Country & Culture
Tanzania lies in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and The Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean.
Hatari Lodge at the foot of Mt. Meru is deeply connected with the tribe of the Meru people who live in this area. While on safari in the Arusha National Park or on a walk through Momella Village you have the opportunity to get to know the Meru and their living traditions.
Tanzania is a state composed of 26 regions, including those of the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete,democratically elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence in 1963 and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganjika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later on in the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
The 41 million people of Tanzania speak more than 100 different languages, mostly Bantu, but also Nilotic or Cushitic languages. Arabian and Indian languages are also prominent.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of respectively Lake Viktoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish) – and to the southwest lies Lake Malawi whose elongated depression forms most of the country's border with Malawi. Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and the Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behaviour.
Of the main country people, 99% are black Africans. Among them are 95% Bantu who belong to 130 different ethnic groups. The biggest single ethnicity are the Sukuma (12%). All others represent 5%, respectively. The second biggest ethnicity are the Nyamwezi (9%) living around Lake Victoria with the Sukuma. Besides these, there are the Hehet/Bena (8%), the Haya (approximately 7 %), the Swahili at the coast (6 %), the Chagga at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro (approximately 6 %) and the Makonde in the south of the country. The Maasai people represent 3 % of Tanzania's people.