About Tanzania

zanzibar-island_2Tanzania /ˌtænzəˈnə/, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.

Tanzania’s population of 44.9 million is highly diverse, composed of numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital has been Dodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country’s largest city, principal port, and leading commercial center.

European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I. The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

The indigenous populations of eastern Africa are thought to be the click speaking Hadza and Sandawe hunter-gatherers of Tanzania.[16]:page 17

The first wave of migration was by Southern Cushitic speakers, who are ancestral to the Iraqw, Gorowa, and Burunge and who moved south from Ethiopia into Tanzania. Based on linguistic evidence, there may also have been two movements into Tanzania of Eastern Cushitic people at about 4,000 and 2,000 years ago, originating from north of Lake Turkana.

Archaeological evidence supports the conclusion that Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, moved south from the present-day South Sudan / Ethiopia border region into central northern Tanzania between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago.

zanzibar6These movements took place at approximately the same time as the settlement of the iron-making Mashariki Bantu in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They brought with them the west African planting tradition, the primary staple of which were yams. They subsequently migrated out of these regions across the rest of Tanzania between 2,300 and 1,700 years ago.

Eastern Nilotic peoples, including the Maasai, represent a more recent migration from present day South Sudan within the past 1,500 to 500 years.

The people of Tanzania have been associated with the production of iron and steel. The Haya people on the western shores of Lake Victoria invented a type of high-heat blast furnace, which allowed them to forge carbon steel at temperatures exceeding 1,820 °C (3,310 °F) more than 1,500 years ago.

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and India have visited the east African coast since early in the first millennium A.D.[20] Islam was practised by some on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century A.D.

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