Country profile: Tanzania
Tanzania is the largest of the East African countries, formed from the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Before then the country was under first German, then British rule. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections in over 20 years and the country is now a multiparty republic.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over 51% of the population living below the poverty line. Economic activity is dominated by agriculture but the topography and climatic conditions limit the area of usable land to only 4%. For the visitor this spectacular topography is one of the biggest attractions, ranging from the idyllic offshore islands and coastal lowlands to the Great Rift Valley and the volcanic highlands, home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 M. The wildlife is similarly diverse and the vast national parks are easily accessible and ideal for spotting the huge herds of wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, lions, cheetahs and hyenas.
Because Tanzania is such a large and varied country, it is unsurprising that the climate differs so. The coastal areas are usually quite tropical—hot and humid, with an average daytime temperature of 30°C, an atmosphere alleviated slightly by the cooling sea breezes. The central areas and the plains have similarly hot days, but the temperature can fall quite considerably at night, and the mountain slopes of the northeast have an almost temperate climate for the majority of the year. The long rainy season is from March to May, when it is likely to rain every day.
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|Capital||Dar es Salaam (administrative/judical) and Dodoma (legislative)|
|Language||Kiswahili or Swahili (official), English (official, language of commerce and higher education)|
|Timezone||GMT + 3|
|No. doctors||ca. 1,500|