Tanzania is in Eastern Africa, just below the equator between 1 and 11 degrees south latitude. It is the largest country in East Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Tanzania lies on the Indian Ocean surrounding the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. With its 945,087 km ² the country is about 22 times the size of the Netherlands for example. The Zanzibar Archipelago has an area of 2640 square kilometers. The landscape of Tanzania is diverse: beautiful coasts, lakes, mountains and game parks. High Plains and valleys alternate unexpectedly. You will find savannahs, but Mount Kilimanjaro, peaking at 5895 meters, it is rightly called 'the roof of Africa'. Tanzania has the highest point but also the lowest point of the continent, which lies at the bottom of Lake Tanganyika (358 m below sea level). The largest lake in Africa is here: Lake Victoria. About 6% of the surface of the land consists of lakes.
The official name of Tanzania is Jamhuri ya Mwungano wa Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania. The country was formed in 1964 by the merger of the then Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The legal system in this democratic republic is the British model, supplemented by Tanzanian and Zanzibari input.
Both the west and east of Tanzania are the two 'arms' of the Great Rift Valley. These are extremely important for a large part of the landscape. The Great Rift Valley has its origins in Turkey and flows through the Dead Sea and Red Sea to Ethiopia where it splits into an eastern and a western part. The eastern part is within Tanzania via Kenya. Lake Natron and Lake Manyara emerged as a result. The western arm comes through Tanzania, and flows to Uganda. Lake Tanganyika is the direct consequence. After leaving Tanzania, the arms of the Great Rift Valley rejoin in Malawi in Lake Nyasa. They finish off the coast of Mozambique. The total length of the Great Rift Valley is over 9700 km! The altitude causes different climates, which in turn affects the flora and fauna of the country.
Flora and fauna
Many people will travel to this area to get acquainted with the African animals in their natural environment. Although they are protected, it's easy to see them. Everywhere are wild animals, not only within the park boundaries. The animals can be easily seen in the national parks and game reserves. You will need some patience with the rarer species though because the animals live in the wild and are not bound to fixed locations. The large mammals are the main attraction of the Tanzanian countryside, but in terms of variation and pure numbers they are dwarfed by the feathered population. Tanzania already owns around 1000 known species of birds. New species are still being discovered. They vary is size from the small honey bird to the huge ostrich. You find them in all colours of the rainbow and a few more also. The flora of Tanzania is colourful, beautiful and often eccentric. The approximately 10,000 recorded species exhibit an extremely wide range: from sterile flowers on the side of the road to huge trees like the baobab. For lovers there are several, often beautifully illustrated books on the market with hundreds of pages of information about plants and animals of this part of the world.