Resource Page for Tanzania Stamps and Tanzania Postal HistoryGERMAN POSTAL AGENCY IN LAMU
A German postal agency was established in Lamu on 27 February 1885. German stamps were used by the agency and these can only be identified by the postmark.
GERMAN EAST AFRICA
The colony of German East Africa was established on 4 October 1890. The area of colony included mainland Tanganyika, Burundi and Rwanda. From 4 October 1890 till 30 June 1893 only German stamps were used in the colony. On 1 July 1893 stamps were issued for the colony.
On the outbreak of World War I, the Germans began making raids into British East Africa, Uganda, Congo, Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Mozambique. An attempted British landing at Tanga between 2 and 5 November 1914 was repulsed by the Germans. German East Africa stamps continued to be used in the area controlled by the Germans until they finally surrendered on 26 November 1918.
The colony was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles. The north-western area was given to Belgium as Ruanda-Urundi. The Kionga Triangle, an small area south of the Rovuma River, was given to Portugal to become part of Mozambique. The remainder went to Britain, which named it Tanganyika.
Mafia Island was captured by the British in January 1915. At first letters were allowed to be sent unstamped but on 14 January 1915 stamps were made available by handstamping German East Africa stamps "G.R. MAFIA" in two lines. More stamps were made available in May 1915 by overprinting German East Africa stamps "G. R. POST 6 CENTS MAFIA" in four lines. In September 1915 German East Africa fiscal stamps were handstamped with "O.H.B.M.S. Mafia" in a circle. In addition to these, stamps of the Indian Expeditionary Forces (India overprinted I.E.F.) were additionally overprinted "G. R. POST MAFIA" (September 1915) or "G. R. Post MAFIA" (October 1916) in three lines.
BRITISH OCCUPATION OF GERMAN EAST AFRICA
The offensive by the Allied force started in March 1916 from British East Africa, mainly by Indian troops. On 20 May 1916 the Nyasaland-Rhodesian Field Force began their offensive from Nyasaland. In the areas occupied by the Allied troops the civilian population were able to send mail through the Indian Army postal service using Indian stamps overprinted "I.E.F.".
Some post office reverted to civilian control on 1 June 1917. Initially stamps of East Africa and Uganda were made available; then from October 1917 East Africa and Uganda stamps overprinted "G.E.A." were made available. In 1921 stamps of Kenya and Uganda were overprinted "G.E.A.". The last field post office to come under civlian control was on 15 March 1919.
Sometime during 1914-18 the British produced Parodies of the German East Africa yacht issue overprinted "G.E.A BRITISH OCCUPATION".
In 1922 the colony became the British Mandated Territory of Tanganyika.
NYASALAND RHODESIAN FIELD FORCE
The Nyasaland Rhodesian Field Force, under the command of Brigadier General Edward Northey, began their offensive in East Africa on 20 May 1916. Northey’s force crossed into German East Africa on 25 May 1916. On May 30 they had occupied Neu Langenburg. On June 6 they captured Neu Utengulc. Alt Langenburg was occupied on June 13. Ubena was captured on June 30.
The troops could send normal letters without stamps via the field post office. If there was any additional postage required it required payment. At first unoverprinted Nyasaland stamps were used. Later at the request of Brigadier General Northey, to the Governor of Nyasaland, Nyasaland stamps were overprinted “N.F.” Northey had requested the overprint to be “N.F.F.” and the telegraph operator omitted one “F.” when sending the request to the Governor. Correspondence written by Northey clearly shows that he was an enthusiastic stamp collector. There is no evidence that these stamps were really needed. However the overprinting was sanctioned by the Governor of Nyasaland and the stamps were used for posting letters.
These stamps were only available for use by troops of the Nyasaland Rhodesian Field Forces. Sale of these stamps in large quantities, for dealing purposes, was forbidden. The stamps were available only from Field Post Offices of the Nyasaland Rhodesian Field Force. Most of these offices were in German East Africa. The Nyasaland Rhodesian Field Force also had FPOs in Nyasaland and in Portuguese East Africa. The stamps were not available at any civilian post office or for civilian use.
MANDATED TERRITORY OF TANGANYIKA
In 1922 the former German colony became the British Mandated Territory of Tanganyika. Separate issues of stamps were in use till 1 January 1933. From this day Tanganyika joined the East African Postal Administration and used stamps inscribed "Kenya Uganda and Tanganyika".
REPUBLIC OF TANGANYIKA
On 9 December 1961 Tanganyika became an indepentant republic and commenced to issue its own stamps.
INDIAN POST OFFICE IN ZANZIBAR
An Indian post office was opened in Zanzibar in November 1868 and closed on 1 April 1869
Stamps of India were used in Zanzibar from 1 October 1875 to 10 November 1895
Indian Post Office in Zanzibar 1878 - 1895 by George Krieger
An exhibit of the cancellations used by the Indian post office in Zanzibar from 1 June 1878 to 10 November 1895
FRENCH POST OFFICE IN ZANZIBAR
A French post office was opened in Zanzibar in January 1889. French stamps were used initially. In 1894 specific stamps were issued for use from this post office. French stamps are also know used during 1903 and 1904. The office was closed on 31 July 1904.
GERMAN POSTAL AGENCY IN ZANZIBAR
German stamps were used by a German postal agency which was open between 27 August 1890 and 31 July 1891.
