The United Republic of Tanzania

View Map

About Tanzania

Tanzania : is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a state composed of 26 regions (mikoa), including those of the autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de-facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

Geography

At 947,300 km²,Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. It lies mostly between latitudes 1°and 12°S, and longitudes 29° and 41°E.

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behavior.

The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania's main tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area.

Climate

Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between (10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F)) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C / 77–87.8 °F while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C / 59–68 °F).Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F).The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.

Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is uni-modal (December–April) and the other is bimodal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.

In the bimodal regime the March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October–December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli.As this country lies in equator here the climate is hot and humid.The easterlies winds cause rainfall in the eastern coastal region.

Culture

Tanzania culture is quite rich and has contributed a lot in the development and advancement of the country. The diversity of Tanzania culture appeals to a large number of people coming from distant areas across the globe. The various forms of Tanzania culture are language, painting, sculpture, national anthem, popular dance music and art.

The most important contribution towards the culture of Tanzania has been done by the language. More than 100 languages are spoken in this country. After the independence, the government of the country found it very difficult to administer. So it introduced Swahili language as the official language. The literature of Tanzania is no less enriched. Some eminent writers of Tanzanian literature are Shafi Adam Shafi, Chachage Seith Chachage, Amandina Lihamba, Edwin Semzaba,Penina Muhando Mlama and Euphrase Kezilahabi. "Mungu Ibariki Afrika" is the national Anthem of Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The national Anthem helps in strengthening the unity among the people so that they can usher in an era of all round national development.

Makonde sculpture is quite famous in Tanzania and few noted Tanzanian painters are Stephen Ndebalema, Elias Jengo and Mohammad Raza. Among the painting styles, Tinga Tingapainting deserves mention. Bongoflava has represented the new genre of music in the country. Various music bands like Ottu and Sikinde are also much popular.