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Tanzania, Land and Resources

The landscape of mainland Tanzania is generally flat and low along the coast, but a plateau at an average altitude of about 1,200 m (about 4,000 ft) constitutes the greater part of the country. Isolated mountain groups rise in the northeast and southwest. The volcanic Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft), the highest mountain in Africa, is located near the northeastern border. Three of the great lakes of Africa lie on the borders of the country and partially within it. Lake Tanganyika is located on the western border, Lake Victoria on the northwest, and Lake Nyasa (Malawi) on the southwest. Lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika lie in the Great Rift Valley, a tremendous geological fault system extending from the Middle East to Mozambique.

Zanzibar, separated from the coast of the mainland by a channel some 40 km (25 mi) wide, is about 90 km (about 55 mi) long and covers an area of 1,660 sq km (641 sq mi). It is the largest coral island off the coast of Africa. Pemba, some 40 km (some 25 mi) northwest of Zanzibar, is 68 km (42 mi) long and has an area of 982 sq km (379 sq mi). Both Zanzibar and Pemba are mostly low-lying.

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