C on the lowlands. Mbeya’s cooler climate can be deceptive in terms of sun exposure – sun screen lotion is recommended when hiking, even in what seems to be overcast weather.

The area around Mbeya has been called the “Scotland of Africa”, and with good reason. The hills are clad in heather and bracken, but botanically they are more closely related to the Fynbos (fine bush) of South Africa’s Western Cape Province than the Highlands of Scotland. The nearest mountain to Mbeya is Loleza Mountain, which rises over and behind the town. Mbeya Peak is visible but some distance away. Mount Rungwe is the highest mountain in the wider Mbeya region and it dominates the skyline for several kilometers around. It is composed of ten or more dormant volcanic craters and domes. Rising above the small town of Tukuyu, at 2,960m, Rungwe is southern Tanzania’s highest peak, and is among the highest in the country after some of the peaks in northern Tanzania such as Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m) and Mount Meru (4,565).

Kisolanza:

The Old Farm House, Kisolanza is a guest house and campsite centrally located in the heart of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.

The Old Farm House is conveniently situated between Mbeya and Dar es Salaam. It provides easy access to Ruaha National Park and the tea estates of Mufindi. The Old Farm House specialises in accommodation from bush camping to ultimate luxury.

The Farm is a gracious old farm homestead with some thatched guest cottages. Rooms are available in the farm itself or in these self-contained cottages. The home of the Ghaui family for over 70 years, Kisolanza remains a working farm providing beef and vegetables to the surrounding markets as well as further afield in Dar-es-Salaam.

The farm is 50km south-west of Iringa and makes a good stopping off point if driving between Mikumi National Park and Ruaha National Park. The farm is at an altitude of 1600m ensuring a pleasant fresh climate in one of the most scenic areas of Tanzania- the southern Highlands. Activities on offer include swimming and fishing on a nearby lake, visits to the colonial town of Iringa and trips to Isimila Stone Age Site- Tanzania’s combination of Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon.

Nicky Ghaui is a great host and with great, fresh, organic farm-produced meals, many of our clients wish they could spend longer at the farm.

Tel/Fax: +255-24-2232119

DODOMA:

Dodoma (literally “It has sunk” in Gogo), population 324,347 (2002 census), is the national capital of Tanzania. In 1973, plans were made to move the capital to Dodoma. Tanzania’s National Assembly moved there in February 1996, but many government offices remain in the previous national capital, Dar es Salaam, which remains the commercial capital.

Dodoma is in the centre of the country, the town is 486 kilometres west of the former capital at Dar es Salaam and 441 kilometres south of Arusha, the headquarters of the East African Community.

During the German wars, the town of Dodoma was founded at the same time as the construction of the Tanzanian central railway. American architect James Rossant developed a master plan for the new capital in 1986, sponsored by the United Nations.

The Great North Road links the city with Arusha to the north, via Kondoa. The city is also served by the Central railway line which connects it over a distance of 465 kilometres with Dar es Salaam in the east.

Dodoma features a semi-arid climate with relatively warm temperatures throughout the year. While average highs are somewhat consistent throughout the year, average lows can dip to as low as 10 °C during the course of the year. Dodoma averages 570 mm of precipitation per year, the bulk of which occurs during its short wet season between December and March. The remainder of the year comprises the city’s dry season.

Lake Manyara:

Lake Manyara National Park is a national park in Arusha Region, Tanzania. The majority of the land area of the park is a narrow strip running between the Gregory Rift wall to the west and Lake Manyara, an alkaline or soda-lake, to the east. It is famous for its population of flamingoes.

Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is well worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.

The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.

Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay this park a visit. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that makes for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.

With an entrance gate that doubles as an exit, the trail of Lake Manyara National Park is effectively a loop that can be traversed by jeep within a couple of hours that may be stretched to a few more at best, if driving slowly, to watch, observe and enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna. The Rift Valley escarpment forms a noteworthy landmark and provides a spectacular backdrop to Lake Manyara.

Ngwazi Lake:

Ngwazi Tea Research Station (NTRS) is located in the Southern Highlands on the shores of the scenic Lake Ngwazi with an average rainfall of 800 – 1100mm. There is a warm wet season from the end of November to May, during which over 95% of the800-1100 mm annual rainfall occurs. The monthly mean air temperature is 16-19ºC.

Nyololo Village:

The Ward headquarters for Nyololo Ward. A mixture of Wahehe and Wabena tribe and full of newly erected Italian-funded structures including a new hospital. Blog: “Dusty and full of luke warm beer.”

Dar es Salaam: “Soweto by the Sea”

Population: Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania with 2.8 million people. With a population rate increase of 4.39% annually the city has become the 3rd fastest growing in Africa (9th fastest in the world) after Bamako and Lagos, respectively. The metro population is expected to reach 5.12 million by 2020.

In the 19th century Mzizima (Swahili for “healthy town”) was a coastal fishing village on the periphery of Indian Ocean trade routes. In 1865 or 1866 Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar began building a new city very close to Mzizima. He named it from an Arabic phrase bandar as-salām meaning harbour of Peace. A popular but erroneous translation is “haven of peace” resulting from a mixup of the Arabic words “dar” (house) and “bandar” (harbour). Dar es Salaam fell into decline after Majid’s death in 1870, but was revived in 1887, when the German East Africa Company established a station there. The town’s growth was facilitated by its role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa and industrial expansion, resulting from the construction of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900s.

Saint Joseph’s Metropolitan Cathedral constructed in 1897-1902. German East Africa was captured by the British during World War I and from then on was referred to asTanganyika. Dar es Salaam was retained as the territory’s administrative and commercial centre.

Under British indirect rule, separate European (e.g. Oyster Bay) and African (e.g. Kariakoo and Ilala) areas developed at a distance from the city centre.

The city is situated on a massive natural harbour on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Africa, with sandy beaches in some areas.

Economy:

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most important city for both business and government. The city contains unusually high concentrations of trade and other services and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania, which has about 80 percent of its population in rural areas. For example, about one half of Tanzania’s manufacturing employment is located in the city despite the fact that Dar holds only ten percent of Tanzania’s population.

MAKAMBAKO:

Makambako is a medium-sized town and ward in Njombe district in the Iringa Region of the Tanzanian Southern Highlands, located roughly 40 miles north of Njombe city by road. It is located at junction of the A104 and B4 roads between Njombe, Iringa, and Mbeya. Its population according to the 2002 Tanzanian census is 51 049.

Makambako was visited by Paul Theroux who in his book Dark star safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town described it not as a town but “a collection of hovels on stretch of paved road where idle people sat or stood.”

Maize is commonly grown in the plateau while Makambako is notable for tomato cultivation and trade. (Please wash your tomatoes before you eat them!)

Makambako was connected by electricity in 1981, however, high installation costs has meant that by 1992, only 2% used electricity for cooking and only 22% had it installed.The Italian organization, ABB-SAE Sadelmi has erected high-tension power lines and worked on the rehabilitation of the National Grid between Makambako and Mbeya.

In 1992, a piped water supply project received financial and technical assistance from UNICEF, but even after completion, it was considered inadequate, requiring continued potable water dependency on boreholes, dams and streams. Hotels include Jay Jay Highlands Hotel, Makambako Lutheran Centre and Midtown Lodge.

CHIPOGOLA:

I can find no info except that it is a “locality”, presumably on a lake where you can catch chipogola fish????

MAKUYUNI: Makuyuni: a town in Tanzania – that’s all that I know. Please let me know if you find the place????

Chambalo: – no information available.

