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Tuesday 25th June
Tanzania Information - Page 1
The United Republic of Tanzania is in East Africa and includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar. Tanzania is bordered by Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and the Indian Ocean.

Dodoma is Tanzania's political capital and Dar es Salaam is the commercial capital. Ports are Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Tanga and Zanzibar.

Tanzania has a central plateau with highland areas and plains along the coast. The Great Rift Valley runs through the middle of the country. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, is in the northern highlands. The main river is the Rufiji. Lake Malawi (Nyasa), Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria are shared with Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya and Uganda respectively.

The climate is tropical along the coast and varies with altitude.

Much of Tanzania's environment is protected by a system of National Parks. The rolling plains of the Serengeti National Park are home to millions of animals and birds including herds of antelope, wildebeest and zebra. Other conservation areas include Arusha National Park, Gombe Streams National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ruaha National Park and Tarangire National Park.

The Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Kilimanjaro National Park and Selous Game Reserve are World Heritage sites.

The coral island of Chumbe became a protected area in 1994. Today Chumbe Island Coral Park is one of the most well known nature reserves in East Africa and aims to promote awareness of coral reef ecology.

The former East African island ports of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara are on the World Heritage List. Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, merchants in these ports traded precious metals, perfumes and other goods.

The Stone Town of Zanzibar, also on the World Heritage List, was a Swahili trading town. Zanzibar was one of the major trading centres of the slave trade.

The population of Tanzania was estimated at 55.5 million in 2014.

On the mainland the majority of the population is native African with one percent Arab, Asian and European. The population on Zanzibar is Arab, native African and mixed Arab and African.

Kiswahili and English are the official languages. There are also a number of local languages. Arabic is spoken in Zanzibar.

On the mainland around a third of the population follow traditional beliefs. Other religions are Christianity and Islam. In Zanzibar the majority of the people are Muslim.

Coconut milk, bananas and plantains are ingredients in a variety of recipes, both savory and sweet. Groundnuts (peanuts) are also used.

Ugali, a porridge often made from cornmeal, is a staple food. Rice and chapattis are eaten frequently. Other food includes soups, stews, meat and vegetables such as beans, cabbage, cassava, peppers and sweet potatoes. Barbecued meat is a favourite. Seafood is plentiful on the islands, along the coast and near rivers and lakes.

Bananas are used in various desserts. Other fruit includes guavas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples. Sweet fried breads and pancakes are often served.

Tea is a popular drink. Beer and white rum are brewed locally.

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