Tanzania is geographically the largest country in east Africa. Dodoma, in the central region, is the capital, but Dar es Salaam, on the Indian Ocean, is the largest city. Kiswahili and English are the official languages. The currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS).
The country was previously called Tanganyika. It gained independence from the United Kingdom on 9th December 1961. Zanzibar and Pemba gained independence on 10th December 1963. The merger between Tanganyika and Zanzibar to create Tanzania occurred on 26th April 1964.
Dar es Salaam
26th-29th September 2013
Tanzania’s largest city and administrative capital on the east coast. Literally “the abode of peace”.
Thursday, 26th September 2013
Dar es Salaam National Museum is part of a consortium of Tanzania’s museums. It’s located in Shabban Robert Street, next to the botanical gardens. It was established in 1934 and has been open to the public since 1940. It was originally a memorial museum dedicated to King George V and one of his cars is still on display. The museum was expanded in 1963, with the addition of a second building. It is now dedicated to the history of Tanzania. Its most famous exhibits include some bones of Paranthropus boisei – an ancient 1.75 million year old ancestor of modern humans – that were among the finds of Louis Leakey, British palaeoanthropologist and archaeologist, at Olduvai Gorge.
Outside the front of Azania Front Lutheran Church. It serves as a cathedral for the local diocese. It is among the most well-known landmarks and tourist attractions of the city. Located in the city centre, close to the ocean, facing the harbour. It was built by German missionaries in 1898, in the Bavarian style of the time, with a red-tiled roof, tiled canopies over the windows and white walls.
Friday, 27th September 2013
The base of the Askari Monument just visible from the window of a moving taxi! This is a memorial to the Askari soldiers who fought in the British Carrier Corps in World War I. It is located at the centre of a roundabout between Samora Avenue and Maktaba Street: a place that reportedly also marks the exact centre of downtown Dar es Salaam. It was unveiled in 1927. The main feature of the monument is “The Askari”, a bronze statue of a soldier. The soldier has a rifle with a bayonet pointed towards Dar es Salaam harbour.
Saturday, 28th September 2013
Tony standing with a female traveller from Belgium at the ticket office of Kijiji cha Makumbusho (Village Museum). Established in 1996, this is an open-air ethnographical museum located in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, on the road to Mwenge and Bagamoyo. It showcases traditional huts from 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups. Traditional music and dance shows are held daily.
Tony with Mericky. In front of the camera, a worked bundle of straw tied together with a rounded top, and probably intended to cap the middle of a round straw roof. A rectangular hut can also be seen opposite.
29th September – 2nd October 2013
The Zanzibar archipelago consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. They are located in the Indian Ocean off Tanzania’s eastern coast and are a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The islands are reached by ferry or plane from Dar es Salaam.
Sunday, 29th September 2013
Zanzibar City (or Zanzibar Town, often simply referred to as Zanzibar) is the capital and largest city of the Zanzibar archipelago. It is located on the west coast of Unguja, the main island of the archipelago, roughly due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel. Zanzibar City comprises two main parts, Stone Town and Ng’ambo (literally, “The Other Side”). The two areas were historically divided by a creek, now marked by a large street called Creek Road.
The Old Fort (“Ngome Kongwe” in Swahili), adjacent to the House of Wonders, is a heavy stone fortress built in the 17th century by the Omanis. It has a roughly square shape. The internal courtyard is now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily.
Changuu Island is a small island 5.6 kilometres north-west of Stone Town. The island is approximately 800 metres long and 230 metres wide at its broadest point. The island saw use as a prison for rebellious slaves in the 1860s prior to shipping them abroad or selling them at the slave market in Stone Town. It also functioned as a coral mine. The British First Minister of Zanzibar, Lloyd Mathews, purchased the island in 1893 and constructed a prison complex there. No prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. The station was only occupied for around half of the year and for the rest of the time it was a popular holiday destination for Europeans and Zanzibar locals. An improved complex of quarantine buildings were erected in the south-west of the island in 1931, which gave an improved quarantine capacity of 904 persons.
In the late twentieth century, the island became a government owned tourist resort and houses a collection of endangered giant tortoises, which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles who, in 1919, sent a gift of four Aldabra giant tortoises. They bred successfully, but people stole them for sale or as pets, which threatened the species over time. The World Society for the Protection of Animals built a large compound for the protection of the animals and by 2000 numbers had recovered to 17 adults, 50 juveniles and 90 hatchlings.
The island is now a holiday resort, own by the government and fresh water is transferred via an underwater pipe from Zanzibar. The old prison remains standing, providing shelter for some of the tortoises and the cells can be visited along with the tortoises for a fee.
Forodhani Gardens, located along the main seawalk of Stone Town, close to the harbour, and just in front of the most famous buildings, the House of Wonders and the Old Fort. This small park is especially crowded after sunset, when tourists and locals alike gather at a popular street food market in the main square to eat Swahili and Zanzibari cuisine, such as grilled seafood, samosas, cassava and sweet potatoes.
Monday, 30th September
Stone Town is the historical core of the city, former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and flourishing centre of the spice trade, as well as the slave trade. Its architecture, mostly dating from the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, with a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.
Some of the photos below were taken by fellow traveller, Tatjana from Slovenia – Tony met her via Couch Surfing.
Outside the House of Wonders (or “Palace of Wonders”, also known as “Beit-al-Ajaib”) in Mizingani Road on the seafront. Canons either side of the main entrance. It is one of the most well-known landmarks in Stone Town. Built in 1883 and restored after the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896. Formerly the Sultan’s residence, it became the seat of the Afro-Shirazi Party after the revolution. It was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity, as well as the first building in East Africa to have a lift/elevator. Since 2000, its interior has been used as a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.
Tony’s wanders around Stone Town began from here.
Inside David Livingstone’s House. Tony at the bottom of a wooden staircase. The house is a small palace that was originally built for Sultan Majid bin Said, but later used by European missionaries. Livingstone lived in the house whilst preparing for his last expedition to the interior of Tanganyika, modern day Tanzania.
Tony sitting outside a house with a carved wooden door to one side. The long bench on which Tony is sitting is known as a baraza, many traditional buildings have them along the outside walls. They are used as an elevated sidewalk if heavy rains make the streets impassible, or otherwise as benches to sit down, rest and socialize.
The High Court of Justice partially obscured by trees. Located in Kaunda Road, close to Victoria Gardens. This building combines Islamic and Portuguese elements and was designed by British architect J. H. Sinclair.
Tony in Darajani Market, the main bazaar of Zanzibar. Fruit and other goods for sale. Despite being chaotic and reportedly home of pickpockets, it is one of the main visitor attractions of Stone Town because of its colourful, chaotic maze of stalls selling everything from kangas (a colourful printed cotton garment similar to kitenge, worn by women and occasionally men throughout the African Great Lakes Region), to exotic fruits, to consumer electronics. It is located in central Stone Town.
Tony inside the Anglican cathedral of Christ Church, close to the main altar. The cathedral is located in the centre of Stone Town on the site of Zanzibar’s biggest slave market. This location was deliberately chosen to remember the end of slavery, and the altar is in the exact spot where the main whipping post of the slave market used to be.
The cathedral was built in ten years, starting from 1873, based on a vision by Edward Steere, third Anglican bishop of Zanzibar, who actively contributed to the design.