ZANZIBAR:

“This is the finest place I have known in all of Africa ….. An illusive place where nothing is as it seems. I am mesmerized” – David Livingstone 1866

Population:    1 070 000 (2004)

NB: Although Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, you STILL have to go through immigration formalities when arriving and leaving. If you are coming from mainland Tanzania, your visa remains valid for Zanzibar (don’t let officials convince you otherwise)

Area:               – Total 2,643 km² – Both islands

– Zanzibar – 984km²

Zanzibar. (Zanzibar Native name: Zang bar = Rust-land).The name alone evokes images of spice markets and swaying palms. Newly renovated palace hotels in Stone Town and exotic villa hotels by the sea are adding to the allure of this Tanzanian island. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 km off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar), and Pemba.

Arab and Portuguese traders visited the region in early times, and it was controlled by Omanis in the 18th and 19th centuries. Britain established a protectorate (1890) that became an independent sultanate in December 1963 and a republic after an uprising in January 1964. In April 1964 it joined Tanganyika to form a new republic that was renamed Tanzania in October 1964.The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.

Economy:

Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice. Zanzibar’s ecology is of note for being the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Apes and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard.

Zanzibar exports spices, seaweed and fine raffia. It also has a large fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism is a major foreign currency earner.

During May and June 2008, Zanzibar suffered a major failure of its electricity system, which left the island without electricity for nearly a month. Another blackout happened from December 2009 to March 2010, due to a problem with the submarine cables and the local plant. This led to a serious and ongoing shock to the island’s fragile economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign tourism. In 2000, the annual income per capita was US$220.

Tourism: – Zanzibaris make an effort to appear well dressed – religious reasons.

STONE TOWN:

Stone Town also known as Mji Mkongwe is the old part of Zanzibar City It is located on the western coast of Unguja the main island and is the flourishing centre of the spice trade as well of the slave trade of the 19th century government seat.

Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East African architecture reflecting the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture with a unique mixture of Moorish, Arab, Persian and European elements. For this reason, the town has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 2000.

Due to its heritage, Stone Town is also a major visitor attraction in Tanzania, and a large part of its economy depends on tourism-related activities.

The heart of Stone Town mostly consists of a maze of narrow alleys sided by houses, shops,   baza’rs and mosques. Most streets are too narrow for cars. The seafront has wider streets and larger, more regularly-placed buildings.

Buildings to see:

House of Wonders – in Mizingani Road on the seafront, is probably the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town. It was built in 1883 and restored after the Anglo- Zanzibar War of 1896.It was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity as well as the first building in East Africa to have a lift. Since 2000 its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.

The Old Fort (“Ngome Kongwe” in swahili), adjacent to the House of Wonders, is a heavy stone fortress that was built in the 17th century by the Omani. It has a roughly square shape; the internal courtyard is now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph was built between 1893 and 1897. Its facade, with two high spears, is one of the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town.

Town that previously hosted the biggest slave market of Zanzibar; the place was deliberately chosen to celebrate the end of slavery, and the altar was located in the exact spot where the main whipping post of the market used to be. There is a monument to the slaves, as well as a museum on the history of slavery, are located besides the church.

Prison Island is a small island offshore Stone Town to the north. A small colony of Aldabra Giant tortoises on the island is a popular visitor attraction.

Spice Tourthis is Zanzibar’s most popular excursion. All tours leave in the morning, the last at 9.30 and return around 2pm. The trips centre around a guided walk on a spice farm (shamba) where you are shown herbs and spices, fruits and other crops. Lunch is usually included in the price.

ARUSHA:

Arusha is one of Tanzania’s most developed and fast growing towns. It is the gateway to the Ngorogora Crater and Serengeti National Parks. The town sits in the lush countryside near the foot of Mt Meru (4566 m) and enjoys a temperate climate through out the year.

Arusha National Park (about 35km from Arusha) – although one of Tanzania’s smallest parks it is one of it’s most beautiful and topographically varied. The main features are Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela Lake and the rugged Mt Meru.

Information mostly from Wikipedia, Wikitravel and Lonely Planet.

Area: 947 300 km² (worlds 31st largest country) Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria

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