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Geography

Tanzania’s geography is one of the most varied and unique in the world; it contains Africa’s highest point, Mount Kilimanjaro (19341ft / 5,895m), as well as lakes, mountains and many gorgeous national parks.

KilimanjaroThe north-east of Tanzania is mountainous, and includes Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, both of which are inactive volcanoes. Kilimanjaro’s natural beauty, as well as the fact that it has the highest peak in Africa covered with snow even though it is so close to to the equator. Mt. Kilimanjaro attracts thousands of tourists each year.

West of these is the world renown Serengeti National Park, famous for its annual migration of millions of white bearded wildebeest, as well as its abundance of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo. Close to the park lies Olduvai Gorge – “The Cradle of Mankind”, where many of the oldest hominid fossils and artifacts have been found. Other archaeologically important finds include the oldest evidence of hominids’ use of wood at the Kalambo Falls, on the border with Zambia. Ngorongoro crater, also located in the area is considered the world’s 8th wonder.

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Further north is Lake Victoria, on the Kenya–Uganda–Tanzania border. This is the largest lake in Africa and is the source of the Nile river. In the west, separating Tanzania from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is Lake Tanganyika. This lake is the second oldest and second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal in Siberia.

The centre of Tanzania is a large plateau, with grasslands and national parks to the south and north, and arable land in most parts. The political capital, Dodoma, is located in the centre of the country.

The eastern shore of Tanzania is hot and humid, and encompasses Tanzania’s largest city and commercial capital, Dar-es-salaam. Just north-east of Dar-es-salaam lies the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, which is famous for its spices.

The climate of Tanzania ranges from hot and humid on the coast, to a more temperate climate in the elevated parts of the country in the north-east and south-west. Tanzania has two rainy seasons; a long heavy one from March to May, and a shorter, lighter one from November to January.

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