As many of you could probably guess, Tanzania is one of my favorite places in the entire world! I recently returned from my fifth trip there, so since I couldn't take you all there with me, here 10 things about Tanzania to help everyone feel more connected to this beautiful country!
10. Tanzania is an East African country and shares a border with seven other countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Its eastern border is the Indian Ocean.
9. Kiswahili is the national language of Tanzania, but there are over 120 languages spoken there. Even though I have been there five times, I still only know kidogo sana (very little)!
8. On December 9, 1961, Tanganyika (the current mainland of Tanzania) gained their independence from Britain, and in 1964, joined together with Zanzibar to become the became the Republic of Tanzania, a blend of the names Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
7. Speaking of Zanzibar...Zanzibar is a series of islands off the eastern coast of the mainland of Tanzania. Known for amazing beaches, the historic and charming Stone Town, and growing spices, Zanzibar is an idyllic vacation spot! Here is a picture of the white-sand beaches (and me!). :)
6. Tanzania is home to 162 tribes, and even though each is unique in their own way, everyone coexists peacefully with each other. The Sukuma tribe is the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, making up about 16% of its total population.
5. Though the Sukuma tribe is larger, the Maasai is probably the most well-known tribe in Tanzania because they have maintained their traditional lifestyle, honoring their culture and heritage. They are known also for their colorful garments and beautiful, beaded jewelry.
4. Tanzania is the country where Jane Goodall studied the behavior of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park. It is on my Tanzania bucket list to visit this historic place!
3. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera (a collapsed volcano) in the world. It is said that the volcano would have once been taller than Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ngorongoro is so beautiful that it is also known as the Garden of Eden because it is such a paradise for animals. It is home to the densest population of lions, wildebeest, elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, zebra, leopards, and hyenas.
2. Tanzania is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, the tallest peak in Africa, and the fourth tallest in the world. I climbed Kili back in 2014, and although it was incredibly difficult, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life!
1. The Serengeti is easily the most popular tourist attraction in Tanzania. And for good reason. The name Serengeti means "endless plains" in Maa (the Maasai language), and it truly seems like you can see forever. The Serengeti is famous for its annual wildebeest migration, which was named one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is an amazing sight to see over 1,000,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thompson's gazelle make the trek for fresh grazing.