|Sultan's Palace in Zanzibar|
Those of us in the US familiar with the history of our native people will have a pretty good idea of how european governments invaded, conquered and ruled in Africa. In Tanzania, it was the Germans who first seized control from Omani Sultan of Zanzibar. Along with areas that also make up present day Rwanda, Burundi and mainland Tanzania, Germany formed a huge colony called German East Africa.
Arab control continued on the island of Zanzibar up until the 19-Century, as sultans turned Zanzibar into a hub of the African Slave Trade with Asia and the Middle-East. During the later part of the 1800’s, Zanzibar came under British rule, as Great Britian moved aggressively to end the slave trade, of which Zanzibar was a major hub.
|Julius Nyerere (left) with US President Jimmy Carter (right)|
The British turned over Zanzibar to a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. But Africans revolted and the violent Zanzibar Revolution pushed Arab and Indian influences off the island in a genocidal horror. Nyerere moved quickly and managed to achieve a merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, forming the nation of Tanzania of which he became its first president.
The home of Mount Kilimanjaro is now also popular tourist destination, and not just with Imagineers looking for ideas for a theme park. From the stunning beaches of Zanzibar to the expanse of the treasured Serengeti, it’s not hard to see how this country filled Disney’s creative team with so much inspiration. Tanzania is filled with national parks and reserves home to a diverse wildlife population, including Seregeti National Park, home of the great wildebeest migration which should be on any bucket list.