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An Excerpt: This article is about Tanzania in general; it exposes in perspective the beauty of it and its polite and welcoming people. After reading this, you will know in brief about Tanzania and you will be inspired to plan a visit to this beautiful country.

Have you ever heard of Ngorongoro crater? What about Zanzibar; the Island of spices? If you have ever heard of these, then let me introduce you to beautiful Tanzania, the home of Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa with 5895 meters above the sea (if you love football, it is like arranging 59 football pitches upwards to imagine the height of Mount Kilimanjaro).

Mount Kilimanjaro - Source: Pinterest

Tanzania is the United Republic which consists of two countries that are Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which were unified on the 26th of April 1964 by the founding fathers of these countries; the greatest leader Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere who comes from the league of Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkurumah, Samora Machel, etc. and Abeid Karume; the founding father of the Nation of Zanzibar. Tanzania is found in the Eastern part of Africa and covers an area of approximately 945,000 square kilometers. The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma and the largest business city is Dar es Salaam. It shares borders with Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean. Tanzania shares three great lakes with her neighbors; Victoria, Tanganyika, and Nyasa.

Let’s explore Tanzania through its natural wealth, culture, food, and economy in general.

Zanzibar - Photo Credit: Denys Gromov

Natural Wealth

Tanzania is endowed with precious natural resources and wealth. It has more than five National parks such as the Serengeti, which is famously known for wildlife safaris, and the Ngorongoro crater, which is the caldera where animals and Maasai people live in peace and harmony. There is also Manyara National Park, Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National park, and the newest National park called Burigi located in the Chato district. When you visit those stunning areas, you will certainly see The Big Five; lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo.

The Serengeti National Park - Photo Credit: Hendrik Cornelissen

When you talk of gemstones, which one is not found in Tanzania? Talk of Gold, there is plenty of it the belt of Lake Zone, talk about Diamonds, they are mined a lot in Shinyanga, mention Tanzanite, the gems that are found only in Tanzania, they are plenty in Arusha. Recently, the biggest Tanzanite was mined in Tanzania by the Millionaire Laizer. Almost all types of minerals are found in Tanzania.

Tanzanite - Photo credit: Sabrinna Ringquist

Culture

Source: Easytribe.com

It is said that if you want to meet the most polite people in the world you should visit Tanzania. The people are welcoming, peaceful, humble, and polite speakers. The reason behind this is, despite having more than 110 tribes, with more than 10 big tribes, Tanzania is still unified by the Kiswahili language and family spirit. A person can move from his home town and go to live in another area and establish himself/herself there with no concerns. There is no discrimination nor segregation of any kind as the founding fathers built the country under the motto of Ujamaa na Kujitegemea which means Family-hood and Self Reliance. Tanzanians have different kinds of cultures and these are spread all over the country. Every tribe has its own language, food, cultural dances (ngoma za asili), local brews, and housing styles.

Chagga Tribe - Source: thegypsynesters.com

Tanzanians love to celebrate together in the communities. Every weekend, you will find people attend celebrations such as send-offs and marriage ceremonies and enjoy the company of the community.

Food

The foods in Tanzania that are loved and eaten by almost all the people and societies in Tanzania are ugali (a thick mash of corn or sorghum) and rice. These staples are usually accompanied by the stew of fish, beef, goat, chicken, or mutton or fried pieces of meat, along with several types of vegetables, commonly including beans, leafy greens, spinach, manioc leaves, chunks of pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.

A woman in Tanzania cooking Ugali for her family - Source: Travelingspoon.com

Most families eat these kinds of food in the afternoon and evening. Furthermore, other types of food that are eaten in Tanzania are cooked Banana, a mixture of beans and maize (Kande), cooked yams, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and other traditionally cooked foods. As the times change, nowadays Tanzanians eat other kinds of food such as spaghetti and potato chips mixed with eggs. The food that is rarely eaten is burgers, pizza and other European foods - though they can be found in restaurants, they are rarely eaten on a daily basis in Tanzania.

The most common daily dish in almost all Tanzanian homes is ugali with beans or meat eaten in the afternoon, and rice with the same stews eaten in the evening. The celebratory dish that is usually eaten only during festivals and religious holidays is Pilau. Actually, any celebration being it Eid or Christmas cannot be completely celebrated in Tanzanian homes if Pilau is not cooked in that house. This food is usually accompanied by fried chicken, fried beef, and sodas.

Pilau – Photo credit: Demand Africa

Tanzania’s economy depends on agriculture and the country exports a lot of products such as cotton, fish and shrimp, coffee, cashew nuts, cloves (grown mainly on the offshore islands), tea, beans, precious stones, timber, sisal, sugar, pyrethrum, coconuts, and peanuts. Textiles, clothing, shoes, batteries, paper, and cement are examples of products commonly sold to neighboring countries and other foreign countries. 

Coconut Harvest - Source: Tripadvisor.com

Religions

Tanzania is among the countries where people are living in religious peace and harmony. The Tanzanian constitution provides the groundwork for freedom of religion, which enabled different religious groups to coexist peacefully. The country has two major religious groups: Christians and Muslims. Tanzanians generally identify as either Christian or Muslims, though many still practice folk beliefs as well. Minority groups practicing traditional Africanist religion also present themselves in the country. 

Suras on the wall of a Stone Town madrassa in Zanzibar - Source: Qantara.com

Having learned a lot about beautiful Tanzania, your next destination should be Tanzania. Visit it to learn more about this beautiful country, explore the beautiful scenery and meet the most polite, peaceful, and generous people in the world. What you have read is just a drop of water in the whole ocean of wonders in Tanzania. Keep visiting us for more interesting insights from Tanzania. You are most welcome, Karibu Sana!


Philipo R. Florian

Philipo is a freelance writer from Tanzania. He aspires to transform lives through his writings, through his development projects he is able to reach poor, rural and vulnerable individuals in society, leaving a positive trail behind him. Philipo currently works as a Development Officer and is passionate about Gender Based Violence issues impacting society.