Friday, December 21, 2012

Mshenga/wedding matchmaker

Waliotusaidia na kumbukumbu ya wikiendi iliyopita walikuwa ni Moro Jazz chini ya uongozi wa Mbaraka Mwaruka Mwinshehe. Wimbo ulikuwa Mshenga Namba 1.Leo tunaendelea na Mshenga Namba 2.

Pata picha umejikusanya wataka kuchukua “jiko”.Unamtafuta jamaa ambaye unamuamini na kumkabidhi jukumu la kuwa mshenga. Unampatia fedha azipeleke ukweni ili ukamilishe mchakato. Baada ya hapo, huku ukiwa na imani kwamba kila kitu kinaendelea vizuri, unaanza kupokea barua kutoka ukweni. Unaulizwa “We bwana vipi?”…”kama umeshindwa,sema ili mtu mwingine achukue jiko”. Kichwa kinaanza kukuuma.Umezikwa. Mshenga kakuingiza mjini…

Mbaraka anauliza imekuwaje? Lakini anawaambia “ukweni” msijali,nivumilieni.Nitakuja mwenyewe kumaliza mambo. Burudika…Ijumaa njema

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Music in Tanzania

Traditional music

Tanzania has a large number of traditional instruments, many of which are specific to particular ethnic groups. The Zaramo people, for instance, perform traditional dance melodies such as "Mitamba Yalagala Kumchuzi" on tuned goblet drums, tuned cylindrical drums, and tin rattles.
The multi-instrumentalist Hukwe Zawose, a member of the Gogo ethnic group, was the 20th century's most prominent exponent of Tanzanian traditional music. He specialized in the ilimba, a large lamellophone similar to the mbira.
A famous song of Tanzania is "Tanzania Tanzania"

History of Tanzanian popular dance music (dansi)

The first popular music craze in Tanzania was in the early 1930s, when Cuban Rumba was widespread. Young Tanzanians organized themselves into dance clubs like the Dar Es Salaam Jazz Band, which was founded in 1932. Local bands at the time used brass and percussion instruments, later adding strings. Bands like Morogoro Jazz and Tabora Jazz were formed (despite the name, these bands did not play jazz). Competitions were commonplace, a legacy of native ngoma societies and colonial beni brass bands.

Independence came in 1961, however, and three years later the state patronage system was set up, and most of the previous bands fell apart. Musicians were paid regular fees, plus a percentage of the gate income, and worked for some department of the government. The first such band was the Nuta Jazz Band, which worked for the National Union of Tanzania.
The 1970s saw the popularization a laid-back sound popularized by Orchestre Safari Sound and Orchestre Maquis Original. These groups adopted the motto "Kamanyola bila jasho" (dance Kamanyola without sweating). Maquis hailed from Lubumbashi in southeastern Zaire, moving to Dar Es Salaam in the early 70s. This was a common move at the time, bringing elements of soukous from the Congo basin. Maquis introduced many new dances over the years, including one, zembwela, (from their 1985 hit "Karubandika", which was so popular that the term has become synonymous with dancing.
Popular bands in the 60s, 70s and 80s included Vijana Jazz, who were the first to add electronic instruments to dansi (in 1987) and DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra, led by Michael Enoch. Rivalries between the bands sometimes led to chaos in the scene, as when Hugo Kisima lured musicians from Mlimani Park and disbands the wildly-popular Orchestra Safari Sound in 1985, forming the International Orchestra Safari Sound. International Orchestra Safari Sound was briefly popular, but the Orchestra Safari Sound was revitalized by Nguza Viking (formerly of maquis), who became bandleader in 1991; this new group lasted only a year.
The most recent permutation of Tanzanian dance music is mchiriku. Bands like Gari Kubwa, Tokyo Ngoma and Atomic Advantage are among the pioneers of this style, which uses four drums and a keyboard for a sparse sound. Loudness is very important to the style, which is usually blared from out-dated speakers; the resulting feedback is part of the music. The origin of the style is Zaramo wedding music.

