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Revision as of 19:08, 28 February 2013
Morogoro is a city in the Central Tanzania region of Tanzania.
Morogoro is the administrative capital of Morogoro Region. It is located two and a half hours from Dar es Salaam on an excellent tarmac road. There are many old German buildings in the city, which dates back to the colonial period. The city is located at the base of the Ulughuru Mountains, which make it an ideal base for hikers and campers. There are many missionary groups active in the Morogoro region.There are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Morogoro, with focus on HIV/AIDS, environment, education, orphans and vulnerable children, to name a few. Faraja Trust Fund  is one of the better-known NGOs in Morogoro.
There is a grass airstrip in the Kihonda area, but there is no scheduled flight service to Morogoro.
The train station is close to the town center, with service to/from points west. For travel to/from Dar es Salaam, bus service is much more convenient.
The roads from Morogoro to Dar es Salaam, Iringa, and Dodoma are paved and generally in good condition, making Morogoro easy to get to by car. The travel time between city boundaries is fairly short (about 2-2.5 hours) but depending on where and at what time you depart in Dar es Salaam it can take you more than one hour to get out of Dar in the first place. If you can, avoid driving out of Dar in the late afternoon (from 4pm) or into Dar in the early morning (up to 9am) as you will otherwise drive along with commuter traffic which in a city like Dar can be complete mayhem.
The Morogoro bus stand is called Msamvu and is a 10 minute dala-dala ride from downtown. From Msamvu, you can get buses to almost anywhere in Tanzania. Multiple bus lines go to and from the Ubungo bus stand in Dar. Hood and Abood are popular lines, cost TSh 6,000 as of August 2008, and leave about every half hour. Other lines, such as Saddiq, run less frequently but may cost less. From town, to get to Msamvu, take the "Kihonda" daladala from the central daladala stand; or just tell them at the dala stand that you're going to the bus stand, they'll sort you out.
The hoteli/restaurant next to the bus stand, "Makuti", is not bad, and is a nice place to escape the hustlers, avoid the rain, and have a refreshing beverage.
Taxis in Morogoro are plentiful. They should have white plates and a painted marker on the side indicating the local license number. From Msamvu to downtown should cost no more than 2,000. From Msamvu to the Teacher College is around 3,000; to Dragonaire's 2,500. Be prepared to pay more at night.
- China +255 754 319 322; speaks English
- Anaseli +255 754 753 619; works very late
- Godfrey +255 713 752 626; is friendly and speaks English
Daladalas are minibuses that serve local routes. They generally leave when full (all seats plus standing passengers).
The dala stand is in the center of downtown (see map). Local dalas are TSh 300 as of August 2008; long-distance dalas are more. If you're not sure which route to take, just tell the conductors at the standi where you want to go; they will generally help you out if you need directions, though you might have to try more than one to find someone who can help.
- Hindu Temple, Railway Rd. Beautiful Hindu temple. Prayers with Prasadam every Saturday.
- The main market is colorful and interesting but a little claustrophobic and cramped, definitely worth a visit if you haven't seen it. See the entry in the "Buy" section (below).
- The Chilunga Cultural Tourism Program  is run by a local NGO. They can arrange guided hikes in the hills to the south of the town, visits to local villages, and trips to Mikumi National Park. The community is directly involved in designing and organizing the cultural tours, and the income generated is used to fund development and conservation projects. Their office is on Rwegasore Street, opposite Morogoro Hospital Main Gate, in the YWCA Campus.
HIKING CAN BE DANGEROUS without a guide; robberies/muggings are not unheard of.
- Watu Safaris (T) Ltd (Traveling with Purpose), P.O.Box 2168 (Opposite Misufini Primary School), ☎ +255754947671, . Is a travel company based in Morogoro town. They organize tailor made safaris to the Southern Tanzania National Parks such as Mikumi, Udzungwa, Ruaha, Katavi and the Selous Game Reserve. Also they organize cultural tourism programs in Morogoro and the nearby Dodoma region, Zanzibar tours, healthcare placements at Morogoro regional hospital and other special interests safaris. They can also make free hotel reservations around Tanzania and East Africa on request. It is favorite for day safaris to Mikumi National Park.
