Tanzania is the world’s 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. However, Tanzania is the biggest of the East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda). Tanzania also has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands.
The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic view of the country. The Rift Valley runs to south of Tanzania splitting at Lake Nyasa; one branch runs down beyond Lake Nyasa to Mozambique; and another branch to north-west alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and western part of Uganda. The valley is dotted with unique lakes, which includes Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara. The uplands include the famous Kipengere, Udzungwa, Matogoro, Livingstone, and the Fipa plateau forming the southern highlands. The Usambara, Pare, Meru, Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai, all form the northern highlands. From these highlands and the central saucer plateau flow the drainage system to the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the inland drainage system.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of, respectively, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish); to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa.