Basic History & Geography:
Tanzania is located in central East Africa, bordered by Kenya & Uganda to the North,Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean. It is slightly larger in size than California and currently has a population of approximately 40 million. Man is known to have lived in Tanzania for more than 2 million years. It has a long and varied history.Some of the earliest known remains of man have been found thereand travelers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium.Islam was introduced to the coastal areas bordering the Indian Ocean from as early as the eighth or ninth century and during that time Zanzibar (an island off the coast) became the center of the Arab slave trade. In the late 19th century Tanzania (minus Zanzibar) together with Burundi & Rwanda became part of German East Africa. After Germany’s loss in the First World 1 to England most of what is now Tanzania became a part of a British mandate with Tanzania (then known as Tanganyika) finally gaining its independence, mostly peacefully, in 1961. The last piece of the puzzle was added in 1964 when the islands of Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika to form what is now known as Tanzania.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is still heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports and employs an incredible 85% of the work force. Because of topography and climate conditions, however, only 4% of the available land area can be cultivated. The rest of the economy is made up of mining – gold, tanzanite, silver, other minerals and finally tourism, which continues to grow in importance. Many visitors go to visit the various national parks and reserves while other focus on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.