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Travel Guide Africa Tanzania Dodoma

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Introduction

Dodoma is the capital of Tanzania, having taken over the official role of the former capital Dar es Salaam. Although plans to move the capital date back to 1973, Tanzania's National Assembly moved to Dodoma only in 1996, but still many government offices remain in Dar es Salaam. It is located in the centre of the country, almost 500 kilometres away from the coast and mount Kilimanjaro. With continuing growth nowadays, it has about 400,000 inhabitants. Few travellers really visit this place and actually it is far less attractive and bustling than let's say Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

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Weather

Dodoma has a warm tropical climate. Temperatures are between 26 °C and 31 °C during the day, the warmest being October to December. Nights average between 13 °C in July to 18 °C between November and April. May to October is extremely dry with almost no rain, while December to March has slightly over 100 mm of rain a month.

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Getting There

By Plane

Air Zara flies daily with the exception of Saturday between Dodoma and Dar es Salaam for 250,000 TSH on Monday and Thursday, and also to Mbeya. Tickets can be bought at the New Dodoma Hotel. Mission Aviation Fellowships' (MAF) small planes fly throughout the country; they have a regular shuttle between Dodoma and Arusha every Monday and also fly regularly to Nairobi and Mbeya. It is also possible to join other flights; for more information see their website and subscribe to their Joiner List.

By Train

Dodoma is served by the Central railway line which connects it with Dar es Salaam in the east, a painfully slow and long train trip of almost 500 kilometres.

By Bus

A road connects Dodoma to the east with the former capital of Dar es Salaam and to the west, there are roads to Mwanza and Kigoma going through Tabora. In the northern direction there are good road links with the city of Arusha.
There are also buses to and from Iringa. Travel time is about six hours on a winding gravel road of varying quality. The road passes right over the Mtera Dam, which is worth a look.

===By Boat===

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Getting Around

There are many minibuses (dala dala) in Dodoma and getting around is easy. Taxis are plentiful too. There are three bus stations: city, at a place called Jamatini; medium distance, at the Saba Saba bus stand, to moderate-distance places such as Mpwapwa and Mvumi. Long-distance busses leave from the main stand near the Parliament buildings. Some companies, e.g. Scandinavia, maintain their own bus stands.

Another way to get around is by bike. There are several laces in town which sell or rent (5.000 TSH/day) bikes.

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Eat

New Dodoma Hotel has excellent European, Tanzanian, and Asian food. There is also a Chinese restaurant of excellent quality (the owners are Chinese). Meals begin around 3000/= at the snack bar and go up to 12,000/=.

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Drink

NK Disco operates on Friday nights and is popular with the younger set. A nice place to have a quiet drink and watch TV is at VETA.

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Sleep

For those on a budget CCT hostel, near the roundabout has clean double rooms, self-contained toilet, for 6000/=. Breakfast is included, but very basic. They do make an excellent omelet. Upscale is the Nam Hotel, across the airfield. Clean doubles, satellite TV, and good food for 18,000/=.

A bit up market is VETA, out near the Parliament. In fact MPs often stay there. Clean doubles (24,000/=) and singles (12,000/=) self contained, and a very nice TV bar, where you can rub elbows with important people. Food takes a long time, so order early.

The New Dodoma Hotel is across the street from the railway station. Excellent quality double rooms for 50,000/= and excellent food as well. They have a pool.

There are numerous guest houses of varying quality; Shukrani is nice but noisy (6,000/=)located right near a mosque, where you will be awoken by the morning call to prayer. There are also a rapidly growing number of smaller hotels, so shopping around is becoming increasingly possible.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Major tourist areas and cities have internet cafes and many hotels offer (free) wifi nowadays. Connections can be slower at more remote places.
Also safari oriented places offer some sort of internet connections as well, by computers or wifi.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).

There are four cell providers in Tanzania: Zain (the major one), Zantel, Vodacom and Tigo, who all offer roaming facilities. Connections are good in Tanzania, even in places such as Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and some parts of the Serengeti (the western and northern region of the Serengeti not). You can buy the prepaid cards in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. You can even buy a cell phone while in Tanzania. The price for a simple cell phone ranges between $55 and $80.

Avoid roaming charges with you home cellphone and turn it off. Instead, use a local SIM card or just wifi.

Post

Tanzania Posts Corporation is the national postal services of Tanzania. There are post offices in most major cities and towns throughout the country, which are generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Services are generally quite reliable though not very fast. Prices for international airmal services start at around 500-600 TSHS to other countries in East Africa and 700-900 TSHS to Europe and North America for postcards and letters up to 20 grams. Small packages start at around 2,000-3,000 TSHS, but it's generally better to do business with international parcel services like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx.

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Contributors

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This is version 9. Last edited at 19:39 on May 26, 17 by hasbeen. 3 articles link to this page.

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