Tanzania Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Tanzania?

Overview:

Tanzania, the second largest country in East Africa, is just south of the Equator. The mainland stretches from north to south for 740 miles and from east to west for 760 miles with a 500-mile coastline on the Indian Ocean. It shares borders with Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Including the islands of Unguja and Pemba that make up Zanzibar, Tanzania's total area is 362,820 square miles (with 20,600 square miles of lakes).

Geography - note:

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of only two mountains on the continent that has glaciers (the other is Mount Kenya); bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world's second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) in the southwest

Climate:

The coastal strip is tropical with high humidity; temperatures range from 80°F–95°F. The country’s annual rainfall averages 65 inches. The central plateau (altitude 3,000–4,000 feet; rainfall 2–30 inches), which covers much of the country, is hot and dry. The semi-temperate highlands (up to 6,000 feet; rainfall 40–100 inches) are fertile and cool. The islands of Zanzibar (rainfall 60-75 inches), 25 miles off the coast, are tropical and humid.

Tanzania has two rainy and two dry seasons. During the long rains, from March through May, heavy downpours can occur daily (though it is not unusual to have as many as 2-3 days of sunny, pleasant weather between showers). The short rains come in November and December. Temperatures and humidity are high from November to April, and surface winds are moderate. June through September is pleasant and generally mild.

Another weather phenomenon are the monsoon winds, or tradewinds, which blow in different directions during the year. From April to November, the winds can be quite cool.

Tanzania Use of Natural Resources

Tanzania Environment

Climate:

The coastal strip is tropical with high humidity; temperatures range from 80°F–95°F. The country’s annual rainfall averages 65 inches. The central plateau (altitude 3,000–4,000 feet; rainfall 2–30 inches), which covers much of the country, is hot and dry. The semi-temperate highlands (up to 6,000 feet; rainfall 40–100 inches) are fertile and cool. The islands of Zanzibar (rainfall 60-75 inches), 25 miles off the coast, are tropical and humid.

Tanzania has two rainy and two dry seasons. During the long rains, from March through May, heavy downpours can occur daily (though it is not unusual to have as many as 2-3 days of sunny, pleasant weather between showers). The short rains come in November and December. Temperatures and humidity are high from November to April, and surface winds are moderate. June through September is pleasant and generally mild.

Another weather phenomenon are the monsoon winds, or tradewinds, which blow in different directions during the year. From April to November, the winds can be quite cool.

Terrain:

plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south

Natural Resources:

hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel

Natural Hazards:

flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought

Irrigated Land:

712 Square Miles
1,843 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; recent droughts affected marginal agriculture; wildlife threatened by illegal hunting and trade, especially for ivory

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Tanzania Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 365,753 Square Miles
947,300 Square Kilometers
Land Area 342,007 Square Miles
885,800 Square Kilometers
Water Area 23,745 Square Miles
61,500 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 2,399 Miles
3,861 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 712 Square Miles
1,843 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Burundi 451 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 459 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km
Coastline 885 Miles
1,424 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 6 00 S, 35 00 E
Terrain plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south
Highest Point 5,895 Meters
Highest Point Location Kilimanjaro 5,895 m
Lowest Point Location Indian Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel
Time Zone UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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