Tanzania is situated to the East of the African continent, and borders the Indian Ocean. Large savannahs, forests, mountains, valleys, and lakes cover Tanzania’s land. The country of Tanzania is home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural sites in Africa, including the continent’s highest mountain and the world’s second deepest lake.
The country’s great variety of wildlife is protected in its many national parks. Some of the most well-known African mammal species are native to Tanzania: elephants, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, elephant, rhino, lion, and leopard. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be found along riverbanks and lakeshores, and giant turtles live off the coast.
There is high plant biodiversity in Tanzania’s forests, with over 10,000 species, or types, of plants. However, Tanzania’s deforestation rate is among the highest in the world. More than 270 plant species there are considered endangered.
About 90% of Tanzanians live in rural areas and live off what they can grow on the land. Most Tanzanians earn a living through agriculture (farming). The main food crops are corn, rice, sorghum, millet, wheat, beans, and potatoes. Farmers also grow coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, tea, and tobacco.
Tanzania has more than 120 ethnic groups. The Sukuma are the country’s largest group. The Sukuma and other groups have their own languages. Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. The country’s main religions are Christianity and Islam.
Many Tanzanian children are part of Mission Together groups (called Holy Childhood in Tanzania). Watch the film below to see some of the children dancing and singing a hymn for a special mission month. Traditional dance is an important part of Tanzania’s culture. Dance brings people together and builds community and identity. Notice the important role dance plays is in the film.