Mbeya is a city located in southwest Tanzania, Africa. Mbeya's urban population was 280,000 in 2005. Mbeya is the capital of the surrounding rural Mbeya region (population, with Mbeya, totals approx. 2 million).
Mbeya is the first large urban settlement encountered when travelling overland from the neighbouring nation of Zambia. Mbeya is situated at an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,500 ft), and sprawls through a narrow highland valley surrounded by a bowl of high mountains. The main language is colloquial Swahili, and the English language is extensively taught in schools.
Mbeya has a subtropical highland climate (Cwb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with humid summers and dry winters. The general range of temperature is between −6 °C in the highlands and 29 °C on the lowlands. The weather from June until October, is dry and cold. The heaviest rainfall occurs during the months December to March.
The area around Mbeya town (especially in Tukuyu) enjoys abundant and reliable rainfall which stimulates abundant agriculture on the rich volcanic soils. Average rainfall per year is around 900 mm (35 in). The rainy season is from March to May.