PROTECTORATE OF ZANZIBAR
In 1895 Zanzibar became a British Protectorate.
Zanzibar received its independence and became a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan, Sayyid Jamshid bin Abdullah, on 10 December 1963.
REPUBLIC OF ZANZIBAR
The Sultan and the democratically elected government were overthrown in the Zanzibar Revolution on 12 January 1964. When the post offices opened on 14 January 1964 the stamps on sale had the portrait of the Sultan obliterated by a manuscript cross. On 17 January 1964 stamps were issued which had been handstamped "JAMHURI 1964"
All Zanzibar stamps were withdrawn from post office from 1 January 1968 and were replaced by Tanzania stamps. Zanzibar stamps remained valid for use in Zanzibar for a short time.
UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANGANYIKA AND ZANZIBAR
The United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was formed on 26 April 1964
UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
On 29 October 1964 the republic was renamed as Tanzania
1965 FDC with stamp showing the skull of Zinjanthropus and the excavations in Olduvai Gorge addressed to Mr & Mrs Leakey
PHILATELIC SOCIETIES FOR COLLECTORS OF STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY OF TANZANIA
East Africa Study Circle
The East Africa Study Circle (EASC) was founded in 1979 to study, record and publish information relating to the philately and postal history of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with all their forerunners and ramifications.
East Africa Study Circle Library
East Africa Study Circle Library holds over 300 publications of which nearly half are philatelic, the remainder being of more general East African interest. Books may be borrowed by members.
TANZANIA PHILATELIC BUREAU
Tanzania Posts Corporation
Headquarters Stamp Bureau
P O Box 2988
Posta House Building
Ghana/Ohio Avenue Corner
Tel: +255 22-2137815
Fax: +255 22-2113081
BOOKS FOR COLLECTORS OF TANZANIA STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY
East African Airmails to 1939
by W Colley FRPSL, Second Edition, East Africa Study Circle, 2009, 130pp
The British India Steam Navigation Company's Mail Packets to East Africa
by Stephen J North, East Africa Study Circle
1st Edition 1990, 30pp, ISBN 0951586513
2nd Edition 2001, 48pp, ISBN 095247543X
British Occupation of German Colonies, the Provisional Issues of the Postage Stamps of Mafia
by Greenwood, Field WEP Series No 12, 1930, 31pp
East Africa World War II: An assessment of date stamps, cancellations, censor marks and tapes relating to East Africa and East African forces during World War II
by Harry Henning and edited by P A Chantry FRPSL, East Africa Study Circle, 1996
German Mailboat Services Hamburg to East Africa 1890-1914
by Kenneth Pennycuick, RPSL, 1976, 44pp
German Mailboats from Europe to East Africa, 1890-1905
by Stephen J North, self published, 2002, 40pp, ISBN 0952475448
G.R.I. - The Postage Stamps of the German Colonies Occupied by the British 1914-1918
by Robert M. Gibbs, 1988, 290 pages
New Guinea and the Marshall Islands, Cameroons, Mafia, Samoa, Togoland. The stamps and postal history.
A Handbook on King George VI issues of Kenya Uganda and Tanganyika
by R D Berrington, Stamp Collecting Ltd, 1955, 59pp
History of the East African Army Postal Service
by Stuart Rossiter, edited by Edward B Proud, 1982
Identifying the Cancellations of Tanganyika - A Post Office Identification Handbook
by Larry Goldberg, L M G Communications, 2001, 64pp, ISBN 0967388627
The Nyasaland-Rhodesia Field Force, 1914-18
by Alan R Drysdall and Kenneth Pennycuick, published by A R Drysdall, 1986, 140pp
A Postal History of German East Africa
by Jerome G. Newman, 1973, 209pp
The Postal History of German East Africa
by Kenneth Pennycuick, edited by Edward B. Proud, 1989, 223pp
The Postal History of Tanganyika 1915-1961
by Edward B Proud, Proud-Bailey Co Ltd, 1989, 287pp, ISBN 1872465064
The Postal History of Uganda and Zanzibar
by Edward B Proud, 1993, 413pp, ISBN 1872465080
The Provisional Issues of the Postage Stamps of Mafia
by Charles Herbert Greenwood, 1930, West End Philatelists
Zanzibar: 1895-1904 : a comprehensive study of the stamps and postal stationery including the Zanzibar overprints and surcharges on Indian postage stamps ... issues from 1896 to the Arms issue of 1904
by Thomas William Hall, East Africa Study Circle, 2002, 90pp, ISBN 095158653X
ARTICLES IN GIBBONS STAMP MONTHLY
March 1950 issue of GSM pp 80-82
NYASA - RHODESIAN FIELD FORCES 1915-1918 STAMPS AND CANCELLATIONS by W G Nodder
Historical backround of the Field Forces, details of the stamps issued, the postmarks used, details of locations of the field post offices as known at the time. The article is based on the authors collection and two references. (1) The South African Philatelist, Vol 10, No 10, page 146. (2) The Encyclopaedia of British Empire Stamps, by Robson Lowe, Vol 2, pages 141, 208 and 209.
August 1991 issue of GSM pp 29-31
THE NYASALAND STAMPS OVERPRINTED 'N.F.' by Alan Drysdall
Historical background, details of stamps overprinted, sheet numbers, basic stamps, sheet format, varieties, proofs and specimens, dates of issue.
© Jan Kosniowski 2010