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Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa in the African Great Lakes region. 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.

The Country is divided into 30 administrative regions: five on the semi-autonomous Islands of Zanzibar and 25 on the mainland in the former Tanganyika. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where the National Assembly and some governement offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country’s political capital. It remains Tanzania’s principal commercial city and is the main location of most government institutions. It is also the principal port of the country.

Geography
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 is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated. Three of Africa’s Great Lake partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent’s deepest lake, 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 contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks and reserves, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and the Serengeti National Park in the north and the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe Stream National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s studies of chimpanzee behaviour.

Climate
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 77.0–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 20 °C (68.0 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.

Tanzania has two major rainfall regimes. One is uni-modal (October–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, central, and western parts of the country, and the latter is found in the north from Lake Victoria extending east to the coast. The bi-modal regime is caused by the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. In the bi-modal areas, the October–December rains are generally known as the short rains or Vuli in Kiswahili. The March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika. In the uni-modal areas, the rainy season is usually referred to as Musumi.

Population
According to the 2012 census, the total population was 44,928,923.The under 15 age group represented 44.1% of the population. Population  distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometre (3 /mi2) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometre (133 /mi2) in the well-watered mainland highlands, to 134 per square kilometre (347 /mi2) in Zanzibar.More than 80 percent of the population is rural.

The population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Chagga, Nyakyusa, Haya, Hehe, Bena, Gogo, and the Makonde have more than 1 million members.Other Bantu peoples include the Pare, Zigua, Shambaa, and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are Bantu. Cushitic peoples include the half million Iraqw. Nilotic peoples include the nomadic Maasai and Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighbouring Kenya.

The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities. Many also identify as Shirazis. Thousands of Arabs and Indians were massacred during the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964. As of 1994, the Asian community numbered 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans resided in Tanzania.

Languages
Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. However, the former is the national language. Swahili belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family. 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 languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Sukuma, Makonde and Maasai. The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her ethnic group, with Swahili and English learned thereafter.

(source: wikipedia.org)

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source: wikipedia.org

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