Many different dialects are spoken by the Bantu tribes, Swahili being the most widely known (see Bantu Languages).
The coast of German East Africa (often spoken of as the Swahili coast, after the inhabitants of the seaboard) is chiefly composed of coral, is little indented, and is generally low, partly sandy, partly rich alluvial soil covered with dense bush or mangroves.
On the Swahili coast the south-east monsoon begins in April and the northeast monsoon in November.
The Swahili (q.v.) are a mixed Bantu and Semitic race inhabiting the seaboard.
The warm currents setting landwards from the Indian Ocean bring both moisture and heat, so that the Swahili coast has a higher temperature and heavier rainfall than the Atlantic seaboard under the same parallels of latitude.