Tanzania Country Facts

By | January 21, 2024
Capital city dodoma
Surface 945,203 km²
Population 61,193,000
Road network length 9,719 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Left
License plate code EAT

Tanzania, formally the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a large country in eastern Africa. The country is approximately 24 times the size of the Netherlands and has approximately 61 million inhabitants. The capital is Dodoma, the largest city is the better known Dar es Salaam.


Tanzania is located in East Africa, on the Indian Ocean. The country is bordered to the north by Kenya and Uganda, to the west by Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Malawi and to the south by Mozambique. The country measures a maximum of 1200 kilometers from north to south and 1100 kilometers from west to east.

The country has a varied topography. The east is flatter and partly low, the west consists of highlands. There are isolated mountain ridges but no large mountain areas. The 5,895 meter high Kilimanjaro is the highest point in both Tanzania and all of Africa. The country has several large lakes on its borders, such as Lake Victoria in the north, Lake Tangyanika and Lake Malawi in the west. However, the country has few major rivers, the main river being the Rufiji in the south. This river has a large delta on the Indian Ocean and the only mangrove forest in East Africa.

Large parts of Tanzania have little afforestation. The main forests are protected natural areas. The central and northern part of Tanzania in particular is arid and barren, with partly steppe and semi-desert areas. The southeast is greener. Large parts of Tanzania have a savanna landscape. Tanzania also includes two larger islands in the Indian Ocean: Zanzibar and Pemba.

The climate is variable in Tanzania, the interior is drier than the coastal region, and the north is drier than the south. Dar es Salaam has a humid tropical climate with high temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 29 to 32°C with 1150 mm of precipitation per year. The capital Dodoma is located higher and has temperatures between 27 and 29 °C with 600 mm of precipitation per year.


Tanzania had 8 million inhabitants in 1950, growing to 35 million in 2000 and approximately 61 million today. This makes it an increasingly important country in Africa. By far the largest city is the port city of Dar es Salaam with 6 million inhabitants. This is one of the largest cities in East Africa. Mwanza has more than 700,000 inhabitants, in addition there are 8 cities with 200,000 to 400,000 inhabitants. The population mainly lives in the north and east, the other regions of the country are considerably less populated. The population is still relatively rural, but urbanization is increasing, especially around Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian population consists of approximately 125 ethnic groups, mostly of Bantu descent. More than 100 languages ​​are spoken in Tanzania, it is the most diverse country in East Africa. There are no official languages ​​in the country, but Swahili and English are the most widely spoken languages ​​in formal settings such as government, media, education, and business. Arabic has an official status in Zanzibar.


Tanzania is a developing country with a low standard of living. About half of the population works in agriculture, largely for their own food supply, but also for export. However, other than some mining, the country has few resources. Tourism plays a relatively important role in the Tanzanian economy, the country has a lot of natural beauty and wildlife, which attracts tourists to the many national parks. Zanzibar also attracts many tourists, as well as climbing Kilimanjaro. Serengeti is one of the most famous national parks in Africa.


The region was populated by Bantu tribes who migrated here from other parts of Central Africa. Arab traders visited the coastal region as early as the first millennium. The coastal region was claimed by Oman, who placed its capital on the island of Zanzibar in 1840. Zanzibar was a center of the Arab slave trade. Zanzibar came under British rule in 1890. In the late 1800s, Germany conquered mainland East Africa, controlling it as the colony of Deutsch-Ostafrika. During the First World War, the colony was occupied by the Belgians and British. The colony was then assigned to the United Kingdom in 1919. The colony was called Tanganyika under British rule.

In 1961 the country became independent from the United Kingdom. In 1963 Zanzibar also became independent, which at the time was not yet considered part of Tanzania. This happened in 1964 when the sultan was deposed during a revolution. Tanganyika and Zanzibar were subsequently renamed Tanzania, with Zanzibar given autonomous status. Tanzania has remained a relatively stable country since independence, with no serious conflict, in stark contrast to most neighboring countries. However, for a long time the country was not very democratic and had a repressive regime led by Julius Nyerere, who led the country from 1961 to 1985. The first democratic elections were held in 1995.


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