Best Tanzania Historical site you must Visit
Tanzania is renowned for its collection of internationally acclaimed historical and prehistoric sites, some of which trace back over 2 million years:
The Olduvai Gorge, often referred to as “The Cradle of Humankind,” gained prominence in 1959 when Dr. Louis Leakey unearthed the skull of Zinjanthropus, known as “Nutcracker Man.” This individual is believed to have existed 1.75 million years ago. Subsequently reclassified as Australopithecus boisei, this creature had a substantial yet small-brained skull (500 cc) and large teeth. A few months later, Dr. Leakey discovered another fossil hominid in the same excavation layer, named Homo habilis or “handy man.” This species was smaller than “Nutcracker Man” but possessed a larger brain (600 cc) and the ability to craft simple stone tools.
KONDOA ROCK PAINTINGS OF KOLO
Situated about 260 kilometers south of Arusha, the Kondoa Rock Paintings at Kolo stand as a world-class historical treasure trove. These ancient rock art pieces are noteworthy not just for their quantity, but also their exceptional quality. Human figures and animals like elephants, elands, and giraffes are depicted in dark red hues, along with a smattering of abstract designs. Researchers date these earliest rock paintings to 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, attributing them to the hunter-gatherer Bushmen, a click language tribe, who are considered ancestors of the Sandawe tribe now residing in the western part of Kondoa District. The Sandawe and Hadzabe languages, though distinct, share linguistic ties to the Khoisan languages spoken in the Kalahari Desert. Similar rock paintings can also be found in parts of southern Africa inhabited by the Bushmen. More recent whitish paintings, possibly dating back 500 years, are attributed to the Bantu-speaking Warangi, the primary agricultural tribe in the Kondoa District.
The Kolo Rock Paintings have garnered attention due to growing interest in ancient rock art among prospective visitors to Tanzania. These paintings, situated along the Maasai Escarpment bordering the Great Rift Valley, are just 160 kilometers from Tarangire National Park. Visitors can embark on a day trip from the park or areas like Maramboi and Lake Burungi in Tarangire. This excursion allows a 2 to 3-hour tour of the Kolo and neighboring Pahi mountain sites, followed by a return to Tarangire later in the afternoon. For those with a keener interest in exploring the intriguing prehistoric art further, accommodations are available in Kondoa town, offering basic yet clean guest lodging.
Designated as one of Tanzania’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Kolo Rock Paintings enjoy protected status. While rock paintings are scattered throughout the Kondoa district, those at Kolo and the Pahi area are the most extensively documented and visited.
Approximately 75 kilometers north of Dar es Salaam lies Bagamoyo, once a pivotal trading hub on the East African Coast and a renowned port for slaves from the interior. During the era of German colonialism in East Africa, Bagamoyo served as the first capital of German East Africa from 1886 to 1891.
Bagamoyo holds substantial global historical significance as an entry point for Arab and European missionaries, explorers, and traders in East and Central Africa. It also bears witness to the grim history of the slave trade. Presently, efforts are underway to consider Bagamoyo’s inclusion as a World Heritage site to safeguard its remarkable Gothic and Afro-Arabic architecture. Notable tourist attractions encompass:
– The Kaole ruins, dating back to the 12th century, believed to mark early interactions between Islam and Africa.
– The Old Fort, constructed in 1860 to confine slaves bound for Zanzibar.
– The first Roman Catholic Church in East Africa, erected around 1868 and utilized as a camp for liberated slaves.
– The German colonial administration headquarters, the Boma, established during German East Africa’s initial capital years.
– The Mission Museum, offering insights into Bagamoyo’s history.
– The Livingstone Memorial Church.
In addition to its rich history, Bagamoyo’s pristine white sand beaches are among the finest along the East African coast.
Kilwa, designated as one of Tanzania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, comprises the historical islands of Kilwa Kisiwani & Songo Mnara, or Kilwa Kivinje. Situated on the southern coast, it’s a 6-hour drive from Dar es Salaam, with scheduled flights connecting Kilwa to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, and game parks.
Kilwa reigned as the dominant city-state on the East African coast for three centuries, from the 12th to the 15th century. It controlled trade spanning from Sofala in Mozambique to Mombasa in Kenya, covering around 1,900 kilometers, along with the Comoro Islands. Today, Kilwa stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflecting its role as a pivotal trading center connecting Asia to the African hinterland, where ivory and gold exchanged hands for beads, cotton cloth, porcelain, and jewelry. Traders from the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf settled in Kilwa as early as the ninth century, leaving enduring cultural imprints visible in the preserved ruins with their intricate architecture and the Swahili civilization along the East African coast.