Located in the heartland of Tanzania, Dodoma is the nation’s official political capital and the seat of government in the country. Comparably, it is much smaller and less developed than the country’s commercial centre, Dar es Salaam. Dodoma remains a centre for national politics. Situated on the eastern edge of the southern highlands, the city of Dodoma is surrounded by a rich agricultural area and pleasant scenery. Dodoma has many places and items of interest to recommend to the passing visitor. It is the centre of Tanzania’s growing wine industry and the Tanganyika Vineyards Company is active in promoting its products.
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. In recent times, the town’s economic base has declined in favour of the coastal city, but in the early days of Tanzanian independence, there was a popular political motion to move the entire government to the town in the southern highlands. These days, the government legislature meets in Dodoma and divides its time between the inland city and Dar es Salaam on the coast.
For the explorer and site seer in Dodoma
1. Museum of GeoSciences
You will need to pay to play around in this museum but once you're in you'll get access to this rather forlorn collection of rock samples and geological information. Be warned this isn't the biggest drawcard to get anyone to visit a museum and you may not see anything that you would find particularly riveting. If you’re a fanatical rock hound, inquire at the Geological Survey of Tanzania Laboratory behind the post office.
2. Bunge - Tanzania Parliament Buildings
The home of Tanzania’s parliament is an African-influenced round building. It’s only open to visitors during sessions (and make sure to bring your passport), but well worth a look from the outside at other times. Please note that photography is strictly prohibited so don't say we didnt' warn you if you land up in hot water.
3. Gaddhaffi Mosque
Funded by the toppled Libyan dictator and opened in 2010, the pink Gaddhaffi Mosque can be found north of the centre is one of East Africa’s largest mosques. It can hold an impressive 4500 worshippers.
4. Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque
This mosque sits across the road from the Anglican Church. It was built back in 1954 and used exclusively by Dodoma’s Indian community, it has a distinctly British neoclassical design.
5. Anglican Church
In an interesting swapping of styles, the domed Anglican church in the town centre looks like something straight out of the Middle East.
6. Catholic Cathedral
West of the centre, the enormous Catholic Cathedral has Roman-style mosaics showing some saints, including the Ugandan Martyrs.
7. Lutheran Cathedral
Next door to the Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque, the Lutheran Cathedral is Dodoma's finest example of modernist architecture.
8. Nyerere Square
Can be found in the heart of the CBD in Dodoma. Nyerere Square was created in the memory of Mwl. Julius K. Nyerere, first president of the Republic of Tanzania, and has plenty of historical significance. It is worth making a stopover and spending your lunchtime there while snapping a few photos.
9. Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings
The Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings are a series of caves carved into the side of a hill looking out over the steppe. They are located approximately nine kilometres east of the main highway (T5) from Dodoma to Babati, about 20 km north of Kondoa town, in Kondoa District of Dodoma Region. The caves also contain paintings, some of which are believed by the Tanzania Antiquities Department to date back more than 50,000 years. The exact number of rock art sites in the Kondoa area is currently uncertain, however, estimates are of between 150 and 450 of the decorated rock shelters, perhaps you'll even discover a few new ones of your own.
10. Lion Rock
Lion Rock (also called Simba Hill or in Swahili, Mlimwa) is quite the verticle trek up a hill but once you reach the top the area gives you an unmatched aerial view of Dodoma from the northeast side of the region. Lion rock is one of the few landmarks in Dodoma you simply cannot miss out on during your stay. Hike the rocky path and enjoy a beautiful glimpse of the entire city of Dodoma. The Lion Rock Dodoma is a favourite hangout joint for groups of friends and families during the weekends.
Do it all in Dodoma
If you are lucky enough to land up in you officially have no excuse not to make the absolute most of your time there. We've given you the lay of the land now it's up to you to pick the experience that suits you and enjoy your time there to the utmost. If you feel we've missed an activity that should be added to the list please feel free to let us know on our social media accounts.