The United Republic of Tanzania is country found in the Eastern part of Africa. It shares borders with Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros Islands and the Indian Ocean. The highest point in the country is in Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa). Tanzania is home to some of the oldest inhabited areas on the planet. Fossils have been discovered at Olduvai Gorge dating back to over 2 million years ago. These early humans were then replaced by hunters/gatherers related to the Khoisan in Southern Africa. After this early gatherers and hunters, tribes from West Africa started migrating and settling in the country 2,000 years ago. The first foreigners (outside Africa) into the country where Arab and Persian traders. They were then joined in 1948 by the first Europeans lead by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. The Portuguese settled in the cost for a relatively short before being driven out by the Arabs. Later on, Germany colonized the country before Britain took over after World War 1. Throughout this time, the islands on the Indian Ocean like Zanzibar were governed separately. During the independence in 1964, mainland Tanzania merged with the Zanzibar archipelago to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tanzania now has a population of about 56 million people and 120 ethnic groups. Although these ethnic groups each speak their own language, they are united by their knowledge of Swahili. Swahili is used as the language of communication in the lower courts, primary schools and during parliamentary debates. English is mainly used for diplomacy, foreign trade, and higher courts and in secondary/ higher institutions of learning.  The capital is Dodoma but Dar es Salaam is by far the largest city. It is the country’s commercial and cultural hub with most of the government offices.

Tanzania’s economy depends a lot on agriculture and tourism. Tourism contributes about 17.5 percent to the country’s GDP and over 1.3 million tourists visit the country each year. Because of this, the tourism industry in the country is highly developed compared to that of many countries in Africa. Tanzania has some of the best tourist attractions in the world. 38 percent of land in the country is protected or reserved for conservation related purposes. The country has 17 national parks, 40 reserves and several marine parks. Tanzania is one of the top four countries to go for a safari in Africa. Although Kenya enjoys more publicity as a safari destination, Tanzania is special and amazing when it comes to variety. Tanzania offers amazing cultural experiences, beautiful landscape, beaches and wildlife encounters that are second to none. From the breathtaking wildebeest migration in the Serengeti to the exotic beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania has it all and more. You can also read about the top attractions in Kenya or the things to do in Uganda.

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