Friday, August 3, 2012

History and Ethnic Relations

History and Ethnic Relations

Tanzania was cradle to some of the earliest hominids on earth, made famous by the discoveries of Louis and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge. Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to eastern Africa at the same time that trade between Arabic-speaking peoples and coastal populations was initiated in the first century B.C.E. By the twelfth century, Arab trading posts were well established along the coast and on some islands.
Although Vasco da Gama landed on the East African coast in 1498, it was not until 1506 that the Portuguese fully controlled trade on the Indian Ocean. The Arabs had been trading along the coastline for centuries when Sa'id ibn Suttan moved his capital from Oman to Zanzibar in 1840 to take advantage of the slave markets. During the early nineteenth century, Arab slave and ivory traders began to penetrate deeper into the interior of what was to become Tanzania.
In 1890, Zanzibar became a British protectorate while the mainland became part of German East Africa. The period of German rule was extremely heavy-handed; when the Africans fought back during the Maji-Maji rebellion of 1905, tens of thousands were killed. After the defeat of Germany in World War I (1914–1918), German East Africa was made a League of Nations Mandated Territory, called Tanganyika, controlled by the British. Following World War II, Tanganyika became a United Nations trusteeship of Great Britain. Adhering to a policy of "indirect rule," the British government used indigenous political systems to implement their control, thereby resulting in much less open hostility than occurred during the time of German rule.
Emergence of the Nation.
  The birth of nationhood may be attributed to the earlier independence of other African nations along with a growing sense of unity and a need to become independent from the British colonial government. Independence was achieved without bloodshed. Julius Nyerere was elected president of the Tanganyika African Association, later renamed the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), in 1953. African officials elected to TANU in 1958 and 1959 constituted the administration for internal self-government in May 1961. On 9 December 1961, Tanganyika was proclaimed an independent nation. In 1963, Zanzibar was granted independence from Great Britain, and in 1964 an Act of Union was signed between Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
National Identity.
  The national identity is influenced by several factors. One of the most important integrating forces is the use of the national lingua franca—Swahili, a language spoken and revered by nearly all Tanzanians. Swahili is a compulsory subject in schools, and some 83 percent of the population are literate. Equally important, of course, is Tanganyika's independence and subsequent unification with Zanzibar to form the United Republic. Perhaps the most important influence on a sense of national identity was the development of Tanzanian socialism. The creation of Nyerere, Tanzanian socialism was codified in the Arusha Declaration of 1967.

Both the symbolic and practical cornerstone of Tanzanian socialism was ujamaa , a Swahili word meaning "family" or "familyhood." The core structure of ujamaa is the traditional extended family and clan structure of most ethnic groups, which provides a framework for mutual assistance and cooperation. It was believed this structure would provide the foundation for socialist production. In practice, the forced resettlement of rural populations into ujamaa villages was met with great local opposition, and Tanzanian socialism has largely proven to be an economic failure. The concept of ujamaa and mutual assistance, however, did infiltrate the national ethos; they are represented, for example, in elaborate ebony carvings of intertwined figures, standing upon or grasping one another in expression of mutual support and social collectivity.
National resources also contribute to a sense of national identity. For example, at 19,340 feet (5,895 meters), Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the African continent. This beautiful, now quiet volcano is located near Arusha, the major tourist city in the nation. Wildlife safaris to the Serengeti Plain and the world's largest caldera, Ngorongoro Crater, are initiated from this city. Few Tanzanians, however, are wealthy enough to afford such luxuries, and many never see the wildlife Westerners associate so closely with Africa. Finally, Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world and source of the Nile, is an important symbolic and natural resource—although it is shared with Uganda and Kenya.
Ethnic Relations. 
  Within the borders of Tanzania co-exist approximately 120 ethnic groups speaking languages representing all four major African language groups. These include Khoisan, or "click"speaking hunter-gatherers, Nilotic-speaking pastoralists (such as the Maasai), Cushitic speakers, and Bantu speakers; the latter predominate in terms of population size. The largest ethnic groups include the Sukuma (over three million), and the Chagga, Haya, and Nyamwezi (over one million each). Despite the tremendous cultural and linguistic diversity among Tanzanians, ethnic groups are united by the use of a common language—Swahili—and a sense of national identity. The growing number of refugees (from neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda in particular) do not appear to have caused serious ethnic tensions, but they have become a serious strain on the economy and the local environment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home Rombo

The region called Kilimanjaro today, borrows its name from the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Of the six districts mentioned above, four traditionally had the Chaga settlements which are Hai, Moshi urban, Moshi rural,and Rombo, and the other two which have historically been of Pare settlements, namely Mwanga and Same. However, during colonial rule, in the late 19th century and to the mid of 20th century, the region was divided into two main districts: Moshi district, which comprised all the areas settled by the Chagga people on the slopes of the mountain, and Pare district, which was a Pare tribe settlement. The region, from earlier times, had been settled by the people collectively called the Chagga, the Maasai, Wakwavi and Waarush (in the lower parts of Mount Kilimanjaro), and the Pare on the Pare mountains. These have been intermingling, trading and even fighting from time to time for various socio-political reasons. Later, other tribes also migrated to the land.

