Encyclopedia Article


A country in East Africa that is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean just south of the equator. The territories that are now Tanzania were colonized first by Germany and then Britain. The country gained its current status as a sovereign nation in 1964, after the previously separate states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed a union. Although Dodoma is the official capital, Dar es Salaam is the largest city, as well as the center of the country’s commerce and transportation. The country's population of 44.9 million people is comprised of various religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Its economy is largely based in agriculture; with sugar, cotton, tobacco, tea, and coffee being some of the main exported cash crops. Tanzania is a land of many great lakes, including the second deepest one in the world, Lake Tanganyika. It is also home to the Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. It is known for its diverse wildlife, which includes large herds of zebras, giraffes, Cape buffalo, and other hoofed animals. Tanzania is also home to predators such as lions and leopards, water animals such as crocodiles and hippopotamuses, and numerous species of birds and reptiles.

Photo Credit: 

"Tanzania: Elephant and Kilimanjaro, May 23, 2007" by Charles Asik is licensed under CC BY.

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