Tanzania is a country of superlatives, with the highest and lowest points in Africa, Kilimanjaro at 5,895 meters, and Lake Tanganyika with a depth of more than 1,470 meters, its ground is 668 meters below sea level. Tanzania has access to the three largest lakes on the continent, Lake Victora, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi. Its flora and fauna are unique and Tanzania has rich amount of species to offer. More than 310 species of mammals, 1,100 species of birds and 10,000 species of plants, of which a quarter can only be found here, are located in Tanzania.
Tanzania is also a country of different cultures and languages. Around 130 different ethnic groups live here, 95% belongs to the Bantu groups. Beside the Bantu, the Nilotes (for example, the Maasai), the Cushites and the Khoisan are resident in Tanzania. Furthermore around 200,000 Asians also reside in Tanzania, mostly of Indian or Pakistani origin. A total of 125 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, which is not surprising given the diversity of ethnic groups. However, the predominat language is today Swahili, the national language of Tanzania, which emerged from the encounter of the coastal inhabitants with Arab sailors. English is also widespread in the country and is well-known especially in tourist areas.
More than 40% of the inhabitants are Christians (approximately half Catholics and Protestants), over 40% are Muslims and 18% are adherents of traditional religions. Only 1% of the population belongs to the Hindu faith.
Tanzania is a very stable country in spite of its ethnic diversity. This can certainly be attributed to the fact that none of the ethnic groups forms a majority.
1961 dismissed by the British from the colonial rule, Tanzania is today a democratic country with free elections. The country has a population of 57 million, the total area is 945 087 km². The official capital is Dodoma (with approximately 325,000 inhabitants) but the government seat is located in the largest city of the country, the metropolis of Dar es Salaam.
Its diverse landscape, rich animal and plant world, political stability, and last but not least, the colourful peoples and cultural mix make Tanzania meanwhile one of the most popular destinations in Africa.
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