Top tip: Prepare for the pace of Zanzibar
The United Republic of Tanzania lies on the Indian Ocean and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north by Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west and by Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.
Five distinct regions make up the Tanzanian mainland: the coastal plains with tropical vegetation, the Maasai Steppe in the north, and a high plateau in the southern area towards Zambia and Lake Malawi. Savannah and bush cover over half the country and semi-desert accounts for the remaining land area with the exception of the coastal plains.
Tanzania’s climate ranges from the languorous tropical heat of the coastal region to the cool of the highlands. After sunset the temperature can drop quite dramatically, especially at the higher altitudes. April and May are generally the months when most rain falls – the “long rains”, and around November the “short rains” usually occur. The coolest months are July and August, and the warmest period is between the end of December and mid-March.
Facts and Figures
|Area||945,087 sq km (364,900 sq miles).|
|Population||43,739,000 (2009 estimate)|
|Capital||Dar es Salaam. Population: 2,497,940 (2003)|
|Language||Kiswahili and English are the official languages. The terms Swahili and Kiswahili are used interchangeably, though the term Swahili normally refers to the people while Kiswahili refers to the language. Originating along the coast, Kiswahili is a Bantu language with many words derived from Arabic. Other African languages such as Bantu and those of Nilo-Hamitic and Khoisan origin are also spoken.|
|Religion||Muslim, Christian, Hindu and traditional beliefs.|
|Time||GMT + 3|
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