Mbeya ( German outdated: Old man cheek height ) is one of the ten largest cities in Tanzania. After a count of 2005 approximately 290,000 inhabitants live in the town. The town is also the administrative seat of the Mbeya region and is the economic center to the west of the country.
Mbeya is the capital of the prefecture of Mbeya in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The city is located about 850 road kilometers from the largest city in Tanzania Dar es Salaam.
The city is located in the valley at the foot of the mountains of the Mbeya Range at an altitude 1600-1900 meters. Highest mountain in the Mbeya Range is the eponymous Mount Mbeya with 2818 m. The other side of the valley form the Poroto mountains with the 2960 m high Mount Rungwe.
The town of Mbeya was founded from some villages at the foot of Mount Mbeya only about 70 years ago. Today, approximately 280,000 people live in Mbeya. Another 300,000 live in the sprawling suburban belt of the city.
Mbeya is holding station of the railway line and TAZARA is dismounted Tanzam Highway, a major international road between Dar es Salaam ( port) on the one hand and Zambia and Malawi on the other. On the Tanzam Highway rolls especially the freight to and from Zambia and Malawi, in recent years, but also increasingly to Mozambique and South Africa.
Located in the city's airport is shut down for a line machines for several years and is served only by charter smaller machines. In December 2012, the new international Songwe Airport was opened in the city 20 km to the west. On January 16, 2013, the airport was first approached by Precision Air.
The hospital has 450 beds and the city is responsible for the supply of the entire region. As in many African hospitals, the facilities and the number of medical personnel is insufficient. Also, the " Mbeya Institute of Science and Technology" ( MIST ), a technical college in the city, is a central point of the region. In the winter semester 2009, approximately 1,100 students have studied engineering and natural sciences there.