Dar es Salaam Commonwealth Walkway

Tanzania / Africa

Tanzania Officially the United Republic of Tanzania, Tanzania is a country in East Africa, formerly known as Tanganyika.  It lies within the African Great Lakes region, with Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain) to the northeast.  Many important hominid fossils have been found here, such as 6-million-year-old Pliocene hominid fossils.  Following the rise of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago, humanity spread all over the Old World and later into the New World and Australia under the species Homo sapiens.  Later in the Stone and Bronze Ages, prehistoric migrations into Tanzania included Southern Cushitic speakers, Eastern Cushitic people, and the Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, who originated from present-day South Sudan–Ethiopia.  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.  German rule began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa.  This was followed by British rule after World War I.  The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction.  Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.  The countries joined the British Commonwealth in 1961 as one republic. The United Nations estimated Tanzania's population at 56.31 million, which is slightly smaller than South Africa and makes it the second most populous country located entirely south of the Equator.  The population is composed of about 120 ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.  The sovereign state of Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic and since 1996 its official capital city has been Dodoma where the president's office, the National Assembly, and all government ministries are located.  Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, and leading commercial centre.  Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast, 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 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. 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.  Swahili, the national language, is used in parliamentary debate and as a medium of instruction in primary school.  English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education.  Fun facts: 
  • Nearly 30% of Tanzania is national parks. 
  • Lake Tanganyika is the second-largest lake in the world.  
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. 
Dar es Salaam: Dar-es-Salaam, known as 'Place of Peace', is the largest city and financial hub of Tanzania.  It is also the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region.  With a population of over six million people, Dar is the largest city in East Africa and the seventh largest in Africa.  Located on the Swahili coast, it is an important economic centre and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.  The town was founded by Majid bin Said (1834-1870), the first Sultan of Zanzibar, in about 1865.  It was the main administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa, Tanganyika, and Tanzania.  In 1974 it was decided to move the capital to Dodoma and this was officially completed in 1996.   Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's most prominent city for arts, fashion, media, film, television, and finance.  It is the capital of the co-extensive Dar es Salaam Region, one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions, and consists of five districts: Kinondoni in the north, Ilala in the centre, Ubungo and Temeke in the south, and Kigamboni in the east across the Kurasini estuary. In the 19th century, Mzizima (Swahili for "healthy town") was a coastal fishing village on the periphery of Indian Ocean trade routes.  In about 1865 Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar (1834-1870) began building a new city very close to Mzizima and named it Dar es Salaam.  The name is commonly translated from Arabic as ‘abode (home) of peace’, from dar (‘house’) and es salaam (‘of peace’).  Dar es Salaam fell into decline after Majid's death in 1870 but was revived in 1887 when the German East Africa Company established a station there.  The town’s growth was facilitated by its role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa and industrial expansion following the construction of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900s.   In the East African campaign of World War I, British and Empire forces captured German East Africa.  The Royal Navy bombarded the city with the monitor Mersey on 21 July 1916 and the battleship HMS Vengeance on 21 August.  The German colonial authorities surrendered the city on 3 September.  German East Africa became the British Tanganyika Territory.  Dar es Salaam remained the administrative and commercial centre.  Under British indirect rule, European areas such as Oyster Bay and African areas developed separately from the city centre.  The city's population also included many workers from British India, many of whom came to take advantage of trade and commercial opportunities.  After World War II, Dar es Salaam experienced a period of rapid growth.

3.7 miles / 6 kilometres

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