Tanzania is located in Eastern Africa between longitude 290 and 410 East. Latitute 10 and 120 South.Area: Total 945,000 km2
Zanzibar: 2,000 km2
Water: 62,000 km2
Forest and Woodlands: 3.350 km2
Tanzania is the world’s 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. However, Tanzania is the biggest of the East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda). Tanzania also has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands.
The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic view of the country. The Rift Valley runs to south of Tanzania splitting at Lake Nyasa; one branch runs down beyond Lake Nyasa to Mozambique; and another branch to north-west alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and western part of Uganda. The valley is dotted with unique lakes, which includes Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara. The uplands include the famous Kipengere, Udzungwa, Matogoro, Livingstone, and the Fipa plateau forming the southern highlands. The Usambara, Pare, Meru, Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai, all form the northern highlands. From these highlands and the central saucer plateau flow the drainage system to the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the inland drainage system.
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 Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish); to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa.
Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10°C and 20°C (50°F 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°C – 31°C, or 77°F – 88°F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15°C – 20°C, or 59°F – 68°F).
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is unimodal (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.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro, Serengeti National where the white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration in the north, and 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 behavior.
Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation. A recently discovered species of elephant shrew called Grey-faced Sengi was filmed for the first time in 2005, and it was known to live in just two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains. In 2008, it was listed as “vulnerable” on the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species. Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is the largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo, a huge community of which nest in the salt marshes of the lake. Areas of East African mangroves on the coast are also important habitats.