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended in Morogoro - there are mosquitos all year long. If you'll be in town for a while, it might be worth investing in a self-test kit; some people suspect that local clinics have an incentive to report false positives, in order to sell you medicine.
- Aga Khan Clinic On the Boma Road, on the right heading from the daladala stand towards the mountains. Probably the best clinic in town, but limited mostly to working hours.
- Shalom Mazimbu Clinic Not close to town, but open 24 hours. Take a taxi, they should know where it is.
- Regional Hospital (see map) The largest hospital in the region. Can be crowded/overloaded.
Contrary to what your bank might tell you, you will need the original receipt in order to cash traveller's cheques. A Visa or MasterCard ATM card is a much easier way to get cash.
- NBC (see map) At the Posta roundabout.
- CRDB (see map) On the Old Dar Es Salaam Road between Posta and the Daladala stand. New branch now at Sokoine University.
- NMB (see map) Near the market. ATM may not work with foreign/external accounts.
- Barclay's From the Daladala stand, go towards Msamvu on the main road. It is a few stores past Pira's, across from Exim Bank. Their machines also accept MAESTRO Cards (useful for accessing European banks).
- Exim Bank From the Daladala stand, go towards Msamvu on the main road. It is across from Barclay's.
- BOA Bank, Madaraka road (At Luna house), ☎ +255-717 296 363.
- Agnes +255 754 010 953 At the New Acropol Hotel (see map) does manicures, pedicures, waxing, and massage.
Ask around; many ex-pats get their hair cut by folks for whom it's an informal business. If you want African hairstyles (braiding) there are lots of places in town. Be advised, it takes a long time and is hard on thin hair.
- A Cut Above, (Up Boma Road, past the mosque, on the left), ☎ +255 754 291 408. Ms. Rahma has a following for men's haircuts.
There is a gym on the second floor of the Simba Oil petrol station, on the road from the daladala stand to Msamvu, on the left. Aerobics, treadmills, weights, pool table.
- Oasis Hotel has a swimming pool for TSh3,000/= per day.
- Morogoro International School (found near the main bus stand and Mambo Club) has a full-sized pool. The cost for non-members is TSh4,000/= per day. The tennis courts and children's play areas are also available for use to paying customers at the weekends.
- Morogoro Hotel (found near VETA on Rwegashora Rd) has a lovely pool. The cost is 4000/= per day
- New Savoy Hotel On the station road past Oasis Hotel. Live music most weekends. Not safe to walk after dark. Best to go in a group to avoid hassles.
- Ze Klub / Ze Pub On the Boma Road towards the mountain. Take a taxi, not safe to walk. THE posh club outside of Dar/Arusha. Disco! Air conditioned, dance floor, lights, decent bar, cover charge.
There are two tobacco processing plants in Morogoro.
- Morogoro International School  hires qualified teachers for two year contracts.
There are many "safi dukas" in town; the following are just highlights.
- Main Market, (see map). open during daylight. Morogoro has one of the best produce markets in Tanzania, because Morogoro is fertile and at a major crossroads. A wide variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats are available. It is on the Old Dar Es Salaam Road, to the west of the daladala stand. If you accept a plastic bag from a child, you are agreeing to buy it (TSh50-100/=). Bag vendors will also carry your groceries as you shop if you let them, and expect a tip.
- Saba-Saba Market. open during daylight. This market is on the west side of the town; follow the Old Dar Es Salaam Road past the main market, go over the small bridge; at the SUA roundabout, bear to the right; the street dead-ends into a row of shops. The entrance is roughly where the road ends, leading behind the shops. It is full of stalls selling all kinds of stuff, mostly very inexpensive used clothes, linens. Sundays is a great day to go. BE CAREFUL of pick-pockets.
- Pira's Cash and Carry, (see map), ☎ +255 23 261 3310. Pira is one of the nicest mini-markets in town, carrying a wide variety of packaged goods, canned food, housewares. A decent candy selection, frozen meats, and liquor as well, but limited produce. It is one block to the north of the daladala stand.
