Tanzania, placed directly below Kenya, has a population of nearly 44 million people, with an overall area of 947,300 km². The capital city is Dodoma, though the largest city and commercial capital is Dar es Salaam, on the coast. There are more than 120 ethnic groups, with a very uneven population distribution, ranging from 1 person per square kilometer to 134 per square kilometer. 80% of the population is rural. The official languages are Kiswahili and English, although unlike in Kenya, English is not widely spoken.
Tanzania, too, has very diverse climates, with highlands and lowlands offering a range of temperatures and weather conditions. Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the African continent and the longest lake in the world, are situated in northwestern Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro, which is rumoured to have been given as a gift by the Queen of England to Tanzania, is in the northeastern region, and often has a snowy summit. Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve and Gombe National Park are a few of Tanzania’s most famous wildlife parks. The Selous is the largest game reserve in the world. Zanzibar and Pemba, islands just off the coast, are also part of Tanzania and offer a truly Swahili experience.
In terms of politics, Tanzania is relatively secure and stable. The president is currently Jakaya Kikwete, and the prime minister is Mizengo Pinda. Tanzania takes its name from the merger that was formed in 1964 between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, after they gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 and 1963 respectively.