Dodoma ("it has sunk") is the capital city of Tanzania. This is a country on the continent of Africa. An administrative centre for the Dodoma region. Dodoma has been the capital of Tanzania since 1996. This is the time Dar es Salaam relinquished this status, but retained its status as the commercial capital of the country. Dodoma is situated in eastern Africa, about 480 km inland from the Indian Ocean. The city is a market centre for peanuts (groundnuts), castor beans, sunflower seeds, gum, corn (maize), rice, wheat, coffee, tea, tobacco, and sorghum. Coffee and sisal are grown in the northern part of the region, and cattle raring also occur. Industries include wood and furniture, beverages, processed food, milled rice and flour, soap, and oil.
The Municipality of Dodoma is located at the south eastern end of the Tanzania Central Plateau at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level. The town is located at the geographical centre of the country on the vital Central Railway line; and on major crossroad of the National East West trunk road and the famous north to south Cape to Cairo Great North Road, which passes in Tanzania through Mbeya, Iringa, Dodoma, Babati and Arusha.
The Location of Dodoma
The town is 465 kilometers from Dar-es-Salaam, and 425 kilometers from Arusha situated at 6o south of the Equator. The total area earmarked for the Capital Development Area is 276,910 hectares, radiating 30-40 kilometers in each direction from the present centre of the town. The area involved includes the area earmarked for urbanization to a population of 1,000,000; future international Airport, underground water catchment area; agriculture and livestock grazing area, afforestation and conservation areas; and other necessary institutional and service facilities.
The Climate in Dodoma
The Dodoma region is characterized by broad upland plains which are part of East African‘s Central Plateau. The Plains shelve gently down to mbuga swamps and separated by ranges of hills and punctuated by inselbergs, prominent, isolated rock outcrops. In their natural state, the plains are marked by open grassland with little or no tree or bush cover. Due to the erratic nature of the rains and strong radiant heat of the sun, much of the grass is sparse, except in the low lying areas. Most common, however, are wooded grassland and bushland with thickets. These types of ground cover represent the majority in Dodoma area. In many areas they are typified by groups of enormous baobab trees. The bush tends to be leafless and drab in the dry season, but springs to luxuriant life during the rains when the whole countryside turns a brilliant green. Woodlands form the remainder of the area, with the heaviest concentrations on the hills of the region.
The Dodoma hills rise about 400 meters above the general level of plans. They are of great charm, with gentle valleys dividing them, such as Ntyuka and Luaha valleys. Bounding the northerly plain to the North east are the more mountainous Hombolo Hills, rising 900 meters above the plan. From the site of the capital these appear as a massive wall. This encompasses the plain, fascinating in their changing moods and colors.
Things to Do in Dodoma
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.
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.
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.
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.
In an interesting swapping of styles, the domed Anglican church in the town centre looks like something straight out of the Middle East.
West of the centre, the enormous Catholic Cathedral has Roman-style mosaics showing some saints, including the Ugandan Martyrs.
Next door to the Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque, the Lutheran Cathedral is Dodoma's finest example of modernist architecture.
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.
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.
Lion Rock (also called Simba Hill or in Swahili, Mlimwa) is quite the vertical 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 favorite hangout joint for groups of friends and families during the weekends.
|Languages spoken||English, Kiswahili|
|Currency used||Tanzania Shillings (TSH)|
|Area (km2)||41,311 km²|