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Saturday 30th August
Tanzania Facts
The highest point in Tanzania (and Africa) is Mount Kilimanjaro, a volcano which reaches 5,895 metres.

The Great Rift Valley, which runs through the middle of Tanzania, was formed twenty million years ago; it was created when the earth's crust ripped apart.

Tanzania shares Lake Victoria with Kenya and Uganda. The lake is one of the world's largest lakes.

Lake Tanganyika is one of the world's deepest lakes forming a natural border between Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tanzania shares Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) with Malawi and Mozambique.

In 1856 John Hanning Speke and Richard Francis Burton were commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society in the UK to find the source of the Nile. Speke claimed [correctly] that Lake Victoria was the Nile's source.

East Africa has been called The Cradle of Mankind.

Louis and Mary Leakey, the famous archaeologists and anthropologists, spent much of their time working at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.

In 1960 the Leakey's eldest son discovered fossils of Homo habilis, an early human species, at Olduvai Gorge.

In the 1970s Mary Leakey's team found hominid footprints in the Laitoli Site, near the Olduvai Gorge. These are thought to date back as far as 3.6 million years.

Rock art found in Tanzania dates back to the Stone Age.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania is a huge crater which is home to many wild animals.

Large herds of animals roam the Serengeti Plains. An annual migration of gazelles, wildebeest and zebras, followed by their predators, is made to find water.

Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word for "endless plains".

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is particularly remembered for his commission from the New York Herald to find David Livingstone. When they finally met in Ujiji in November 1871 Stanley greeted Livingstone with the famous words "Dr. Livingstone, I presume".

Zanzibar was the main slave trading port in East Africa.

Dr David Livingstone campaigned to bring an end to the slave trade.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The Abolition of Slavery Act (1833) began the process leading to emancipation).

Dar es Salaam has one of the world's largest natural harbours.

The name Dar es Salaam means "haven of peace".

In 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to become the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a member of the Commonwealth.

In 1979 Tanzania invaded neighbouring Uganda putting an end to the reign of the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin.

In 1994 refugees fleeing from the crisis in Rwanda sought safety in Tanzania.

The University of Dar es Salaam was established in 1970. (The University of East Africa was divided into separate universities for Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda).

The Open University of Tanzania was founded in 1995.

In June 2002 almost three hundred people were killed in Tanzania's worst train disaster.

A new species of monkey, maybe a new genus, was discovered by scientists in 2005. The Rungwecebus kipunji, known as the Kipunji is said to be a close relative of the baboon and lives in the Rungwe-Livingstone Forest in the Southern Highlands and the Ndundulu Forest in the Udzungwa Mountains.

In April 2008 six Maasai warriors arrived in London to run the London Marathon. Their aim was to raise money, through sponsorship, to drill bore holes to subterranean water reservoirs for their village. The Masai people live in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya.

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