Tanzania, is a country of many wonders - it is covered with lakes and mountains and there are only a few countries in the world that can compete with Tanzania for its grand wildlife and wild safaris.
In order to introduce you to the country a bit better, here we give you 19 interesting facts in our Tanzania Factfile, followed by adventure in Tanzania, including the chance to climb Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits as well as links to more detailed information and books.
1. Tanzania is a home for the biggest volcano crater in the world. Around 2,5 million years ago a volcano now called Ngorongoro was a very high mountain with an elevation about the same as Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to volcanic activity the top of the mountain collapsed on itself and in this process the largest volcano crater appeared. Ngorongoro crater has a diameter of 19 km (12 mi) and depth of 600 m (1,967 ft).
2. As we just mentioned Mount Kilimanjaro, we must introduce you to the fact that this mountain is the loftiest in an entire continent of Africa, it is 5,895 m (19,341 ft) high. Not only it is the tallest in Africa it is also the highest free standing mountain in the world!
3. Talking about Mount Kilimanjaro it is an interesting fact that it is actually a dormant volcano, which has three volcanic cones.
4. Around 30 % of Tanzania’s land is either a natural park, a reserve or a protected area. This country is famous for such natural wonders as Kitulo Natural Park and its variety of flowers, Ruaha national park with its herds of elephants, Gombe Stream national park with its chimpanzees and many more.
5. In Tanzania you can find one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world and the largest in Africa – the Selous Game Reserve. This reserve’s land area is approximately 48,000 sq km (19 sq mi) and it is a home for elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, wide variety of bird species and even very rare black rhinos.
6. Longest and largest overland migration occurs in Tanzania. During the Serengeti wildebeest migration, huge numbers of the wildebeest together with zebras, gazelles and other animals move for 800 km (500 mi) from Tanzania to Kenya and back. It is also worth mentioning that the pattern of the movement depends on the pattern of the rainfall.
7. The second highest mountain in Tanzania is Mount Meru, which is 4,562 m (14,967 ft) high. Mount Meru different from Mount Kilimanjaro is an active volcano that had its last eruption not that long ago in 1910.
8. Lake Natron is a truly unique lake as it has the power to turn everything that is alive into stone! Due to the quantity of sodium carbonate and other minerals, Lake Natron’s water’s pH is as high as 10.5., as the result, it has preserving features. This once again proves that nature is the best artist!
9. Tanzania is not a country of a unified Tanzanian nation, in fact, its people belong to around 130 separate tribes that differ culturally. The largest ethnic group is called Sakuma, it is 16 % of the total population, which is around 5,5 million people.
10. As the result of a large number of tribes, people of Tanzania speak 126 different languages and there is no language in which the majority of Tanzanians would be able to speak.
11. If you fancy timber as the wood for your furniture, you should take into the account that the most expensive timber in the world grows in Tanzania in the form of the Mpingo tree.
12. Lake Victoria is a major lake which has its shores in three different African countries, Uganda, Kenya and, as you could have already guessed, Tanzania. The lake is exceptional due to the fact that it is the main water source for the longest river on the planet – the Nile. It is also the biggest tropical lake in the world as well as the second largest freshwater lake on Earth.
13. Tanzania has three major islands that are popular amongst tourists for various activities, such as scuba diving, beach parties, and fabulous seafood restaurants. These islands are the Mafia, Zanzibar, and Pemba.
14. The first person to climb the Mount Kilimanjaro was not a local, in fact, it was a German geologist Hans Meyer, who reached the summit in October 1889. Nowadays more and more people climb the Mount Kilimanjaro, but the total climb success rate is only 45 %, which means that the task should not be underestimated.
15. Tanzania is a home for the only tree climbing lion species in the world and the biggest and, probably, the tastiest crab on Earth – the coconut crab.
16. Speaking of the Mount Kilimanjaro there is a fun yet little-known fact that according to the Guinness World Records, the highest point where pizza has been delivered was actually on Mount Kilimanjaro. The pepperoni pizza traveled all the way up to 5897 m (19,341 ft.). So if you get hungry while hiking up, you should keep in mind that you have such option, on the other hand, there is a slight disadvantage of ordering food on the mountain, - it might take over 4 days for it to get there...
17. Unfortunately, almost 40 % of the total population of Tanzania lives in overwhelming poverty, and nearly 60% Tanzanian people live of 1.25 US dollar per day.
18. Even though Tanzania is probably one on the top best countries to go to for a safari, it is illegal there to wear camouflage clothing.
19. This one is both funny and terrible. Tanzania is mostly known as a peaceful country, yet it declared war on its neighbor Uganda in 1978. The funny part of this fact is that the war was actually caused due to a disagreement at the bar in Tanzania. The story says that the Ugandan soldier visited the bar and probably had a little too much to drink as he ended up firing his gun at locals. He must have had a rough morning next day...