The use of a single common language has greatly facilitated trade, political debate, nationalism, information dissemination, and conflict resolution. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, and the magnificent wild animals (including lions, elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, leopards, and cheetahs, to name only a few) draw millions of tourists to the country every year.
Perhaps the most important influence on a sense of national identity was the development of Tanzanian socialism.
Elegant ebony carvings of both representational and modern design, a specialty of the Makonde people of southeast Tanzania, are prized by collectors around the world.
Tanzania was cradle to some of the earliest hominids on earth, made famous by the discoveries of Louis and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge.
At the same time, however, repressive, corrupting influences emanating from the colonial, socialist, and capitalist eras have fostered among many Tanzanians an attitude of dependency and fatalistic resignation that helps keep the country one of the poorest in the world. Covering approximately 365,000 square miles (945,000 square kilometers)—an area about one and one-half times the size of Texas, Tanzania lies on the east coast of Africa, just south of the equator.
It shares borders with Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean.