Tanzania is an east African nation that borders Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. The nation has a population of around 55 million as of 2016. How many of these interesting and fun Tanzania facts did you know?
- Tanzania is home to Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro: At a height of 5,895 metres (19,341 ft), Mount Kilimanjaro is a prime tourist attraction that brings thousands of visitors to Tanzania on an annual basis.
- Out of all African nations, Tanzania is home to the most diverse collection of languages: Over 100 different varieties are spoken within the country, and it has no official national language. However, Swahili is the most commonly spoken language.
- The country’s name is actually derived from a combination of two other place names: The first part of Tanzania comes from Tanganyika, which means ‘sail in the wilderness’. The second part is from Zanzibar, roughly translating as ‘black coast’.
- Zanzibar itself is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, and is actually made up of two islands: There’s the more main island, named Unguja but commonly referred to as just Zanzibar, and Pemba Island. One of Zanzibar’s biggest claims to fame is that it was the birthplace of rockstar Freddie Mercury!
- China has been a big investor in Tanzania in recent years: According to public data, there were over 62 projects that China financed in Tanzania between 2000 to 2011. One of the bigger financial loans was valued at US$400 million, to a national coal mine.
- Tanzania is an incredibly poor nation, with a per capita GDP of only US$1,800: The average of all other sub-Saharan nations is US$2,600. However, in recent years, Tanzania’s economy has been growing faster than many of its neighbors.
- Despite the recent positive signs of economic growth, many Tanzanians remain well below the poverty line: Data suggests nearly 70% of residents live on less than US$1.25 per day. Malnutrition is a real issue in the country.
Fun Tanzania Facts:
- Agriculture is the nation’s major sector, accounting for approximately a quarter of GDP and up to 85% of exports: Around half of all residents work in the agriculture sector, with maize, cassava and sweet potatoes the biggest crops.
- Tourism is also another big economic driver, with a GDP contribution of around 17%: As mentioned earlier, Mount Kilimanjaro is a major draw card, but Tanzania also enjoys a wealth of wildlife and nature reserves that are popular with foreign visitors.
- With a population of over 4.3 million, Dar es Salaam is the nation’s largest city: However, the capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma, which is home to only around 400,000 people. The name of the city translates into English as ‘it has sunk’!