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© 2015 

The Batterson Tribe

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KILIMANJARO REGION. TANZANIA. EAST AFRICA.

THE LAND

Kilimanjaro region is located in the north eastern part of Tanzania and is home to the famous snow covered Mount Kilimanjaro.  The mountain has two peaks Mawenzi and Kibo and its highest peak Kibo, towers as high as 5,895 meters above sea level.  Mount Kilimanjaro and the Pare mountains (2,000 - 2,500m.) from the backbone of the region, running through the middle of it in a lengthwise direction. It borders Kenya to the north and the Tanga & Arusha regions of Tanzania to the south, east & west. Moshi is the capital city of the region.

In the Kilimanjaro region the year can be divided into four periods with respect to the amount of rainfall: There are two rainy seasons - a major one in April - May and a minor one in September - November, and two dry seasons, a major one in December - January and a minor one in July - August.

Approximately 22% of the region is used agriculturally, with 65% of those crops being bananas and coffee. 

Wildlife is abundant and everything from elephants, giraffes, hipps and lions can be seen in the bush or national parks.  In the villages and towns though, the most common animals spotted are goats, cows & chickens (for dinner!), lots of geckos and lizzards, plenty of insects, malibu storks and beautiful birds, such as the ibis, as well. 

 

THE LIFE & CULTURE

Moshi is home to the Chaga and Pare tribes, with Maasai coming in from the north as well. There is a fair amount of tourism and more expatriates are joining the city for work in agriculture, tourism, missions and humanitarian work each day. Swahili is the national language, but English is the second language.  There are also several tribal languages still spoken today. Conversation and relationships are a very important part of Tanzanian culture.  Often the greetings offered at the beginning of a conversation will last longer than the conversation itself and hands are always shaken to begin conversation.  

Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied.  Some typical Tanzanian foods include rice (wali), ugali (maize porridge), chapati (a type of unleavened bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki (marinated beef shish-ke-bob), fish, pilau, and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat). Chai (hot tea) is also a Tanzanian staple, and is taken in the morning, mid-morning and anytime guests visit. It's often served with mandazi (a type of donut) or chapati.

The arts vary greatly in Tanzania, with Tingatinga paintings being one of the most popular and trademark art forms of this nation. Wood carving, especially using ebony, artwork that incorporates woven banana leaves, jewelry making, and sewing goods using traditional khanga or kitenge cloth are also popular art forms. 
Transportation consists largely of dala dalas (fifteen passenger vans) that will cram up to thirty people inside, piki piki's (motorbikes), and taxis.  Though the number of personal vehicles is growing daily, a large number of people still use the public transportation, bicycles and walking as their means of getting around. 

 

THE RELIGIONS & BELIEFS

The main religions of the region are Christian, Muslim & Sikh/Hindu, with a large portion of the indigenous tribes still following their beliefs of witchcraft and voodoo. The make up is approximately 40%, 40%, 10%, respectively. Perhaps because of the large Muslim influence, dress is very modest.  Women always have their knees covered and midriffs never shown, while men usually wear long trousers. Tanzania is a very peaceful country with all the beliefs living in harmony.