Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tanzania: A Brief History

The history of Tanzania is filled with stories of struggle and triumph, victory and peace. Tanzania has a long history of human habitation. Some of the earliest hominoid (human) fossils in the world were discovered in Olduvai Gorge and show records of hominoid habitation in the region going back at least 3 million years!
Little is known of the history of Tanganyika's (formerly known) interior during the early centuries of the Christian era. The area is said to have been occupied originally by ethnic groups using a click-tongue language. Some of these groups had well-organized societies and controlled widespread areas by the time the Arab slavers, European explorers, and missionaries entered the interior in the first half of the 19th century.

Years of socialism left the country as one of the poorest, the least developed and the most aid-dependent in the world. From the mid 1980s Tanzania's GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.

Bet you didn’t know….
  • Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa with a land area of 945,097 Square Kilometers – over 4 times the size of Great Britain. 
  • The Coconut Crab which inhabits the waters off Zanzibar's Chumbe Island is the largest crab in the world!
  • Didn’t think lions could climb trees? Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania is home to unique tree-climbing lions. They climb to the uppermost portions of the enormous Acacia trees in the area, and spend their days languishing on the branches which are some seven or eight meters above the ground.
  • The world’s second deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika is in western Tanzania.
  • Kilimanjaro's last eruption was over 200 years ago!!

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