About Tanzania

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – After ten days in Kenya, with stops in Nairobi, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nakuru National Park, Maasai Mara National Reserve, and Amboseli National Park (where we’ll be peeking ahead at Mt Kilimanjaro!), we’ll cross the border into Tanzania. So what is the mystery of Tanzania? Here’s what I found.

How big is Tanzania? Where is it? What does it look like?

Tanzania is directly south of Kenya on Africa’s east coast, and for comparison to our US states, it’s bigger than Texas and almost as big as Alaska. Got that? Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast, where 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the continent, is located. Three of Africa’s Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent’s deepest lake; to the south is Lake Malawi. The 885-mile Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with palm trees and white sands, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just off shore. Note Ngorongoro Crater there on the northern border!

How about Tanzania’s weather?

Climate varies greatly within Tanzania. It’s cool in the high mountainous regions, with temperatures ranging between 50-68 during cold and hot seasons respectively. The eastern shore is hot and humid. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 68. There are two major rainfall periods – October through December and March through May; as you might guess June through September are great times to visit for long sunny days!

Who lives in Tanzania?

Tanzania’s people population is estimated at 56.3 million, composed of about 120 ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. These ethnic groups are primarily of Bantu origin; the pastoral Maasai are perhaps the most familiar. 64% of Tanzanians are Christian; 34% Muslim. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. About 10% of Tanzanians speak Swahili as a first language and up to 90% as a second. Unlike its neighboring countries, Tanzania has not experienced large-scale ethnic conflicts, perhaps due to the effects of Swahili as a unifying language. As to animal wildlife, Tanzania has the largest animal population density of any country in the world. There are more animals per square mile of land in Tanzania than anywhere else, with 430 mammal species and 1,112 bird species. About 20% of Africa’s large mammals live in Tanzania.

How does Tanzania promote itself?

About a third of the country’s total area is protected to a degree as a national park, game reserve, marine park, forest reserve or the like. The Tanzania Tourism Board and Tanzania Parks websites offers choices of Things to Do and Places to Go, with plenty of information about all those parks and reserves. About Serengeti:  Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, home to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth – the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. The resident population of lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, and birds is also impressive. Serengeti won the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award in 2021, named as the Best of the Best National Park in the World.