Is one of the six districts of the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. It is bordered to the north and east by Kenya, to the west by the Hai District and to the south by the Moshi Rural District.

The Rombo Districts contain a large portion of Mount Kilimanjaro.
According to the 2002 Tanzania National Census, the population of the Rombo District was 246,479.

The Rombo District Commissioner is R.R. Mushi and the District Executive Director is Theresia Mbando.

Geographical Location:
Kilimanjaro region as its name reflects, the famous snow covered
Mount Kilimanjaro is within this region. The mountain has two
peaks Mawenzi and Kibo and its highest peak Kibo, towers as high as 5,895 meters above sea level snow capped throughout the year. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain - Africa second to Mount Everest. Mount Kilimanjaro and the Pare mountains (2,000 - 2,500m.) from the backbone of the region, running through the middle of it in a lengthwise direction.Kilimanjaro region is located in the north eastern part of Tanzania Mainland. It lies south of the Equater between latitudes 20 251
and 40 151 . Longitudinally the region is between 360 251 3011 and 380 101 4511 east of Greenwich. The region has a common border with Kenya in the north, to the southeast it shares border with Tanga region; to the south and west the region borders with Arusha region.

Ethnic Groups:
There are two main ethnic groups in Kilimanjaro region. These are Chagga, who are the majority, and Pare. There are other small ethnic groups who reside in the region, like Wakahe and Wakwavi.
Within these two main ethnic groups there are subethnic groups sometimes identified by their different dialects. For example, Wagweno among the Pare who speak Kipare and Kigweno reside in the northern part of Pare. The different dialects among the Chagga which are identified according to the geographical identity. For example, Kichagga Kimachame may be differentiated From Kichagga Kibosho through their way of speaking and other linguistic characteristics. However, Kiswahili is the main language for communication among the various groups. Socially there is little separation between the two main tribes and inter marriage is a common phenomenon. Invariably both tribes are energetic, industrious, thrifty and enterprising.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Kurya Folklife

The Kuria are an ethnic and linguistic group resident in the Tarime,Musoma,Bunda and Serengeti districts of the Mara region in Northern Tanzania, and the west and east districts of Nyanza Province in southwest Kenya. In 2006 the Kuria population was estimated to number 609,000, with 435,000 living in Tanzania and 174,000 in Kenya.

The Kuria people are mainly agriculturalists and pastoralists, with the Kenyan Kurians leaning towards agriculture and the Tanzanian Kurians more towards pastoralism. The Kurians in the Serengeti district are distinctly pastoralist.
The Kuria are closely related to the Kisii people of Kenya both in language and physique. They are said to have been one people until a vicious attack by the Maasai in the early 19th century scattered both populations in different directions. This apartness has led to the formation of distinct dialects which are clearly understood by both peoples. The Kuria people are divided into about 16 "subtribes" or clans, namely: Nyabasi, Bakira, Bairege, Bagumbe (who reside in both Kenyan and Tanzanian districts), Batimbaru, Banyamongo, Bakenye, Baikoma, Bamerani, as well as several others. All this subtribes or clans are present in the kisii tribe of Kenya.
The Kuria tribe is also related to the Zanaki tribe of the Mara Province in Tanzania. They share some cultural aspects.
One of the most famous Kurias is Shadrack Manga, a former Member of parliament.Sammy Masaana Marwa(Sammy Sundays) is another famous Kurian who is also the first Kurian to win a green card through the normal green card lottery and immigrated to the USA,this man comes from Chinato Division,Tebesi sublocation,Nyabosongo village.

The Kuria people have various customs. Some of the include circumcision for both sexes. Traditionally circumcision was done at the age around 13 years, just when puberty begaun. To this date, various organisations are working to ensure the tradition of female genital mutilation is abotted. Also due to increased spread of HIV/AIDS during circumcision rituals due to the use of the same tools, many families are opting to take their children to hospitals and the traditional cutters have now opted to use individual razers for each person during circumcision. After the cut, the boys or girls that have undergone the practice are normally led back home by fellow villagers amidst singing and dancing and money is pinned on to their 'shukas'. The shukas are one piece coloured sheets that the circumcised tie around themselves so as to let the blood drip freely to the ground. Once circumcision has taken place, according to tradition, the boy or girl is deemed ready for marriage.
Kuria common girl names include - Robi, Gati, Boke, Nchagwa, Nyangi, Weigesa, Mbosiro. Kuria common boys names include - Wambura, Gati, Chacha, Marwa, Mwita, Matiko, Meremo, Makena, Kiribo.
Kuria are from the Bantu Language group in Kenya. They are traditionally farmers, mainly planting maize, beans and Cassava as food crops. For cash crops, the Kuria community mainly grows tobacco due to the near location of the BAT tobacco company. They are also cattle herders and have gotten into some scrupples with the neighbouring tribes, mainly the maasai, over cattle rustling.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bagamoyo Old city

