By Azure Lee
Dodoma is a city in southern Tanzania's highlands, surrounded by lush, fertile land and blessed with an ideal climate for agriculture. The town's many interesting sites and its enticing wine industry draw tourists from both domestic and foreign traveler communities, with the Tanganyika Vineyards Company being one of its biggest employers.
Here is our Dodoma travel guide, including location, how to get there, things to do, and more. Everything waits to be explored.
Where Is Dodoma Located?
In the center of Tanzania, Dodoma serves as both the formal political capital and the seat of government. Although it is smaller and less developed than Dar es Salaam, the country's commercial hub, Dodoma is nevertheless a hub for national politics.
Historically, Dodoma was a stopover on the overland caravan route that travelled from the Swahili Coast inland toward Lake Tanganyika. Early in the 20th century, the city became a major point on the Central Line railway, which carried agricultural crops for export to the harbour in Dar es Salaam.
Dodoma is a city in southern Tanzania highlands
Things To Do In Dodoma
One of the best places to eat in Dodoma is the Gaddafi Mosque, named after the Libyan politician who gave the money to build it, is the largest mosque in Tanzania, accommodating up to 3000 visitors. The beautiful bright building with arched walls on the perimeter stands under the open African sky and is generously lit by the sun almost all year round.
Located next to the prayer building is a small green area that contrasts interestingly with the pink walls of the mosque. Even a traveler far from religion will find peace, a chance to rest, and coolness, much sought after in Africa.
Museum of GeoSciences
Exploring around in this museum costs money, but once you are in you can explore this really forlorn assortment of rock samples and geological data.
This might not be the most compelling reason to visit a museum, and you might not encounter anything especially captivating. If you’re a fanatical rock hound, it's advisable to inquire at the Geological Survey of Tanzania Laboratory located behind the post office.
Parliament Buildings – Bunge
Bunge is the location of the nation's parliament and requires advance booking; visitors are only admitted during sessions, and during those times, the atmosphere is lively and engaging as members craft the nation's laws with animated speeches and passionate voices.
Visit Bunge is among the best things to do in Dodoma; be sure to bring your passport. It is highly forbidden to take pictures, therefore do not carry your camera.
A steep climb to the summit of Lion Rock, also known as Simba Hill or Mlimwa in Swahili, rewards hikers with an unparalleled aerial perspective of Dodoma from the northeastern part of the province.
Lion Rock is a landmark in Dodoma you must see during your time in Dodoma. Take a hike along the rocky trail and relish the breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city. During weekends, Lion Rock in Dodoma becomes a beloved gathering spot for groups of friends and families.
Dodoma is many interesting sites draw foreign travelers
Kondoa Irangi Paintings
The Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings are a group of caverns cut into the side of a hill overlooking the steppe; they are situated in Kondoa District of Dodoma Region, some 20 km north of Kondoa town and nine kilometers east of the main highway (T5) that runs from Dodoma to Babati.
There are paintings in the caves as well; estimates of the number of rock art sites in the Kondoa area range from 150 to 450. The Tanzania Antiquities Department believes that some of the paintings in the caves date back more than 50,000 years. You might even stumble upon a few new sites during your exploration.
Friday nights are the perfect time to attend NK Disco, a famous party spot for Dodoma's youth. If loud music and rowdy youths bother you, spend a tranquil evening watching TV and sipping your favorite drink at the VETA Club.
Dodoma surrounded by lush, fertile land and blessed with an ideal climate for agriculture
How To Get To Dodoma
Since Dodoma lacks an international airport, travelers arriving from other locations can land at Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, or other airports and then take a flight or a road transfer to Dodoma.
From dar es salaam to dodoma
Between Dar es Salaam to Dodoma flights are available with the national airline Precision Air, Air Tanzania and Auric Air (at a higher price). As these flights fill up quickly, it is best to purchase tickets online in advance.
From Tanga to Dodoma
You can drive from Tanga to Dodoma, but it's a long journey of approximately 8-9 hours, covering a distance of about 600 kilometers. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition for the trip
Flying is the fastest route from Tanga to Dodoma, taking 5 hours 13 minutes and costing between $85 and $210. Operators include Charterlines, Inc., Air Tanzania, Precision Air, and others. There are usually 37 weekly flights, though weekend and holiday schedules might change, so check beforehand.
From Morogoro to Dodoma
The driving distance from Morogoro to Dodoma is 263.21 kilometers. If you drive at an average speed of 112 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour), it will take you 02 hours and 21 minutes to get there.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct train line between Morogoro and Dodoma. However, you could consider taking a train from Morogoro to Dar es Salaam and then another train from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, although this route might take longer and involve multiple changes.
There is no International airport in Dodoma
From Moshi to Dodoma
Flying is the fastest route, taking 4 hours 16 minutes and costing between $130 and $310 from Moshi to Dodoma. Three airlines provide services: Air Tanzania, Precision Air, and Qatar Airways. There are usually 23 weekly flights; however, the schedule can change on weekends and holidays, so check ahead.
Best places to eat in Dodoma:
Best places to eat in Dodoma
There are several places to eat, including some delicious pizzas. You may also try a variety of local wines. Here are a list of best places to eat in Dodoma
If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for something to fulfill it, you should go to Aladdin's Cave. Dodoma's downtown has a confectionery store and a soda fountain. They also provide veggie burgers and pizza. The quantities are generous, and it's a good spot to refuel before exploring the nearby sites.
If burgers are your thing, Dodoma Wimpy is the place to eat in Dodoma. They have a large assortment of burgers as well as the standard snacks and local cuisine. There are Indian-inspired burgers available, such as Bhaji and chicken biryani.
New Dodoma Hotel
The New Dodoma Hotel offers an international menu that includes pizzas, fish & chips, fajitas, and dhal tadka. Local and Indian dishes are popular, and their outside Barbeque Village prepares up vast varieties of meats for evening service. You may also visit the hotel's Chinese Restaurant, where you will be spoiled for choice with their delectable meals.
KRose's Cafe specializes on East African cuisine and also serves a variety of Indian meals at reasonable costs. If you're on a tight budget, this is the place to be. It is quite popular with diners, and it is often hard to acquire a table.
In summary, Dodoma stands as an invitation for travelers to immerse themselves in Tanzania's heartland. It’s a place where ancient history meets modern aspirations, where diverse cultures converge, and where nature's splendor awaits exploration.
Applying for a Tanzania eVisa provides a convenient way to prepare for your trip to Tanzania, including exploring Dodoma. The eVisa allows you to apply for a visa online before arriving in Tanzania, eliminating the need to visit an embassy or consulate, saving you time and effort.
To apply for an eVisa, you can visit the official website of the Tanzanian Immigration Services. Through our online system, you'll need to fill out personal information, provide a close-up photo, and details about your passport.
Applying for an eVisa allows you to be well-prepared for your journey and ensures smooth entry to Dodoma and other locations in Tanzania without hassle at immigration. It's an essential step to fully enjoy your trip without any entry procedure concerns.