The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 30 regions and 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 border lie on the Indian Ocean.
The Capital City is Dodoma and the major commercial centre is the harbour city of Dar es Salaam.
The name Tanzania is a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
With 49.3 million people – according to a 2013 census – Tanzania has the 26th largest population in the world and was last year the country with the eight fastest population growth in the world. Like many other African countries, Tanzania has a large diversity of cultures and almost 100 tribes, including the colourful Maasai peoples. There are more than 158 local languages with Swahili the national language but English the official language of education, administration and business.
Tanzania takes conservation of its wildlife extremely seriously and boasts the largest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometre, with more than 4 million wild animals representing 430 species and subspecies.
The Tanzanian Shilling (currency code TZS) stands at around 2190 to the US dollar.
Tanzania ranks 6th in Africa for beer consumption. While 90% of the consumption is home made or bought from the informal sector, the commercial market leader is Kilimanjaro Premium Lager from Tanzania Breweries.
Tanzania has its very own ‘7 Natural Wonders’. They are:
- Mount Kilimanjaro – The tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet (5,895 m) high at Uhuru Peak, only one of Kilimanjaro’s seven peaks.
- Selous Game Reserve – This is the largest game reserve in the world and extends across Tanzania’s borders. The reserve expands 21,100 square miles (54,600 sq km). With no permanent human residents, it is one of the most natural places on Earth.
- Ngorongoro Crater – This is the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Referred to as “Africa’s Garden of Eden,” the crater is home to over 30,000 animals including elephants, lions, cheetahs, wildebeests, buffaloes, and rare black rhinos.
- Gombe Stream National Park – This is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks but one of the most famous because of the chimpanzee conservation work done by the late Jane Goodall. The park covers only 20 square miles (52 sq km).
- Ruaha National Park – This is the largest national park within Tanzania’s borders. The park extends across 5,000 square miles (13,000 sq km) and sits in the heart of Tanzania. It is famous for the large 10,000 plus herd of roaming elephants and over 430 species of birds.
- Kitulo National Park – This park is unique because of the flora. It covers 159 square miles (413, sq km) and is known as the the “Serengeti of Flowers.”
- The Serengeti migration – This is the longest and largest overland migration of animals in the world. The Serengeti plains account for over 18,641 square miles and the migration itself see animals ravel 500 miles on the path from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.