Mji wa Bagamoyo, Tanzania, ilianzishwa mwishoni mwa karne ya 18. Ilikuwa (pia yameandikwa Bagamojo) mji mkuu wa awali wa Ujerumani Afrika Mashariki na alikuwa mmoja wa bandari muhimu zaidi ya biashara katika pwani ya Afrika Mashariki. Leo mji una wakazi 30,000 na ni mji mkuu wa Wilaya ya Bagamoyo, hivi karibuni kuwa kuchukuliwa kama tovuti ya urithi wa dunia.EneoBagamoyo iko katika 6 ° 26'S 38 ° 54'E. Ni uongo 75 km kaskazini ya Dar es Salaam katika pwani ya Bahari ya Hindi, karibu na kisiwa cha Zanzibar.Bagamoyo ni muhimu zaidi ya biashara entrepot ya mashariki ya kati ya pwani ya Afrika mwishoni mwa karne ya 19. Historia ya Bagamoyo imekuwa kusukumwa na wafanyabiashara ya Hindi na Kiarabu, na serikali ya Ujerumani wa kikoloni na kwa Mkristowamisionari.

Bagamoyo ni muhimu zaidi ya biashara entrepot ya mashariki ya kati ya pwani ya Afrika mwishoni mwa karne ya 19. Historia ya Bagamoyo imekuwa kusukumwa na wafanyabiashara ya Hindi na Kiarabu, na serikali ya Ujerumani wa kikoloni na kwa wamisionari wa kikristo.Kuhusu 5 km kusini ya Bagamoyo, magofu ya Kaole pamoja na mabaki ya misikiti miwili na michache ya makaburi inaweza tarehe nyuma ya karne ya 13, kuonyesha umuhimu wa Uislamu katika nyakati hizo mapema Bagamoyo.Kaole magofu ya Bagamoyo, TanzaniaMpaka katikati ya karne ya 18, Bagamoyo ilikuwa ndogo na biashara ya kituo cha insignificant ambapo zaidi ya idadi ya watu walikuwa wavuvi na wakulima. kuu biashara ya bidhaa walikuwa samaki, chumvi, na gum, pamoja na mambo mengine.

Historia kwa ufupi kuhusu Bagamoyo.
Mwishoni mwa karne ya 18 familia Muslim makazi katika Bagamoyo, wote ambao walikuwa ndugu wa Shamvi la Magimba ya Oman. Wao na maisha yao kwa kulazimisha kodi ya idadi ya watu asili na kwa biashara ya chumvi, zilizokusanywa kutoka Nunge pwani ya kaskazini ya Bagamoyo. Katika nusu ya kwanza ya karne ya 19, Bagamoyo kuwa bandari ya biashara kwa pembe na biashara ya watumwa, na wafanyabiashara kutoka mambo ya ndani ya Afrika, kutoka maeneo ya mbali kama Morogoro, Ziwa Tanganyika na Usambara njiani kwenda Zanzibar. Hii inaeleza maana ya neno Bagamoyo ("bwaga-Moyo") ambayo ina maana ya "Lay chini ya Moyo wako" katika Kiswahili. Ni haijulikani kama hii ina maana ya biashara ya watumwa ambayo kupita kwa njia ya mji (yaani "kutoa juu ya matumaini yote") au kwa mabawabu ambao ulipatikana katika Bagamoyo baada ya kutimiza cargos lb 35 juu ya mabega yao kutoka kanda ya Maziwa Makuu (yaani "kuchukua mzigo mbali na kupumzika "). Kwa kuwa kuna ushahidi mdogo kusaidia kwamba Bagamoyo ilikuwa kubwa mtumwa bandari (Kilwa, kiasi kusini zaidi, imeleta hali hiyo), na kwamba makumi ya maelfu ya mabawabu walifika Bagamoyo kila mwaka katika nusu ya mwisho ya karne ya 19, ni zaidi ya uwezekano kwamba jina la mji hupata kutoka tafsiri za mwisho.

