Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa. It is 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 is formed by the Indian Ocean. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.
More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by Cushitic and Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherer communities. About 2,000 years ago, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived and continued to move into the area until the 18th century.
The people of Tanzania have been associated with the production of steel. The Haya people on the western shores of Lake Victoria invented a type of high-heat blast furnace that allowed them to forge carbon steel at temperatures exceeding 1,820 °C (3,310 °F) more than 1,500 years ago.
Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD.
At 947,300 square kilometres (365,800 sq mi), Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country and the 13th largest in Africa. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and slightly larger than Nigeria. Tanzania lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 12°S and longitudes 30° and 40°E.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake and known for its unique species of fish. To the southwest lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania is a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore.
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 or 77–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.
Although the Tanzanian government does not gather religious identification data in its census, the United States Department of State has reported that 62 percent of Tanzania's population is Christian, 35 percent is Muslim, and 3 percent are members of other religious groups. A 18 December 2012 report on religion and public life by the Pew Research Center stated that in 2010, 61.4 percent of Tanzania's population was Christian, 35.2 percent was Muslim, and 1.8 percent were followers of indigenous religions.
Swahili and English are the official languages; however the former is the national language. English is still the language of higher courts, it can however be considered a de facto official language. Tanzanians see themselves as having two "official" languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Over 100 different (tribal) languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Maasai, Sukuma and Makonde. The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her ethnic group, with Swahili and English learned thereafter.
The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers are Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group. Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane.
Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi ("dance music") where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, Marijani Rajabu, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.
One of Tanzania's, and other parts of eastern Africa's, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is mainly composed of corn and is similar to the consistency of porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge.
10 Tourist Attractions in Tanzania
- Ruaha National Park
- Selous Game Reserve
- Pemba Island
- Tarangire National Park
- Mafia Island
- Lake Manyara
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Serengeti National Park