Tanzania is a land of rare beauty. Bordered by shimmering lakes and the Indian Ocean. It is East Africa’s largest nation, half the size of Western Europe. Its natural treasures are unique: snow capped Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain; Lake Tanganyika, its longest and deepest lake; Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake; and Ngorongoro, its largest unbroken crater. Here too in the mighty Selous and the endless Serengeti wildlife sanctuaries roam the last of the great herds of African game. And then there are 500 miles of palm-fringed tropical coastline with the green islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Although Tanzania is a new nation, It has a rich and ancient past.
Fossils in Olduvai Gorge suggest that it was the home of the first race of men on earth. For thousands of years, it was a wealthy trading-centre in the Indian Ocean; a powerful and great Islamic civilization arose along the coast which built beautiful stone cities and gave birth to the Kiswahili language. After the early travellers – Livingstone, Burton, Speke, Rebmann and Krapf – came German and then British settlers who helped develop the country’s rich potential. Tanzania today is a fruitful and creative meeting-point of African, Arab, Asian and European cultures whose varied influences live on in its religions, customs, languages and architecture. Upright and confident, it is a dynamic nation forging a distinctive style of its own. Its original and independent path of development has moreover made it one of the most closely observed countries in Africa. Peter Marshall, with photographers Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts, has captured the essence of this breathtaking country in a book as handsome as the subject it portrays.