The surrounding region has been overrun by Arabs and Swahili from the East African coast.
This well-known Arab term for coast-belt (which in the plural form reappears as the familiar "Swahili" of Zanzibar) is applied to a third division of Tunisia, viz.
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.
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.
On the Swahili coast the south-east monsoon begins in April and the northeast monsoon in November.
Lindi (Swahili for The Deep Below) Bay runs inland 6 m.
The Swahili, inhabiting the coast-line from the equator to about r6° S., are a somewhat heterogeneous mixture of Bantu with a tinge of Arab blood.
In the coast towns of the eastern seaboard there are Swahili, Arab and Indian settlements, and tribes, such as the Amaran, of mixed Arab and Somali blood.
The Swahili (q.v.) are a mixed Bantu and Semitic race inhabiting the seaboard.
In its plural form, Swahili, the word has become the tribal name of the natives inhabiting the coast strip opposite Zanzibar.
Swahili, a Bantu tongue with an admixture of Arabic, &c., is understood by many tribes besides those which have been under the direct influence of the Zanzibar Arabs, and it is the most.