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The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East
Africa, just south of the equator between the Indian
Ocean in the east and the lakes of the Central African
Rift in the west. With an area of 945 100 km², the
country is about two and a half times the size of
Germany. In addition to the mainland (Tanganyika), the
state territory includes the islands of Zanzibar (1,658
km²), Pemba (just under 1,000 km²) and several small
islands in the Indian Ocean .
Tanzania borders on Mozambique , Lake Malawi and
Malawi in the south, Zambia in the southwest , Lake
Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in
the west, Burundi and Rwanda in the northwest , Uganda
and Lake Victoria in the north, Kenya and the northeast
in the northeast to the Indian Ocean .
The coastal strip is only narrow in the north and
widens towards the south to the mouth of the Rufiji
river before it tapers towards the south. The coast is
divided by numerous bays and estuaries. The two flat
coral islands of Zanzibar and Pemba are located off the
The coastal strip is joined to the east by individual
mountain ranges (Usambara Mountains up to 2,460 m,
Uluguru Mountains up to approx. 2,650 m), followed by a
highland that is on average 1,000 to 1,500 m above sea
level and forms the core area of Tanzania. In the west
and northwest, the highlands are bordered by the Central
African Rift, where Lake Tanganyika forms the border
with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also included
in the trench system are the Rukwasee, which is located
northeast of Lake Tanganyika, and the Malawi Lake
(Njassasee), which forms the border with the neighboring
country Malawi. In the north, Tanzania (like Kenya and
Uganda) shares in Lake Victoria, which is in the
The highest elevation in the country with 5 895 m is
the Kibo summit in the Kilimanjaro massif in the
northeast of the country. Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro
Crater, Mount Meru, which is over 4,500 m high and a
number of other (mostly extinct) volcanoes belong to a
threshold of the East African trench system that runs
through the center of the country from the northeast to
The capital, Dodoma, is centrally located inland. The
seat of government in Tanzania is in Dar es Salaam,
which is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
The climate in Tanzania is tropical and is tempered
by the high altitude. Temperatures are high all year
round with little fluctuation. While annual average
values of around 26 กใ C are measured on the coast and
on the offshore islands, the average on the plateau is
20 กใ C. Most of the precipitation falls from December to
May, and there are two rainy seasons in northern
Tanzania near the equator (March to May and October /
November). Most precipitation falls on the eastern
slopes of the mountains, here up to 2,000 mm are
measured annually. Around 500 to 1,000 mm fall in the
coastal region of Tanzania, and between 1,000 and 1,500
mm in the highlands.The driest region in the country is
in the northeast (Massaisteppe), here between 500 and
750 mm are measured annually.
Flora and fauna
Around 35% of Tanzania's land area is forested. Rain
and cloud forest grows on the rainy eastern slopes of
the mountains. Light dry forests and wet savannas
dominate on the plateau, thorny shrub and dry savannas
and grassy meadows in the valleys. Extensive mangrove
swamps can be found in the coastal area.
Tanzania's wildlife is one of the most biodiverse in
Africa. Several protected areas have been established,
the best known of which are the Serengeti and
Kilimanjaro National Parks, the protected area in the
Ngorongoro Crater and the Selous Game Reserve in the
northeast of the country, which is the largest game
reserve in Africa with 55,000 km². In the protected
areas, several of which have been declared World
Heritage Sites, there are large populations of zebras,
wildebeests, gazelles, antelopes, giraffes, elephants,
rhinos, buffaloes, monkeys, lions, leopards and hyenas.
Crocodiles and hippos live on the rivers.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 36.78 million people live in the United
Republic of Tanzania. A third of them live in cities,
the largest city in the country is Dar es Salaam with
approx. 2.35 million residents, where the seat of
government is located. Other major cities include Mwanza
(215,000 residents), Arusha (272,000) and the capital
Dodoma (180,000). The population density averages 39
residents per square kilometer.
The population is made up of around 120 different
ethnic groups. The Bantu, which make up almost 95% of
the population on the mainland, include the Haya,
Makonde, Nyamwesi and Sukuma. Other ethnic groups
include Swahili (approx. 9%) and Maasai. Asians,
Europeans and Arabs form minorities in the country. On
the island of Zanzibar, the population is a mixture of
Arabs, African tribes and half-breeds from these two
About a third of the population is committed to Islam
(the share of Zanzibar is over 95%), a third are
Christians. Traditional religions are widespread and are
sometimes mixed with Christianity; Hindus are a
religious minority. The official languages in Tanzania
are Swahili and English, and regional languages are
also used. Arabic is also spoken in Zanzibar.
The average life expectancy in Tanzania is 45 years.
The high HIV infection rate of just under 6.5% is the
biggest health problem in Tanzania alongside malaria.
Infant mortality is 10%. Almost half of the population
is under the age of 15. The population grows by an
average of 2.5%. School attendance is compulsory for
children between seven and 14 years of age, but the
illiteracy rate is nevertheless estimated at 22%.
The United Republic of Tanzania has a presidential
system according to the 1977 constitution: the head of
state and the head of the government is the president
(Jakaya Kikwete since December 2005). He is elected by
the people for a term of five years (one-time
re-election possible). The President appoints the Prime
Minister (Mizengo Pinda, since February 2008) and the
The legislature lies with the parliament, which
consists of one chamber, the National Assembly (Bunge).
239 of the 350 deputies are directly elected by the
people for a term of five years, up to two are
officially appointed, 104 seats are reserved for women,
five for representatives of Zanzibar elected by the
Tanzania is divided into 30 regions (25 mainland,
Since the mid-1980s, Tanzania has largely made the
transition from "African socialism" to a market economy.
Despite this, and despite extensive development aid
measures by the World Bank and foreign donors, Tanzania
is still one of the poorest countries in the world. 28%
of the population live below the poverty line.
27% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated
in agriculture, over 70% of the population work here.
Only 4% of the state area can be used for agriculture.
Above all, coffee, sisal, cotton, tea, tobacco, corn,
wheat, cashew nuts, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruit
are grown. Spices come mainly from the islands of
Zanzibar and Pemba (for example, a large part of the
cloves sold worldwide is produced here). Livestock
farming does not play a significant role. The income
from fishing (Lake Victoria) is used to meet our own
needs and is exported. Tanzania has large forests,
around 90% of the felled wood is used for energy
generation (firewood), precious woods such as mahogany
and rosewood are also exported.
The share of the service sector is 48%.
Tanzania's industry is moderately developed and
focuses on the processing of agricultural products.
There are also wood processing companies, cement plants
and oil refineries. Textiles and shoes are manufactured
on a small scale. Tanzania has deposits of gold,
diamonds, coal, iron ore, tin, rock salt and phosphates.
Around 75% of the country's energy requirements are met
by hydropower plants.
Tanzania's most important export goods are gold,
fish, cotton, coffee, cashew nuts, tobacco, sisal and
finished products; the most important trading partners
here are South Africa, India and Switzerland. Mainly
consumer goods, machines and means of transport, oil and
food from India, Switzerland and China are introduced.
Tourism plays an important role as a source of
foreign exchange income for Tanzania. The main
attractions here are the national parks, especially in
The transport network comprises around 3,700 km of
rail, of which the railway line between Dar es Salaam
and Zambia (Tanzam), built in the 1970s with Chinese
help, is around 1,860 km long. There are around 88,000
km of roads available, only around 3,800 km of which are
paved. Significant ports are Dar es Salaam, Tanga and
Lindi. The country has four airports with international
Tanzanian currency is the Tanzanian shilling.