Dodoma is the political capital of Tanzania, and was officially custom built for that role. Located in central Tanzania, the city is 500 kilometres away from the coast and mount Kilimanjaro. While it is home to about 400,000 inhabitants, it is visited by few tourists. Here is a guide for those who wish to visit Dodoma!
Located in Central Tanzania, Dodoma was designated as the capital in 1973. Most ministries and government buildings have moved, or are moving, there.
- Getting there
Dodoma can be reached by buses from Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, and Arusha. As roads are paved, the journey takes around 8 hours. Alternatively, visitors can choose to travel via train or by airplane. Tourists are advised to book flight tickets online, in advance.
The city has a warm tropical climate, being at 26 °C to 31 °C during the day, and between 13 °C to 18 °C at night. May to October are dry months with almost no rain, while December to March experience about 100 mm per month.
Getting around the city is not a problem, as there are minibuses called dala dala, as well as taxis and bikes that can be bought or rented.
Major tourist areas and hotels have wifi and internet cafes, but connections may be slower at remote areas.
While tourists love capturing moments in their cameras, they are advised to be careful doing so in Dodoma as many official or government buildings and sites should not be photographed due to security concerns and regulations.
Things to do
- Nyerere Square is located in the heart of Dodoma. This town square used to be a local market but was built as a historic landmark. Visitors can take a walk in the park, take pictures, or visit Chef Asili for good food. The square has a statue of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, who was the national founder of Tanzania.
- Gaddafi Mosque is a pink mosque with around 4500 worshippers, situated at the centre of the city. This beautifully designed mosque is one of the largest in East Africa and attracts lots of visitors!
- Similarly, tourists can plan a trip to the beautiful Jamatkhana Ismaili mosque which has a neoclassical British design.
- The domed Anglican church is another great landmark, which can be visited along with the enormous Catholic Cathedral which is famous for its Roman style mosaics that show saints, and the modernist Lutheran Cathedral. These sites are free to visit and evoke a sense of reverence in the visitors.
- Bunge are the Parliament buildings which can be visited during sessions, but travellers must carry their passports. This African styled site is a must see in Dodoma!
- Visitors must go to the Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings, a series of caves carved into a hillside. These paintings are said to be over 50000 years old. There are between 150 to 450 decorated rocks.
- Lion Rock or Simba Hill allows travellers to enjoy a trek. The rocky hike gives a breathtaking aerial view of the beautiful city!
- Dodoma Skate Park is excellent for sports enthusiasts. Built in 2011, it is the largest sports facility in Tanzania, and has a 500 square foot concrete skate park!
Where To Eat
- The New Dodoma Hotel allows visitors to enjoy a range of cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, and African, with dishes such as pizza, fish, fajitas, barbeque, and dal tadka. The lush garden, outdoor pool, and relaxing spa are also great services.
- Dodoma Wimpy is popular as it offers good food such as burgers, biryani, bhaji, and other local foods and delicacies.
- Aladdin’S Cafe has veggie burgers and pizzas, but is well known for its sweet treats. Tourists who love sweet foods must definitely go!
- Leone L’Africano is perfect for those who want excellent Italian food, as well as a nice view of Lion Rock. Guests can also enjoy wine, and young ones can visit the playground and mini golf course.
We hope these tips are helpful, and allow you to have a fun filled and memorable trip to Dodoma!