HISTORY OF TANZANIA
The first inhabitants into this country made a living by hunting and gathering plants. Agriculture began in1000 BC, but the farmers were still involved with making wooden and stone tools. In the 4th century Bantu people started migrating to Tanzania as well as Persians and Romans. By the 8th century the Arabs sailed to Tanzania and brought Islam and that is why many Tanzanians have been Muslims.
The Masai started infiltrating the country from Sudan between the 15th-18th centuries.
Vasco De Gama was the first Portuguese explorer to put foot on Tanzanian ground and arrived there in 1498. The Portuguese were peaceful, only ruling the coastal areas, but in 1503 they captured 20 Arab sailing ships and killed 35 people. The ruler of Zanzibar was forced to step in and granted the Portuguese access to Zanzibar and agreed to provide Portuguese ships with food and water. He also paid tribute to Portugal.
In the 16th century the Portuguese took control of the coast and they built forts. The founded Zanzibar town in 1560.
They were driven out by Arabs from Oman in the 17th century and the Arabs captured Unguja in 1652. The last Portuguese were expelled from Pemba in 1695. The last stronghold of the Portuguese, Fort Jesus in Mombasa was taken in 1698.
The Arab victory ensured that Tanzania did not become a Portuguese colony like Mozambique. The Arabs were the dominant power.
Europeans began to explore inland Tanzania in the 19th century and in 1840, two Germans reached Mount Kilimanjaro. In 1885 the Germans began taking over the region while the British took control of the island of Zanzibar.
In 1890, Britain and Germany signed a treaty dividing the area between them. Britain took Zanzibar and Germany took mainland Tanzania. In 1891 the German government took direct control over Tanzania.
The Germans were fighting a lot of resistance in Tanzania and eventually Tanzania rose in rebellion. Lots of people died because of fighting and starvation.
In 1914 the First World War started and in Tanzania a small German force was led by a Colonel that was a very strong man. The British tried to invade again, but were unable to defeat the Germans. The Germans, on the other hand, had some food problems and were short of ammunition, so they turned to guerilla warfare. The continued to fight until Germany itself surrendered in 1918.
After the war Tanzania was handed over to the British. It was called Tanganyika. Under British rule Tanzania exported cash crops like cotton.
In the meantime Africans started an African Association and in 1953 they elected their own president of the Tanganyika African Association.
They participated in elections, but two thirds of the seats were reserved for non-Africans. In 1960 the restriction was removed and in TANU elections they won almost all the seats. They became independent in 1961 and in 1962 they became a republic.
Their president adopted a policy of socialism and it proved disastrous for Tanzania. The agricultural production collapsed and the economy was wrecked.
In 1985 the current president resigned and was replaced, after which the economy began to grow steadily. The new president encourages foreign investment.
Tanzania still relies on agriculture and is growing rapidly. It is still a poor country, but is developing fast. Fishing is also important and Tanzania has a great potential for tourism.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS OF TANZANIA
1. SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The Serengeti National Park is the oldest and most popular park in the country. It was declared a world heritage site and the 7th world wide wonder. It is famous for its annual migration of animals.
2. MOUNT KILIMANJARO
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent. It is also the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The elevation is 5895 metres (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is the world’s most accessible high mountain and a beacon for visitors from all over the world.
3. NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
Ngorongoro is a World Heritage Site located 180km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The crater located within this area as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa.
4. TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Known as the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it is located in the Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons.
5. SELOUS GAME RESERVE
The Selous game reserve covers 50,000 square kilometres and is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is relatively undisturbed by human impact. It is one of the most magnificent sights to see elephant, black rhinos, cheetah, giraffes, hippos and crocodile.
6. RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The size of the park is approximately 20,226 sq. km.
7. MAFIA ISLAND
Mafia Island (“CholeShamba”) is part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Unguja, Pemba and Latham Island. As one of the six districts of the Pwani Region, Mafia Island is governed from the mainland, not from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, of which it has never been considered to be a part.
8. LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. Lush jungle forest awaits you where you will find baboons, blue monkeys, bushbuck and hornbills plus many more, as well as huge areas of mahogany trees. Large buffalo and zebra herds congregate on the plains as well as giraffes.
The far south of the park introduces you to perfect bird life, where over 400 species can be observed.
9. PEMBA ISLAND
Pemba Island has been separated from the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar for decades, leaving an untouched and pristine island of great beauty and fertility.
