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Tanzania Profile


Geographical Features


Tanzania is the biggest of the East Africa countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). Has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic view of the country. The rift valley runs to south of Tanzania spliting at Lake Nyasa; one branch runs down beyond Lake Nyasa to Mozambique; and another branch to north-west alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and western part of Uganda. The valley is dotted with unique lakes which includes Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara.


Tanzania Profile

 The uplands includes the famous Kipengere, Udzungwa, Matogoro, Livingstone, and the Fipa plateau forming the southern highlands. The Usambara, Pare, Meru, Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai, all form the northern highlands. From these highlands and the central saucer plateau flow the drainage system to the Indian ocean, Atlantic ocean, Mediterranean sea and the inland drainage system.

Mountain Summits:



(metres above sea level)

Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Meru


Mount Rungwe


Uluguru Mountains


Rubeho Mountains


Livingstone Mountains


Mbizi Mountain


Mahari Mountain


Usambara Mountains




Tanzania has a tropical type of climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 100c and 200c.during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures never falling lower than 200c. The hottest period spreads between November and February (250c - 310c) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (150c - 200c).

Two rainfall regimes exist over Tanzania. One is unimodal (December - April) and the other is bimodal (October -December and March - May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the later is found to the north and northern coast.

In the bimodal regime the March - May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October - December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli.

Capital City

With a population of almost 300,000 (1998) Dodoma which is located at a distance of 309 km west of Dar es Salaam, is the country's political capital. Dar es Salaam is the country's commercial capital. Other big urban centres include Arusha; Moshi, Tanga and Mwanza to the north of the country, Morogoro in the east; Mbeya and Iringa, to the west. Tabora and Shinyanga are also important economic hubs in central Tanzania. Mwanza and Dar es Salaam are two cities in Tanzania so far.



26 administrative regions (21 mainland and 5 Zanzibar), 130 administrative districts (Zanzibar has 10 and Mainland has 120 administrative districts).



Estimated at 33 million people (2002); 

- about 51% are women; and 

- about 46% are under  age 15.



Minerals - gold, diamonds, tanzanite and various other gemstones, natural gas, iron ore, coal, spring water, phosphates, soda ash and salt.

Wildlife and Tourism - 12 National Parks, the Ngorongoro conservation Area, 13 Game reserves, 38 Game Controlled Areas: National Cultural Heritage Sites (about 120 sites)

Fisheries - three large lakes: Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa, the Indian Ocean coastline, rivers and wetlands. Potential yield of fish from natural waters is estimated to be 730,000 metric tons annually, present catch is 350,000 metric tons.

Forestry and Beekeeping Non-reserved forest-land (1,903.8 km2), forest/woodlands with national parks etc (200 km2), and Gazetted forest reserves (1,251.7 km2).




Official currency is the Tanzania shilling or 100cents which approximate US$ 0.004.
Tanzania Shilling exchange rate US$ 1 = T.shs. 800 (2001).