Biashara ya watumwa katika Afrika ya Mashariki ilikuwa rasmi marufuku kwa mwaka 1873, lakini iliendelea kindanindani vizuri hadi mwisho wa karne ya 19.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

People of my Country and Social Organization

Tanzania’s population is concentrated along the coast and isles, the fertile northern and southern highlands, and the lands bordering Lake Victoria. The relatively arid and less fertile central region is sparsely inhabited. So too is much of the fertile and well watered far west, including the shores of Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa (Malawi). About 80% of Tanzanians live in rural communities

Zanzibar, population about 1.3 million (3% of Tanzania’s population), consists of two main islands and several small ones just off the Tanzanian coast. The two largest islands are Unguja (often referred to simply as Zanzibar) and Pemba. Zanzibaris, together with their socio-linguistic cousins in the Comoros Islands and the East Africa coast from modern-day southern Somalia to northern Mozambique, created Swahili culture and language, which reflect long and close associations with other parts of Africa and with the Arab world, Persia, and South Asia.

Tanzanians are proud of their strong sense of national identity and commitment to Swahili as the national language. There are roughly 120 ethnic communities in the country representing several of Africa’s main socio-linguistic groups.

Before colonial invasion, the indigenous people had built up formidable political systems and institutions. These were either kingdoms, chief-doms or social orders such as the Maasai Age-set rule. The Nyamwezi people under chief Mirambo, the Hehe under chief Mkwawa and a series of kingdoms among the Chagga and the Haya people are some of such developments recorded.
It is from some of these institutions that resistance to colonial domination, subjugation and exploitation emerged from late 19th century to the 20th century. For instance, in 1905-7, through the famous "Majimaji War" the people in the Southern part of Tanzania took up arms and fought the German rulers there. Helped by the world wars, eventually, the local people kicked the Germans out of Tanganyika. Traces of historic exotic artifacts have been made as evidences of the interactions between Tanzanians and the rest of the world societies. The Periplus of the Erythrean sea, for instance, puts clear the record that the East African coast had strong political developments.

Further Arabian influence in the country is recorded since the 7th century after the Birth of Christ. The occupation of the Isles and the Coastal areas by Asian societies did culminate in a systematic inhuman slave trade. Tired of cosmetic political changes in Zanzibar, the "Zenj" people evicted the Arabian rulers in 1964 through an armed revolution.
Similarly, after a protracted occupation by the unsuspecting traders, explorers and missionaries from Europe since the 15th Century Tanzania found itself being subjected to systematic colonial domination by Germany and Great Britain at different times before 1961. The Great Berlin conference of 1884 was the springboard of all what had happened for subjugating Tanzania and Africa.
                                                                                           Chagga society in a market

During the domination of Tanzania by Germans, British and Arabs, the indigenous people were decimated, lost their destiny and cultural identity, were economically exploited and their technology disrupted. However, the worst evil of all committed by colonialists has been their wishful intent to discourage individual initiative to venture, discover, make attempts and to fabricate. The outcome is the current dependency status!

As early as 1950's different, but very interesting forms of modern struggles for independence were being created. For example by 1954 the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), a political party already was a force to reckon with under the able leadership of Julius Kambarage. Nyerere. It is under the same political party that Tanzania got rid of British domination in 1961. In Zanzibar, the Afro Shirazi Party emerged late in the 1950's and toppled the Arab rule on the island in 1964. Tanganyika and Zanzibar United in that year to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Early History

