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Tanganyika was an East African republic within the British Commonwealth, named after Lake Tanganyika which formed the western border. In 1964, it joined with the island of Zanzibar to form Tanzania.

The name first appeared as the Mandated Territory of Tanganyika which was formed from the colony of German East Africa, captured by the British during World War I and mandated to them in 1922 by the League of Nations. In 1946 it became a trust territory of the United Nations, still ruled by the British, and then independent on December 9, 1961. The "Republic of Tanganyika" was established a year later, June 9, 1962.

G.E.A. overprint on 10-cent orange, 1922

Postage stamps

The first postage stamps of Tanganyika were stamps of the East Africa and Uganda Protectorates overprinted "G.E.A" (for German East Africa), used in 1921 and 1922. These are superficially identical to the last occupation issues of German East Africa, but the presence of the "Crown and Script CA" watermark shows they were issued after the civil administration took over from the military, and are thus properly considered the first issues of Tanganyika.

10-cent giraffe, 1925

In 1922, the government issued a series inscribed "TANGANYIKA", featuring the head of a giraffe, denominated in cents, shillings and pounds (100 cents to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound), with several color changes in 1925.

30-cent George V, 1927

This was followed up in 1927 by a more conventional design with a profile of King George V and inscribed "MANDATED TERRITORY OF TANGANYIKA".

Between 1935 and 1961, stamps of the combined postal administration known as "Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika" were in use.

Shortly after independence in 1961, the state issued stamps inscribed "TANGANYIKA", and then a last issue in 1962, four stamps inscribed "JAMHURI YA TANGANYIKA" commemorating the republic. Stamps of the combined administration remained valid until well after the formation of Tanzania.