Tanzania is located in eastern Africa on the Indian Ocean, between
Mozambique and Kenya and includes the island of Zanzibar. The terrain includes
coastal plains, a central plateau and highlands in the north and south.
The country enjoys geographic celebrity as it is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro (the
highest peak in Africa), Lake Victoria (the second largest lake in the world)
and the Great Rift Valley.
The climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the
highlands. Natural resources include hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore,
coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas and nickel.
Elevation and distance from the sea control the climate of Tanzania. On the
mainland coastal strip along the Indian Ocean, the climate is warm and tropical
with temperatures averaging 27° C and rainfall varying from 750 to 1400 mm. The
inland plateau is hot and dry with annual rainfall averaging as little as 500
mm. The semi temperate highlands in the southwest sometimes have snow.
The climate on the islands is generally tropical, but the heat is tempered by
a sea breeze throughout the year. The annual mean temperature for the city of
Zanzibar is 25-29° C; for Wete in Pemba, 24-30° C. Most rain falls from
December to May. Tanzania also can experience substantial fluctuations in rain
volume from one year to the next.