 Early History

Most of the known history of Tanganyika before 1964 concerns the coastal area, although the interior has a number of important prehistoric sites, including the Olduvai Gorge. Trading contacts between Arabia and the East African coast existed by the 1st century AD, and there are indications of connections with India. The coastal trading centres were mainly Arab settlements, and relations between the Arabs and their African neighbours appear to have been fairly friendly. After the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th century, the position of the Arabs was gradually undermined, but the Portuguese made little attempt to penetrate into the interior. They lost their foothold north of the Ruvuma River early in the 18th century as a result of an alliance between the coastal Arabs and the ruler of Muscat on the Arabian Peninsula. This link remained extremely tenuous, however, until French interest in the slave trade from the ancient town of Kilwa, on the Tanganyikan coast, revived the trade in 1776. Attention by the French also aroused the sultan of Muscat's interest in the economic possibilities of the East African coast, and a new Omani governor was appointed at Kilwa. For some time most of the slaves came from the Kilwa hinterland, and until the 19th century such contacts as existed between the coast and the interior were due mainly to African caravans from the interior.
In their constant search for slaves, Arab traders began to penetrate farther into the interior, more particularly in the southeast toward Lake Nyasa. Farther north two merchants from India followed the tribal trade routes to reach the country of the Nyamwezi about 1825. Along this route ivory appears to have been as great an attraction as slaves, and Sa'id bin Sultan himself, after the transfer of his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, gave every encouragement to the Arabs to pursue these trading possibilities. From the Nyamwezi country the Arabs pressed on to Lake Tanganyika in the early 1840s. Tabora (or Kazé, as it was then called) and Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika, became important trading centres, and a number of Arabs made their homes there. They did not annex these territories but occasionally ejected hostile chieftains. Mirambo, an African chief who built for himself a temporary empire to the west of Tabora in the 1860s and '70s, effectively blocked the Arab trade routes when they refused to pay him tribute. His empire was purely a personal one, however, and collapsed on his death in 1884.

The first Europeans to show an interest in Tanganyika in the 19th century were missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann, who in the late 1840s reached Kilimanjaro. It was a fellow missionary, Jakob Erhardt, whose famous "slug" map (showing, on Arab information, a vast, shapeless, inland lake) helped stimulate the interest of the British explorers Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. They traveled from Bagamoyo to Lake Tanganyika in 1857-58, and Speke also saw Lake Victoria. This expedition was followed by Speke's second journey, in 1860, in the company of J.A. Grant, to justify the former's claim that the Nile rose in Lake Victoria. These primarily geographic explorations were followed by the activities of David Livingstone, who in 1866 set out on his last journey for Lake Nyasa. Livingstone's object was to expose the horrors of the slave trade and, by opening up legitimate trade with the interior, to destroy the slave trade at its roots. Livingstone's journey led to the later expeditions of H.M. Stanley and V.L. Cameron. Spurred on by Livingstone's work and example, a number of missionary societies began to take an interest in East Africa after 1860.

Understand Geography of Tanzania

Geography of the country
Tanzania has a varied geography, including deep and large freshwater and salt lakes, many national parks, and Africa's highest point, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft).
Northeast Tanzania is mountainous and includes Mount Meru, an active volcano, Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano, and the Usambara and Pare mountain ranges. Kilimanjaro attracts thousands of tourists each year.
West of those mountains is the Gregory Rift, which is the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley. On the floor of the rift are a number of large salt lakes, including Natron in the north, Manyara in the south, and Eyasi in the southwest. The rift also encompasses the Crater Highlands, which includes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Ngorongoro Crater. Just to the south of Lake Natron is Old Doinyo Lengai (2,980 m/9,777 ft), the world's only active volcano to produce natrocarbonatite lava. To the west of the Crater Highlands lies Serengeti National Park, which is famous for its lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo plus the annual migration of millions of white bearded wildebeest. Just to the southeast of the park is Olduvai Gorge, where many of the oldest hominid fossils and artifacts have been found.
Further northwest is Lake Victoria on the KenyaUganda–Tanzania border. This is the largest lake in Africa by surface area and is traditionally named as the source of the Nile River. Southwest of this, separating Tanzania from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is Lake Tanganyika. This lake is estimated to be the second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal in Siberia. The western portion of the country between Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi consists of flat land that has been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion. Just upstream from the Kalambo Falls, which is in Zambia, there is one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa.

The centre of Tanzania is a large plateau, which is part of the East African Plateau. The southern half of this plateau is grassland within the Eastern Miombo woodlands ecoregion, the majority of which is covered by the huge Selous National Park. Further north the plateau is arable land and includes the national capital, Dodoma.
The eastern coast contains Tanzania's largest city and former capital, Dar es Salaam. Just north of this city lies the Zanzibar Archipelago, a semi-autonomous territory of Tanzania which is famous for its spices. The coast is home to areas of East African mangroves, mangrove swamps that are an important habitat for wildlife on land and in the water.
Administratively, Tanzania is divided into 30 regions, with 25 on the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar Island, and 2 on Pemba.

Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C / 77–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C / 59–68 °F).

Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is uni-modal (December - April) and the other is bimodal (October -December and March - May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.
In the bimodal regime the March - May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October - December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli.

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique.
Geographic coordinates: 6°00′S 35°00′E.