- Gapco Supermarket, ☎ +255 754 478 000. This store is on the second floor of the GapCo petrol station, on the west side of the road about mid-way between town and the bus stand. It carries many of the same goods as Pira's, except liquor, and a large selection of housewares. Often open a bit later than Pira's, but with slightly higher prices.
- Murad's Supermarket 1, (on the second floor of the MT Petrol station, just east of the bridge near the dala stand), ☎ +255 713 899 799. 8AM-8PM every day. A decent supermarket in the center of downtown and stays open late.
- Murad's Supermarket 2, (on the corner near Sofia Hotel). 8AM to 8:30PM. A second store run by Murad's, closer to central downtown, but with a smaller selection.
There are a number of electronics stores around the daladala stand, on the road towards Msamvu. The following are just some tested larger stores. All of these stores have English-speaking staff.
Note that many electronics goods are counterfeit; the better stores will ask if you want original or "Chinese" (never mind that the originals are also made in China). Also bargaining is strongly recommended. Used goods are available at saba-saba market and can be a bargain (though they can also be stolen).
- Malaika, (see map - Behind the daladala stand). Offering a wide range of electronics including cell phones, stereos, even furniture. Worth a visit just to see what they have. They also have a parts store roughly across from Blue Room Restaurant.
- Jamils, (Opposite the CRDB). Wide variety of appliances, stereos. Also blank CDs, and pre-recorded CDs & DVDs; they're almost all pirated, so heads up if that's an issue for you.
- Net Dot Computers, (On the left side of Old Dar Es Salaam Road going from Posta to the Market). A very nice computer store, with complete systems, parts, peripherals, toner cartridges, blank media, etc. Friendly staff.
- Nizz, Box 202 (going from the dala stand towards Msamvu, on the right before Pira's), ☎ +255 715 515 970, +255 773 515 970 ([email protected]). Cell phones & accessories.
- Kanunu Electronics, (beside Barclays Bank on Lumumba Road), ☎ +255 713 511 115 and +255 784 511 115. Electronic parts and appliances.
Saba-saba market on weekends is good for used clothes.
There are sidewalk tailors all over town who can make you custom clothes at a good price. Finding a good one is a matter of networking or trial-and-error. The tailor to the far left of the stadium entrance is rumored to be good, but only speaks Kiswahili.
There are nice fabric stores around Blue Room restaurant and on the Old Dar Es Salaam Road between the daladala stand and the market, and generally around town.
Indian-style clothes for women are available at some fancier stores in town. They can be expensive, but gorgeous.
Vikoi (woven wraps) are rumored to be available from a mamas group (a sisterhood of nurturing women who often are culturally aware, spiritually aware, and creators of arts and crafts) in the dukas (a group of stands or stalls often with a roof and open front) across the parking lot from the CCM regional office at Sabasaba market. Our source says that if your timing is good, you can watch vikoi being woven. A good price might be TSh8,000/=.
There is a jewelery store next to Symbus Kitchen Point (see map) that is recommended by long-time residents.
On Friday nights there are often crafts vendors at Dragonaire's (see Eat listing).
There is sometimes a carving vendor outside Pira's (see listing under Food above).
There is a group of wood carvers next to the Tiot station, on the Iringa road, just near Mazimbu. A taxi driver should be able to find it. Don't forget to bargain.
Joyce sells crafts, including carvings, baskets, and paintings, most days at The New Acropol Hotel (see Eat listing below).
- Mama Chamu's (aka Gilligan's): (see map) As you approach the stadium from the post office, it's pretty hard to miss; it's the really big thatched roof. Standard Tanzanian fare: Rice and beans, ugali, etc. Some of the least expensive food in town. Small but flavorful mishkaki, and the grill guy is friendly. Otherwise, surly service - Swahili recommended.
- Lucky Star: (see map) From the daladala stand, walk towards Kihonda. Take a right at Pira's, then it's just around the corner on the left at the next street. [The entrance used to be on the same street as Pira's, but has moved around the corner, same building.] Cheap "bites" such as Egg Chops (strangely delicious hard boiled eggs wrapped in spiced meat), sambusas, things that are almost as good as croissants, potato chops (spiced ground beef in potato hash) and even a pre-packaged ice cream and soda in a can. Also really good fresh juice. Sometimes closes for prayers. Good atmosphere to sit and write letters, etc. Often quiet and nice, but at mealtimes can be quite busy.
