Dodoma is in Central Tanzania.
In 1973, Dodoma was designated as the new political capital of Tanzania. New Parliament buildings were erected and plans were drafted to shift all government Ministry offices to Dodoma by the early 1980's. However, due to limited water supplies and other environmental factors, this proved impossible and the plan was all but forgotten. Most ministries and all embassies are still in Dar Es Salaam. Although Dodoma retains the title of capital city of Tanzania, government officials only travel to Dodoma for a few weeks each June when the government is in session.
Current President Mafuguli has initiated a large scale programme to move ministries from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. This means that the city experiences much construction and influx of new residents.
There are many daily buses from Dar es Salaam. Driving time is seven to eight hours with a stop in Morogoro. Luxury buses leave from Ubungo. Around 11 AM buses from Dar and Dodoma leave which are air conditioned and have more leg space.
There are buses to and from Arusha via Kondoa to the north as well as Singida and Mwanza. The road via Kondoa has been paved. The highway is known as the Great Northern Highway.
There are also buses to and from Iringa. Travel time is about 4 hours on paved road. The road passes right over the Mtera Dam which is worth a look.
Dodoma is situated on the Central Railway Line which goes from Dar Es Salaam to Mwanza or Kigoma. However, the train currently (March 2010) only operates between Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma due to damage near Tabora (see []). If you are in a hurry the better choice is by bus. If the train service is running again and you are heading west, train is better, especially in the rainy season.
Air Zara flies daily with the exception of Saturday between Dodoma and Dar es Salam for 250.000 TSH on Monday and Thursday, 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.
The airport has recently been upgraded and is expected to see much more activity in the near future. Air Tanzania is operating several weekly flights from Dar es Salaam with their brand new Bombardier turboprop aircrafts. Prices from 135,000 TSH
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 buses leave from the main stand near the Parliament buildings. Some companies, eg. Scandinavia, maintain their own bus stands.
Another way to get around is by bike. There are several places in town which sell or rent (5.000 TSH/day) bikes.
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/=. Drinks are unreasonably expensive, at 2,000/= for a Kilimanjaro domestic beer.
VETA has good food, when they eventually bring it to you, but choice can be limited unless you are there during Parliament sessions. Prices are reasonable.
Nam Hotel also has excellent food, at reasonable prices. It's on the other side of the airfield.
Aladin's Cave Market Street near Victory Bookshop, good milk shakes, home made ice cream, yoghurt, Pizza and Burgers. Opening hours 9.30 AM -1.00 PM and 3.00PM - 6.00 PM.
Roses's Cafe next to Cana Lodge, good and cheap Indian food (from 2.000 TSH, Thali 5.000 TSH), popular with expats, mon-sat 8-2 & 6-10.
Leone l'Africano Area C north of the airfield, great original Italian pizza and pasta in an atmospheric setting, playground for kids. midget golf. Closed on Mondays. Once every two weeks on Wednesday there is movie night. (see: http://www.dodomacineclub.info)
Dodoma Carneval is a new somewhat upmarket restuarant just across to the bus station and close to parliament. They serve various Tanzanian and a few Chinese and Indian dishes. There is a stage with live music on Fridays.
There are two great places for traditional grilled pork (kiti moto). One is down the road from VETA at the highway junction. A kilo of meat with kachumbari salad will cost about 2500/=. The other is on the other side of the airfield at Jacana Park. Prices comparable. Hold your ears when they slaughter the pig.
There are places with atmosphere, fresh and tasty food, on the Uhindini Road, across from Victory Bookshop, at reasonable prices.
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.
There are numerous guest houses of varying quality and a rapidly growing number of smaller hotels, so shopping around is becoming increasingly possible.