As East Africa's largest country, Tanzania displays great diversity, including a low-lying coastal belt, a highland plateau populated by rich wildlife reserves, and the island Zanzibar, a former spice center. It also is home to Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. The climate ranges from tropical to nearly temperate in the highlands. Industries include tobacco, sugar, diamond and gold mining, cement, and tourism. Swahili and English are the official languages for Tanzania's 130 ethnic groups. About half are Christian and a third Islamic.

European explorers, including David Livingstone, penetrated the country in the mid-nineteenth century, and it was colonized by Germany and later Great Britain, from which it gained freedom in 1961. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries of the world. Compassion works in its northern zone, where the residents raise livestock and farm.

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