- Blue Room: Walk from the posta towards the market and turn right on the corner with the mattress store (the corner after the safi duka and the streets with the internet cafes). It's about a block, and on your left. Standard Tanzanian fare: Mishikaki, rice and beans, chipsi kuku, ugali, etc. Menu sometimes not reliable - You basically eat what they've got. Most of what they've got is good though, so definitely worth a shot.
- High Classic Hotel: From the dala stand, take the main road towards Msamvu/Kihonda, on the left before the next roundabout. Good Tanzanian fare, a step up from Blue Room.
- Bakery at Dala Stand: Cross the street from the dala stand and enter the gas station area. Its tucked in the far corner on the left. Great little bakery with a variety of cakes and biscuits. They occasionally have apples.
- Yemen Restaurant: Just past the bakery (above) if you're walking toward Gapco from the daladala stand. Good Tanzanian fare. This is the best restaurant which provides the best food, many people speak of that. Go there and see whether or not you agree.
- Street Chicken: (see map) Outside the New Green Restaurant (see below) Chicken, mishkaki, chipsi, cheap. No alcohol. English spoken.
- Heart Snacks: (see map) From the dala stand, cross the Old Dar Es Salaam road and go down the alley to the right of the gas station. It's on the right. A pleasant courtyard seating area, with various windows: bar, grill guy selling mishkaki and chips; mamas selling rice, beans, ugali, nyama choma (roasted meat), fruit. Also many vendors on foot selling all kinds of stuff - it's like going to the mall, except the mall comes to you. Swahili recommended.
There are many more local restaurants, these are just some tested favorites.
All restaurants in the category have servers that speak English.
- New Acropol Hotel +255 754 309 410  (see map) Serves a varied, continental-style menu, with great specials. Possibly the fanciest place in town. Great atmosphere, with colonial decor, billiards, huge bar, a beautiful front porch, and an open-air patio. Excellent chips/fries, nachos. Co-located spa offers manicures, pedicures, massages. A handful of upscale rooms are available. Walking from the dala stand, head East on the Old Dar Es Salaam road. Go past the posta roundabout, around the bend to the left, past the cathedral, and it's on the left across from the Seventh Day Adventist church. Joyce sells crafts outside most days.
- New Green Restaurant (see map) A family place offering great continental and Indian food. Walking from the dala stand, cross the bridge on the Old Dar Es Salaam road. Bear left onto Station Road. It's on the left across from the town hall.
- Mama Pierina's (see map) Serves Italian, Greek, and local food. Full bar available. It has a wonderful wrap-around porch and a good backpacker scene. Uluguru mountains back drop. Guest rooms available and recently refurbished at reasonable prices. Walking from the dala stand, go past the New Green Restaurant (above) on Station Road, pass the mosque and Hindu temple on the left, it's on the right. Lovely owner always there to assist in any way she can- a good laugh, advice, recommendations etc. Please contact Dimitra Hatzis daughter of Mama Pierina on Phone: +255 786 786913 and +255 713 786913. Email: [email protected]
- Oasis Hotel +255 23 261 4178  (see map) Offers a massive (10 pages) menu of Indian and Chinese food, as well as Tanzanian food, at reasonable prices, and always fresh. Coldest beers in town, with a full bar. Outdoor seating (bring bug spray). Large hotel with 30+ rooms available. Swimming pool. Frequently hosts conferences & events. Walking from town onto Station Road, it's just past Mama Pierina's right next door to each other(above).
- Dragonaire's (see map) Offers a substantial and varied menu during the week. Fridays and Sundays, they have renowned pizza and a small specials menu. Friday nights are very popular with local ex-pats, and there is often a crafts vendor. There is satellite TV, billiards, and a magnificent view of the mountains. All seating is outdoors (bring bug spray). Sometimes has live music. Four rooms are available, and have been renovated in early 2009; with breakfast, price is Tsh60,000 for a double. It is a bit far to walk from town, and not safe to walk after dark. By dala, take the "Bigwa" or "Pangawe" dala and get off at "rombo". Walk up the road about 7 minutes, it's on the left. By taxi, just ask for it by name, as of August 2008 it should be about TSh3,000/= from town. Near CCT and St. Thomas if you're staying there.
