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Tanzania Portal

The Tanzania Portal

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Coat of Arms of Tanzania
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Tanzania (/ˌtænzəˈnə/; Swahili: [tanzaˈni.a]), 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 borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania. According to 2022 national census, Tanzania has a population of nearly 62 million, making it the fifth largest in Africa.

Many important hominid fossils have been found in Tanzania, such as 6-million-year-old Pliocene hominid fossils. The genus Australopithecus ranged across Africa between 4 and 2 million years ago, and the oldest remains of the genus Homo are found near Lake Olduvai. Following the rise of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago, humanity spread all over the Old World, and later in the New World and Australia under the species Homo sapiens. H. sapiens also overtook Africa and absorbed the older species of humanity. Later in the Stone and Bronze Age, prehistoric migrations into Tanzania included Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from present-day Ethiopia; Eastern Cushitic people who moved into Tanzania from north of Lake Turkana about 2,000 and 4,000 years ago; and the Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, who originated from the present-day South Sudan–Ethiopia border region between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago. These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They subsequently migrated across the rest of Tanzania between 2,300 and 1,700 years ago.

Tanzania's population is composed of about 120 ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Christianity is the largest religion in Tanzania, but there are also substantial Muslim and animist minorities. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa; the country does not have a de jure official language, although the national language is Swahili which is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, and as a medium of instruction in primary school, spoken by up to 90% as a second language. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, while Arabic is spoken in Zanzibar.

Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area. The Kalambo Falls, located on the Kalambo River at the Zambian border, is the second-highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa. Tanzania is one of the most visited tourist destinations for safaris.

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Spice Islands (Zanzibar highlighted).svg
Unguja and Pemba, the two main islands of Zanzibar
Operation Shed was a British plan for military intervention in Zanzibar following the 1964 Zanzibar revolution. It was one of a series of operations devised by the British to be implemented in the case of an attempt to seize power from President Abeid Karume by the radical left-wing Umma Party. Shed succeeded the earlier Operations Parthenon and Boris and was an alternative to Operation Finery. Shed would have involved an airlift of a battalion of troops to Unguja to provide support to Karume and to protect European citizens. The risk of a coup passed by 29 April 1964 and it was determined that any intervention would be opposed by Karume's forces and a Soviet training team. With this in mind Shed was modified on 9 June to an airborne assault by Royal Marine commandos from HMS Centaur, which would then be supported by the landing of a battalion and armoured cars from Kenya. The continuing presence of British and friendly nationals in Zanzibar complicated the matter and, around 23 September 1964, Shed was replaced by Plan Giralda. (Full article...)
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The following are images from various Tanzania-related articles on Wikipedia.

This month in Tanzanian history

Wildlife of Tanzania - show another

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea), from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. This species is widely referred to as Geochelone gigantea but is now placed in the genus Dipsochelys (or sometimes in the invalid genus Aldabrachelys) as Dipsochelys dussumieri. A small isolated population of the species resides on the island of Zanzibar.

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  • ...that Sonjo, a Bantu language of northern Tanzania, has been spoken for centuries in an isolated enclave in Maasai territory?

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Morogoro panorama.jpg
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Morogoro is a city with an urban population of 206,868 (2002 census) in the southern highlands of Tanzania, 190 km west of Dar es Salaam. It is the capital of the Morogoro Region. It is also known informally as "Mji kasoro bahari," which translates as 'city short of an ocean/port'.

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Articles here focus upon aspects of the Uganda–Tanzania War. These are all Good articles that meet a core set of high editorial standards. Symbol support vote.svg

During the Uganda–Tanzania War, the Battle of Bombo was fought in April 1979 at the town of Bombo, Uganda, between Tanzanian forces and Ugandan troops loyal to Idi Amin. After cutting the road between Kampala and Bombo, the Tanzanian 201st Brigade led by Imran Kombe was ordered to head north and seize Bombo. The town was mostly defended by retired Nubian officers of the Uganda Army. The Tanzanians attacked cautiously, and under heavy fire were able to proceed into the town and secure it. (Full article...)


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Hadzabe man
Credit: Idobi

A Hadza man preparing arrow in Tanzania. The Hadza people live around Lake Eyasi and number less than 1000. 300–400 Hadza people still live as hunter-gatherers.

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