Book Flights to Dodoma

Dodoma – Tanzania

Close to Tanzania’s geographic centre lise its capital city, Dodoma. In 1973 it was decided that Dodoma would become Tanzania’s new capital, due to its central location, pleasant climate and room for expansion.It was only recently, though, that the government departments have been making the move to Dodoma. This has seen an increase in infrastructural and other developments, including frequency of flights, to the city.

It has a large university population and has been growing a lot, but it still has a small-town feeling.

The famous landmark in Dodoma, Lion Rock, resembles the pride rock from the movie the Lion King with a bit of imagination and can be climbed to enjoy the panoramic views of the town.

Tanzania’s burgeoning winelands are situated around Dodoma, with some if the wines acheving excellent ratings.

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Why visit Dodoma?

  • Visit Tanzania’s wineries and try some of the varieties including a local one called Makutupora
  • Hike up Lion Rock for some excellent panoramic views over town
  • Organise a trip to the prehistoric Kondoa Rock Art caves, considered to be among the oldest and most stylistically varied in Africa
  • Time zone: UTC / GMT +3
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TSh, often written as =/)
  • Driving: left-hand side of the road
  • Power Outlets: 220V-240V 50Hz. Plug types are ‘Type D & G (British)’
  • Closest airports: Dodoma Airport (DOD)
Best time to visit

Dodoma has a pleasant climate where it is warm during the day, but it cools off at night. Most rain falls between November and March, but it can be visited year-round.

Sights and sounds

Dodoma’s place on the map is as the capital of Tanzania and therefore important to governments and those involved. Other than the impressive landscape of its surroundings and its wines, it really is only a road to somewhere else.

But when you are in Dodoma, a hike to the top of Lion Rock, also known as Simba Hill (samba means lion in Swahili), is rewarded with excellent views over the town below and well worth the climb up, especially at sunset.

Also, make sure to taste some of the excellent wines as this is the only region in Tanzania where wine is grown due to its favourable climate. The most common grape varieties you see in Dodoma are Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. But it also grows a dry red grape variety called Makutupora, only found in Tanzania and well worth sampling.

It is possible to organise a trip from Dodoma to the Kondoa Rock Art caves, with the best work visible around a tiny village called Kolo. The rock art is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and for a good reason. It is a spectacular gallery of rock art, where naturally occurring shelters feature paintings of people, animals and hunting scenes from over two millennia. There are between 150 and 450 shelters, showing the changes in local people’s existence from hunter-gatherers to agro-pastoralists over time. They are still considered important in local culture and religious beliefs today.

The Kondoa Rock Art caves are approximately 180km to the north of Dodoma, so transport has to be organised as well as a guide. A guide is compulsory, but it would be hard to find the sites anyway without one. In Kolo you can pick up a guide and pay the entrance fee at the Tanzanian Antiquities office, or alternatively you can find tour operators in Babati or Kondoa who can arrange trips. It is possible to see some of the art sites in one long day from Dodoma, but to get a better impression it is best done as an overnight trip.

Dining and Dietary Considerations

Dodoma has a limited number of restaurants, but it is possible to find some local gems, including a few places which serve the traditional grilled pork (kiti moto).

For other local food head over to the Acacia bar and restaurant where they serve a variety of traditional dishes, including chipsi mayai (Swahili style potato-egg omelette) and nyama choma (grilled meat).

Western-style food is available at a pizzeria located just outside Dodoma, which serves fantastic Italian fare. It also has a children’s playground, mini golf course and occasionally screens a movie.

Close to the hospital there is a cafe specialising in over 12 different types of coffee. It also serves sandwiches, burgers, smoothies etc.

The New Dodoma hotel offers European, Tanzanian and Asian food.

Religious and Cultural considerations

It is estimated that nearly 20% of the population of Dodoma is Catholic. All other religions are also represented in Dodoma, with a high proportion of Christians and Muslims as well as other world faiths.

Whilst not extreme, there are cultural do’s and don’ts:

  • Shoes should always be removed when entering a home and place of worship
  • Dress modestly in public
  • Topless sunbathing and homosexuality is illegal

In some public places, the consumption of alcohol is not allowed.

When photographing people, always ask permission first and agree on payment if required. As a general rule, ask.

Cost of Living

Dodoma is a small destination with accommodation, transport, food and excursions for all budgets. Hotels range from high-end establishments to basic backpacking hostels.

This is what you can expect to pay in Dodoma for:

  • Domestic beer (0.5-litre bottle) in a supermarket – 2,333TSh
  • Imported beer in a supermarket (0.33-litre bottle) – 3,500TSh
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – 3,250Tsh
  • A bottle of coca cola / pepsi (0.33-litre bottle) – 1,000TSh
  • A small bottle of water (0.33-litre bottle) – 500TSh


  • Tanzania’s wines from the Dodoma region are now considered to be in the top five of Africa.
  • Dodoma’s means ‘Place of Sinking’ in the Gogo tribal language. Whether this refers to an elephant that became stuck in a swamp or locals dumping the remains of their neighbour’s cattle after eating them in an attempt to convince the owners that their beasts had become stuck, is still unclear.
  • Dodoma was originally a small thatched hut village of the Gogo tribe. In 1907 it was officially established during the German colonial period when they were building the Central Line railway across Tanzania.

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