An image of Tanzania Where Tanzania is in the world.

Tanzania is the largest country in east Africa and is known for having amazing wildlife. Serengeti National Park is home to crocodiles, hippos and many other incredible animals.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and once an active volcano, can be found in Tanzania.

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Dar es Salaam

Compassion began its work in Tanzania in 1999.


Swahili and English are the official languages in Tanzania although there are many different languages spoken. Here’s some basic Kiswahili:

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Kwa kheri

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Zebras are social animals and communicate through changing the position of their ears and tail as well as through sound.

Traditional houses are round and made of grass, strengthened by large wooden poles. They are built from the roof downwards, rather than the bottom up as most houses are.

Living conditions

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48.2 million

More than 71,800 children attend Compassion projects in Tanzania.

Tanzania is one of the few countries in east Africa to enjoy relative peace, although it is still very poor.

HIV and AIDS are very common in Tanzania. An estimated 1.4 million people are living with either HIV or AIDS and an estimated 1.1 million children have lost their parents to the disease.

Malnutrition is also really common and there are many people living in terrible poverty, unable to feed their families.

Unlike many poor countries, going to school is free in Tanzania. Many children still don’t go to school though as they need to work to help support their families.

Some children, especially orphans who don’t have parents to protect them, are forced to work for greedy bosses who treat them badly.

Flick through our photo story to find out what life is like for children living in Tanzania.

Many people come to Tanzania to see and climb Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzania has beautiful beaches on the Indian Ocean, huge mountains, the shores of Lake Victoria, and desert plains. It also has plenty of busy towns and cities.

75 per cent of the population are farmers. Villagers will farm very small patches of land that are passed down through generations, rearing goats and cattle or growing crops such as coffee, cashew nuts, cassava and spices.

Despite having good soil for growing food, Tanzania remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Many people live in ramshackle huts in overcrowded slums or in poor rural areas without access to safe drinking water, education or hospitals.

Most poor families cook on charcoal stoves. The most popular food in Tanzania is ugali, a porridge made by boiling cornmeal. Goat, chicken and mutton are the most commonly eaten meats.

Another reason children may not go to school is because they are needed to go out to work.

Through Compassion more and more Tanzanian children are receiving a decent education.

As well as good education, the children receive regular nutritious meals, the chance to develop socially and explore their God-given talents, and the opportunity to hear about the transforming love of Jesus.

Compassion Tanzania is growing quickly to reach out to the many Tanzanian children living in poverty.

Please pray for the children of Tanzania, especially for those with no mum or dad to look after them.

Pray that children at Compassion projects in Tanzania would know how loved they are by God and will want to tell others about Him.

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Tanzanian shilling

Known as the shilingi in Swahili.

There are more than 304 Compassion projects in Tanzania.

How can you encourage your sponsored child?

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Why not write to them and mention some of the facts you’ve found here. Ask them questions about what it’s like to live in Tanzania.

The most popular food in Tanzania is ugali, a porridge made by boiling cornmeal. Ugali is often eaten with stew, vegetables or meat. Another common food to eat with stew is Wali wa Nazi, which means rice in coconut milk:

Recipe: Wali wa Nazi

Rice in coconut milk

Wali wa Nazi Ingredients (adult help needed)
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 can of coconut milk and water to make 4 cups of liquid in total
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Measure 4 cups of liquid (coconut milk and water) into a saucepan.
  2. Add the teaspoon of salt and heat the liquid until it boils.
  3. Stir in 2 cups rice. Lower the heat and cover, simmering until all the liquid is absorbed (about 25 minutes).
  4. Serve hot alone or to accompany a main dish.

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Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania. At 5,895 metres above sea level, it is the tallest mountain in Africa.

What’s black and white and red all over?

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A sun-burned zebra!

Information sources: The CIA World Fact Book 2011, Compassion International, Human Development Report, BBC, BBC Nature, Wikipedia