14 Fun Facts About Tanzania’s Geography, Animals and History

tanzania fun facts featured image

From volcanoes covered with snow to vast plains for migrating animals, Tanzania is truly full of nature’s miracles. 

I’ve rounded up these fun facts about this country that has witnessed the earliest evolution of mankind. 

1. The Name ‘Tanzania’ Is A Combination Of Two Country Names

The country got its name by merging the names of two of its states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which were previously independent countries. The country then became formally known as The United Republic of Tanzania. 

2. The Highest Population In East Africa With The Lowest Density

Due to the vastness of the country, Tanzania’s population density is very low, despite having the highest population in East Africa. One-third of the population resides in urban areas.

Its high fertility rate is quite high at around 4.4 children per woman.

3. 125 Languages Are Spoken In Tanzania!

At present, Kiswahili or Swahili and English are the two official languages of the country. Swahili is also known as Kiunguja in Zanzibar region, while Arabic is also spoken.

Many Tanzanians are bilingual, speaking one of their local languages along with an official one.

4. Home To A 3.6 Million Year Old Hominin Footprint

A 3.6 million year old hominin footprint was discovered in Laetoli, a site in northeastern Tanzania. The footprints are believed to be of human ancestors named Australopithecus afarensis

These footprints were also the oldest of their kind, serving as a real treasure for archeologists! 

5. Home To Seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites 

The seven sites include:

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6. Home To Kilimanjaro: A Mountaineers Dream

Apart from being the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is also the highest mountain in Africa that hardcore climbers love.

Mount Kilimanjaro

With a height of 19,340 ft, the mountain stands alone and without any mountain range since it’s a Strato volcano. 

7. Tanzania Is The Perfect Place For An African Wildlife Safari

Considering an African Safari? Tanzania is home to “The Big Five” and is of the greatest places where you can easily spot these magnificent beasts.

8. A World Record For Delivering Pizza On The Highest Altitude!

In 2016, Pizza Hut Africa made their ultimate delivery on top of Mount Kilimanjaro! This was to celebrate the brand’s launch in Tanzania, which was their 100th country at the time.

It took 4 days for the pepperoni pizza to be delivered from the restaurant to the top of the mount at the height of 5,897 m. Naturally, this epic delivery made its place in the Guinness Book of World Records!

9. The Serengeti National Park Plays Host To The Annual Animal Migration

For as long as anyone can remember, the plains of Serengeti have played their part in this mesmerizing cycle of nature. 

Thousands of hoofed animals come to this land every year in search of fresh grassland and it serves as breeding ground for wildebeest. In February alone, more than 8000 calves are born here every day!

10. Tanzania Aims to Preserve Its Flora And Fauna 

More than 38% of the country’s land area is protected, while 31% of its total territory, which also includes marine areas, is also a protected from commercial interests.

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11. Home To Word’s Largest Caldera: The Ngorongoro Crater 

Calderas are large depressions that are formed as a result of volcanic explosions. Imagine how big of an explosion happened to make the world’s largest caldera!

The Ngorongoro Crater with animals

In addition to its size, it hosts several threatened species and while playing an important part in the annual wildebeest migration. 

12. Africa’s Largest Freshwater Lake Is Broadly Located In Tanzania

Lake Victoria, also known as the Victoria Nyanza, is the largest freshwater lake in Africa and serves as the main reservoir of the Nile. This lake is also home to more than 200 fish breeds, among which Tilapia is commercially farmed.

This lake covers an area of 69,484 sq km and has a coastline of 3,220 km. It’s the 2nd biggest lake after Lake Superior, North America. 

13. Also Home To World’s 2nd Deepest Lake: Lake Tanganyika

After the world’s deepest lake, Baikal in Russia, Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest lake, with a depth of 1,436m. 

It is also the second-largest freshwater lake in eastern Africa. Some of the largest rivers of Africa, like Malagarasi, Ruzzi and Kalambo, discharge in this lake. 

14. Tanzania Faught And Lost The World’s Shortest War

No country has experienced a war as short (or as brutal) as Zanzibar. The Anglo-Zanzibar war in 1896 was mere 40 minutes long as one side was seriously outgunned. 

An artists depiction of the Anglo-Zanzibar war

It took place between the Sultanate of Zanzibar and the British Empire, with 500 casualties on the Zanzibar side and just 1 serious injury on the British side.

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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