Located in the southern highlands of Tanzania, the city of Dodoma is surrounded by lush, fertile lands and has a perfect climate for agriculture. Both local and foreign visitors are attracted to the town as it has many interesting sites and captivating wine industry. Indeed one of its biggest employers is the Tanganyika Vineyards Company.
Historically the place acted as a stopover on the overland caravan routes that traveled from the coast towards Lake Tanganyika. It became a major rail transport hub with a line that carried agricultural produce to the port of Dar es Salaam for export. But its economic fortunes appear to have dwindled in recent years with the rapid growth of the coastal city’s transport and industrial infrastructure. So what remains in Dodoma is the seat of government, Bunge, and a few tourist attractions. If you’re visiting Dodoma for the first time, here are 5 best things to do:
1 Explore the sites
Spice up your tour of Dodoma city with a visit to the following locations:
- Museum of GeoSciences
- Gaddafi Mosque
- Tanzania Parliament Building
- The Anglican Church
- JamatKhanaIsmaili Mosque
- The Catholic Church
- Lutheran Cathedral
- Nyerere Museum
2 Visit the Lion Rock
For those keen for an aggressive walk climbing uphill, then the Lion Rock is the ideal place to visit in Dodoma. A visit to the top gives you an unparalleled view of Dodoma city and the surrounding areas. This is one landmark in Dodoma that you cannot miss. Climb to the pekk and enjoy a fantastic view of the plains and farmlands.
3 Visit Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings
To reach Kondoa Irangi Rock paintings, visit the location between Singida and Irangi hills in Kondoa Irangi Village. It is about 22 km north of Kondoa, about 10 km off the Kondoa Arusha Highway and about 280 km from Arusha.
This area is home to one of the world’s most beautiful collection of prehistoric paintings and holds an estimated 1,600 pictures covering a span of 200 different sites. The most accessible route to access the area is to the north of Kondoa town. The figures represent both hunter-gatherers and agro-pastoralists communities who date back over 1,500 years, and this historical site is the latest Tanzania’s World Heritage site. The main attractions are:
- 1 Symbols paintings
- 2 Traditional ritual beliefs
- 3 Decorated shelters.
4 Taste local food
There are many places where you can grab a meal including some wonderful pizzas. You can also sample a selection of local wines. Below are a few places to visit for quality food:
If you have a sweet tooth and need something to satisfy your craving, you should visit Aladdin’s Cave. This is both a candy store and soda fountain in Dodoma downtown. They also serve vegetable burgers and pizzas. The portions are large and it’s the right place to fill up before embarking on a tour of surrounding areas.
2 New Dodoma Hotel
The New Dodoma Hotel offers visitors an international menu with a selection of pizzas, fish and chips, fajitas and dhal tadka. Both local and Indian recipes on offer are quite popular, and their outdoor Barbeque Village grills up large selections of meats to be served at dinner time. You can also visit the Chinese Restaurant within the hotel where you will be spoilt for choice at their sumptuous menus.
3 Dodoma Wimpy
If burgers are your thing, then Dodoma Wimpy is for you. They offer a wide selection of burgers along with the usual accompaniment of snacks and local cuisine. You can get Indian inspired burgers like Bhaji and chicken biryani.
4 KRose’s Café
KRose’s Cafe specialize in East African cuisine and also offer a wide range of Indian dishes and their prices are also pocket-friendly. If you’re visiting on a budget, then this is the place for you. It is quite popular with diners, and there are times when it’s impossible to get a table.
VETA is Dodoma’s entertainment spot of choice. Apart from offering a quiet place for soft music and drinks, they also provide good food. Be warned of the slow service, however. So you may need to be patient as your order is getting prepared. It is one of the favored spots by Tanzanian Bunge, and their prices are also reasonable.
5 Visit local villages
You can check out the local communities in and around Dodoma and discover how the other half lives. You can find unusual handmade artifacts and crafts that can make your trip a memorable experience. Taste the food, interact with the friendly locals and watch them work on their farms.
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