Formed in 1964, is a union consisting of the mainland Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Isles comprising Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and Pemba. It lies on the east coast of Africa, south of the Equator. It is a country of exotic beauty and extraordinary diversity and without doubt, home to some of the largest herds of wildlife remaining in the world today.
The country comprises of coastal Lowlands, volcanic highlands and the Great Rift Valley. It also embraces within its borders, Africa’s highest peak – Kilimanjaro. It has allocated more land – at least 30% of its total area – to wildlife conservation, than any other African country. Over four hundred species of game live uninhibited within these vast boundless wilderness areas.
A sultry, but generally comfortable tropical climate prevails over most of Tanzania, but there are significant regional variations. The coastal regions are hot and humid, determined largely by the monsoon winds that bring rains in two main seasons. During the long rains or masika of March to May, it becomes clammy and can rain nearly every day. The light rains, or mvuli come during November and run through to January. Inland, weather is determined by altitude. The central plateau is somewhat cooler but arid while in the mountainous regions of the northeast and southwest, temperatures can drop below 15o at night during the coldest months of June and July. The coolest months countrywide are usually from June to October with the hottest being December to March.
Since time immemorial, Tanzania has been a melting pot for an evocative mix of people and cultures. It has been home to innumerable peoples of many diverse lineages and its history has been influenced by a succession of pioneers. The original Bantu settlers who came from South and West Africa, to the Arabs, the Oman, to the Portuguese, Germans and finally the British. Tanzania now has a population of over 45 million with 120 African ethnic groups.
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