Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1987), Tanzania. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National Park

Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1987), Tanzania. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Photo by: Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

Tanzania: Beyond the Wildlife

By: Janet Lee

Most people know that Tanzania is home of the Serengeti and an amazing diversity of wildlife. The country is made up of 430 species of wildlife and 17 national parks. But did you know that it’s where 51 million people call home as well?

September 06, 2019
Tanzania - Home of the Serengeti
Loading Video...

Here are 6 not-so-known facts about Tanzania that go beyond its natural reserves.

1. Tanzania is home to 51 million people from 125 ethnic groups.

Tanzania’s official languages are Swahili and English, but according to Ethnologue, 127 languages are spoken across the country - 60 are in active use, and 20 are in development. Ethnic languages are of Bantu and Nilotic origins.

2. Tanzania was found by the unification of two East African countries.

The United Republic of Tanzania was established by the union of two former British colonies Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The 1964 agreement was signed by the first Tanganyika President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and the first Zanzibar President Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume.

3. The name Serengeti derives from the Maasai word siringet.

The Maasai, one of 162 tribes residing in Tanzania, referred to the open lands of the Serengeti as siringet meaning “the place where the land runs on forever.”

4. Dar es Salaam is the largest Swahili-speaking city in the world.

Tanzania’s former capital Dar es Salaam is the nation’s most populous city with 4.4 million people. Located off of the Swahili Coast, this city not only has the busiest port but also attracts tourists visiting the Indian Ocean islands.

5. Tanzania shares its national anthem with other African countries.

“Mungu Ibariki Afrika” is the national anthem of Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The title in Swahili translates to God bless Africa.

6. The tallest mountain in Africa sits in Tanzania.

Tanzania is also the home of Mount Kilimanjaro. This dormant volcano, sitting 5,895 meters above sea level, sees more than 30,000 hikers each year, who spend between five to nine days to reach the summit.

Next Up

Caves to Condors: Uncovering Pinnacles National Park

Photographer and conservationist Ian Shive explores one of the lesser known National Parks, Pinnacles National Park, finding rare wildlife and extraordinary landscapes along the way.

Meet the Ancient Egyptian Gods Who Empower DC Comic's Black Adam

Get to know the six ancient Egyptian gods behind the latest DC Comics film Black Adam, starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, in theaters starting October 21.

What's Inside the Secret Chambers in the Pyramids of Giza

A powerful new cosmic ray scan of the Great Pyramid of Giza could finally reveal what’s inside two voids in the structure that have baffled scientists for years.

A Majestic City Carved into Rock, Thousands of Years Ago

Carved into soft stone cliffs, the ancient sandstone city of Petra was built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabataeans. These people were a nomadic Arab tribe–Bedouins–who roamed the Arabian Desert in search of pasture and water for their herds.

Belize's Jungles are Wild, Mysterious and Full of Discovery

More than half of Belize, a Central American country with as many as 2 million indigenous Mayan inhabitants, is covered in dense, sprawling jungle – meaning the region has adventures galore for any traveler wishing to explore.

Mt. Shasta, California’s Mysterious Volcano, is an Enigma Waiting to be Explored

At the northernmost tip of California lies the southern end of the dramatic Cascade mountain range. And the crowning glory of the range, which ripples down through British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, before it comes to a stunning crescendo at Mount Shasta.

A Spanish Sunken Galleon Has a $17B Bounty Onboard - and Now You Can See It

Way back in 1708, when the War of Spanish Succession was waging across Europe and Latin America to decide who should be the next King of Spain, three Spanish galleons set sail from Panama. They were loaded to the brim with gold, silver, emeralds, and other jewels that had been extracted from the mines of Bolivia – and were vital in financing Spain’s costly war against its enemies.

An Epic Plan to Build a Giant Green Wall in Africa

King Canute couldn’t stop the ocean's tide from rolling in – can Africa hold back the desert? That’s certainly what the continent is trying to do with its proposed “Great Green Wall”, 8,000km (almost 5,000 miles) worth of trees that officials hope will stop the advancement of the Sahara desert, which has been rapidly expanding southward.

Explore Colombia Where Few Have Trekked Before and Discover New Bird Species

The remote Serranía del Perijá mountain range, which divides Venezuela from Colombia, was once ruled by guerrillas, and near-impossible to access. But thanks to the Colombian peace agreement, which was signed in 2016, adventurers are starting to explore the formerly out-of-bounds forest-cloaked peaks.

The Lost World of Socotra Archipelago

If aliens ever visit Planet Earth, Yemen’s “Dragon’s Blood Island” is probably where they would make their first contact.

Related To: