Your guide to being an expatriate in Tanzania

Caffeinate Your Tanzania Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Tanzania is a country proudly steeped in African tradition and culture. Its name, coined in 1964 from the initials of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, highlights the renaissance of the Tanzanian people from their colonial past. The country has a rich history dating back thousands of years to its early Bantu settlers, who were followed by Arabs and Germans. Today, Tanzania remains a captivating and fascinating place to explore. Its expansive terrain encompasses everything from game-rich national parks and epic safaris to pristine beaches and dreamy islands. Tanzania is a country of contrasts, and it's waiting for you to discover its many wonders.


Expat destinations in Tanzania

Demographics of Tanzania:

Ethnic groups

The Chaga are the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, followed by the Wata and Gogo. The Swahili people are also a significant ethnic group, particularly along the coast.


Swahili (Kiswahili), English (official)

Religion Overview

Tanzania is predominantly Christian, with the largest Christian denominations being Catholic and Protestant. The Greek Orthodox Church is also a significant religious group in Tanzania.

Major Religions


Tanzania's climate is tropical and varies by region. The coastal regions are hot and humid, with mild temperatures in the highlands. The rainy season lasts from March to May and from October to December. In contrast, the dry season in Tanzania typically lasts from June to October.

Economy Overview

Tanzania's economy is growing at a rapid pace, with agriculture being its principal industry. Agricultural products such as coffee, tea, cashew nuts, cotton, and cloves are major exports. Gold mining is also a significant sector of Tanzania's economy.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Mining (gold, diamonds, and gemstones)
  • Manufacturing (focussed on consumer and capital goods)
  • Forestry, fishing, and agriculture-related industries

Major Companies

  • Dangote Cement Tanzania

Culture and Language Overview

Tanzania's culture is a fascinating blend of African traditions and influences from other regions, including Arabia and India. The Swahili language is spoken widely throughout the country, with English also being an official language. Other significant African languages spoken in Tanzania include Kikuyu, Chaga, and Swahili dialects Zigua, Makonde, and Ng'wana.

Cultural Highlights

  • The Swahili cultural heritage is rich, with vibrant dances, music, and traditional languages spoken along the coast.
  • Kogwa is a Maasai wedding ceremony that blends traditional and Christian customs. The masai are one of the most successful pastoral tribes in Africa with their culture being rich in traditional dance, songs, colored clothes, and beadwork.
  • The Bagamoyo Museum and Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an interesting place to learn about the history of the old slave trade routes.
  • Zanzibani cuisine is an intriguing mix of Arab, Indian, and Swahili flavours, with notable dishes including pilau rice, spicy meat or fish curries, and coconut-infused desserts.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Tanzania's geography includes vast exotic rainforests, the world-renowned Serengeti National Park, the Rift Valley, and pristine white-sand islands. The country is equally famous for its wildlife safaris, home to the 'big five' (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros) amongst other fauna.

Notable Landmarks

  • Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
  • The Serengeti National Park, covering 14,763 sq km and home to the largest wildlife migration on earth.
  • The Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest national park in Africa, covering 50,000 sq km.
  • Zanzibar Archipelago and Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its mix of diverse cultures, history, and natural beauty.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Zanzibar Revolution Day (Twelfth January)
  • Union Day (26 April)
  • Labour Day (1 May)
  • Saba Saba Day (7 July)
  • Mashujaa Telepweeton Day (7 September)
  • Radhi Malekweti on November 15 honours the Beni Warriors (also Bena-Move who inhabited Dar es Salaam before the colonial period), for winning wars against both the colonial German army and the British Imperialists.
  • Zanzibar Independence Day (10 December)

Political Stability

Tanzania's political system is defined by the 1977 constitution and its political situation is considered relatively stable for the region. As a member of regional and international institutions including the African Union and the United Nations, the country's developmental progress is closely monitored by global actors.

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