10. MOUNT MERU
Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 km west of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is about 4565 m high and is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
11. LAKE VICTORIA
Lake Victoria is also called Victoria Nyanza, largest lake in Africa and the main reservoir to the Nile River.
12. LAKE NATRON
Lake Natron is a salt lake located in northern Tanzania, close the Kenyan border. It is a shallow lake and it is fed by the Southern EwasoNgi’iro River and also by mineral rich hot springs.
13. OLD FORT OF ZANZIBAR
The Old Fort also known as the Arab Fort is a fortification located in Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar. It is the oldest building and a major tourist attraction of Stone Town. It is located on the main sea front, adjacent to another landmark building of the city, the House of Wonders.
14. HOUSE OF WONDERS
The House of Wonders or, “The Palace of Wonders”, is a landmark building in Stone Town in Zanzibar. It is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani Gardens. The House of Wonders houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast.
15. BONGOYO ISLAND
Bongoyo Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania. It is situated about 2.5km north of the largest city, Dar Es Salaam. Popular destination for day trips for snorkeling and sunbathing.
16. MBUDYA ISLAND
Mbuday Island is also an island without any inhabitants. The island is reachable by a 20 minute motorboat ride from the mainland. Very popular for day trips for snorkeling, sunbathing and hiking.
17. PEACE OF MEMORIAL MUSEUM
This museum is at the southern end of Stone Town. It is a distinctive dome with arabesque windows and whitewashed walls. The building looks like a mosque or basilica church. All the viewable exhibits in this museum were removed to the House of Wonders and the museum basically only serves as a library.
18. HAMAMNI PERSIAN BATHS
The Hamamni Persian Baths is a historical building in Zanzibar. The baths were built between 1870 and1888 for use as public baths and were used up until 1920. The word “Hamamni” also means the place of baths. The hot water is provided by underground aqueducts.
19. ZANZIBAR BUTTERFLY CENTRE
The Zanzibar Butterfly centre is a community-run project giving a unique wildlife experience.
20. OLD DISPENSARY
The Old Dispensary is a historical building in Stone Town. The Dispensary is one of the most finely decorated buildings in this town and a symbol of the multi-cultural architecture and heritage of the city.
21. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TANZANIA
The National Museum of Tanzania’s purpose is to preserve and show exhibits about the history and natural environment of the country.
22. OLDUVAI GORGE MUSEUM
This museum is located it he NgorongoroConsevation Area in the north of the country. The museum is under the jurisdiction of the government Department of Cultural Antiquities. It is a museum dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of the Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli Fossil.
The Msasani is an administrative ward in the Kinondoni district of the Dar Es Salaam Region of Tanzania. The ward is geographically a peninsula: both the ward and the peninsula are named after the Msasani village, which used to be the only settlement in the area. Msasani includes some of the wealthiest areas in this region.
24. KIZIMKAZI MOSQUE
The Kizimkazi Mosque is situated on the island of Zanzibar and is one of the world’s oldest Islamic buildings. It was built in 1107 by settlers.
25. LIVINGSTONE HOUSE
This old building is now the main office of the Zanzibar Tourist Corporation. It was built in 1860 for a Sultan Majid. David Livingstone, one of the most famous explorers, stayed in this house before sailing to the mainland to begin his last expedition in 1866. The house was also use as a scientific laboratory for research into clove diseases. It became the headquarters of the Tanzania friendship Tourist Bureau after independence for a long time.
26. MARAHUBI PALACE RUINS
The Marahubi Palace Ruins is about 4km from Zanzibar town. The palace was built between 1880 and 1882 to accommodate his harem, but a huge fire almost destroyed the palace. Two bathhouses remain. Outside there are many remains of the building’s massive stone pillars. It is a peaceful place to visit.
27. CHUMBE MARINE PARK
The Chumbe Marine Park is privately managed and is located in Chumbe Island. The objective of this sanctuary is to preserve and develop the rich biodiversity of the coral.
28. MWALIMU NYERERE MUSEUM CENTRE
The MwalimuNyerere Museum Centre is located at Butiama Village, the birth and burial place of the “Father of The Nation” in Musoma District, Mara Region.
The museum contains items that was received during the struggle for the country’s independence, gifts that were given during his presidency, and personal used items on his farm and in his home.