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North Africa: ° Algeria ° Egypt ° Libya ° Morocco ° Sudan
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East Africa (The Horn of Africa): ° Djibouti ° Kenya ° Eritrea ° Madagascar ° Somalia ° Sudan ° Tanzania ° Zanzibar


The present country came into being with the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 when Tanganyika joined with Zanzibar and became Tanzania. There are over 120 tribes on the mainland, most of which migrated from other parts of Africa. The first European arrival was the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, who visited the coast in the late-15th century, after which most of the littoral region came under Portuguese control. The Portuguese also controlled Zanzibar until 1699, when they were ousted from the island by Omani Arabs. In the late-19th century, along with Rwanda and Burundi, Tanganyika was absorbed into the colony of German East Africa, as a consequence of a deal between the British and Germans one process in the European colonial carve-up of Africa.

September 18, 1880, Colonies and India, London, United Kingdom


African Exploration.

The return of Mr. Joseph Thomson to England affords a convenient opportunity for a concluding notice of the services he has rendered to geography in East Central Africa. After leaving Ujiji, intending to cross Lake Tanganyika and to follow the famous Lukuga Creek towards the Congo, Mr. Thomson had great difficulty with his men, who professed to believe that he was taking them to the Manyema country, where they would all be eaten up. For six days Mr. Thomson fought against their opposition, and travelled steadily onwards; but he was then obliged to give in. He found that the Lukuga flowed through a delightful valley, enclosed by hills varying in heights from 600 feet to 2,000 feet, and that, after passing Meketo's town, its general course was west towards the Congo.

On leaving the Lukuga Mr. Thomson entered Urua, and made, in south-westerly direction, for the town of the chief of all the Warua. Here he found he had fallen out of the frying-pan into the fire; before, he had had trouble with his men; but now matters were ten times worse, for the " Warua turned out to be the most outrageous scoundrels and thieves he had yet met," and the five weeks spent in their country were weeks of utter misery. At length, on March 10, the expedition succeeded in reaching Mtowa, on the west side of Lake Tanganyika, where the London Missionary Society's agents have lately founded a station, as Mr. Thomson had, of course, had to relinquish all idea of forcing his way southwards through Urua.

The failure of this part of his plan must have annoyed him exceedingly, as the country which he would have traversed on the way to his camp at Liendwe, on the River Lofu, is as yet quite unexplored. On March 23 the expedition started from Mtowa, and crossed the lake to Karema, the first station of the International African Association. Mr. Thomson's account of this place is not attractive. Karema, he says, is one of the most extraordinary places for a station that could be found on the lake a wide expanse of marsh, a small village, no shelter for boats, only shallow water dotted with stumps of rock, no room to be got, and natives hostile; far from any line of trade! And this is the spot which, we believe, was recommended by Mr. H. M. Stanley to the King of the Belgians as the most suitable site for the first station founded by the Association in East Central Africa. After leaving Karema Mr. Thomson had a moderately good voyage across the lake to Liendwe, where he arrived on April 7, and found everything in good order after his protracted absence. He was, however, much annoyed to find that his projected route to Kilwa on the coast was impassable, as Merere had recommenced hostilities with the Wahelie, and it would have been idle to have attempted to pass from one country to the other.

Fishing Village. Lake Tanigaka. 1893.

Still, his return journey has not been by any means without value. Passing round the south end of Tanganyika, he struck through Tjlungu and Fipa, and reached by a gradual ascent the town of Kapufi, situated in S. lat. 8 and E. long. 32 25'. Best of all, however, while at this place he had the good fortune to settle the problem of Lake Hikwa. or rather Likwa, and give it some shape and place in our maps. Mr. Thomson, of course, only saw a part of it ; but from all he could gather he thinks it must be from 60 to 70 miles in length and 15 to 20 miles in breadth. It lies two days east of Kapufi, in a deep depression of the Lambalamfipa Mountains. A large river, called the Mkafa, which rises in Kawendi, falls into it, after draining, by means of its tributaries, the greater part of Ukonongo and Fipa and all the Mpimbwe country.

Mr. Thomson is almost sure it has no outlet at all, and is quite certain that it has none towards the west. After exploring this lake, he made his way to Tabora, in Unyanyembe, which is now so well known that the journey thence to the sea-coast needs no further allusion. Mr. Thomson arrived in England too late for the Swansea meeting of the British Association, and he will, no doubt, give his first public account of his adventurous journey at the opening of the Royal Geographical Society's session in November.


Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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