- Arc Hotel +255 23 2600250 is close to Dragonaires about 2 kms from the city centre between the old and new Morogoro roads (see map on http://archotel-tz.com). The hotel restaurant offers indoor as well as open-air service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with local, Indian, Chinese, and international specialties. The hotel rooms are all with view towards the Uluguru Mountains. Prices are Tsh85,000 for a double and Tsh60,000 for a single room, incl full breakfast.
- Morogoro Hotel Ltd +255 23 2613270-2 
There are dukas and hotelis all over downtown Morogoro, and scattered throughout the neighborhoods. Many have "bites", simple food like mishkaki (shishkebab), chipsi mayai (french fry omlette), chips, peanuts, kitimoto (fried pork), etc. Like bars everywhere, each has a unique atmosphere and cohort of regulars. The night of a big football/soccer match can be fun, but also raucous, if the bar has a TV with the sports channel.
- Juice ya Miwa - Sugar cane juice. On the road from the daladala stand to Msamvu, on the left across from Barclay's bank, between Alif bookshop and Exim bank. TSh300/= for a glass. If you bring an empty bottle you can take some away with you for later.
- Sofia Hotel Ltd +255 23 260 8478, +255 741 334 421, +255 744 290 733, +255754996667. Across from Matunda internet (see contact section below) and next to Abood Bus Head Office. Extremely clean, inexpensive rooms, self-contained and air conditioned,very well maintained by hospitality professionals and graduate of Utalii College, safe and quiet place, best value for money. As of June 2012 there are double rooms available for 25,000 / 30,000 / 35,000 / 45,000 TSH. Breakfast is included.
- Vanilla Lodge +255 23 260 1303, +255 717 009 308 On the Old Dar Es Salaam Road, to the west of the market; go over the small bridge, it's on the right, just past Tex Palace. Self-contained rooms with refrigerator, fan, cable, dvd player, and television. As of Aug 2008, TSh20,000/= per night.
- Tex Palace PO Box 864 +255 23 260 0044 On the Old Dar Es Salaam road, to the west of the market; go over the small bridge, it's on the left, just before Vanilla Lodge. Self-contained rooms with fan, cable TV.
- Longido Hotel PO Box 894 +255 786 700 010, +255 713 200 351, +255 763 641 118. Msamvu area, opposite Cobil petrol station. Self-contained singles from TSh 25,000/=, Deluxe rooms from TSh 40,000/=. Restaurant, guarded car park. No alcohol (but dukas are nearby).
See the 'higher end' restaurant section above; most of the establishments listed there also have rooms available.
For maximum safety, don't walk around after dark - take a taxi. But in general, if there are many people around, it's usually safe to walk about downtown in the evening. Being in a large group is safer than walking alone.
There is a pay-as-you-go phone kiosk (actually a pre-fab container) at the dala stand. By far the most convenient, if you will stay in Morogoro for a while, is to get a GSM phone (starting at TSh50,000/=) (or bring an unlocked one with you) and get a local pre-paid phone line (TSh500/= to TSh3,000, depending on promotions and provider). There are at least four providers: Zain (was CelTel), Vodacom, Zantel, and Tigo. Each provider has different plans; for example, in one Zain per-second plan, local calls are about TSh5/second, and international calls around TSh7.5/second. If your phone has internet, Vodacom has excellent data rates.
The main post office in Morogoro ("posta") is on the edge of downtown - see map above. From the dala stand, walk along the Old Dar Es Salaam Road east, past the town hall ("munispaa") to the posta roundabout.
There are a number of internet cafes in town, with more appearing all the time. Rates vary between TSh500/= and TSh1,000/= per hour. Speed is generally slow.
- Valentine's At the stadium, to the right of the main entrance.
- Matunda From the dala stand, walk west towards the market; take the first right; half-way down the street on the right.
- Posta Facing the front, walk around the corner to the right - it's in the same building.
- Chaungi Investment Located at CCM Wilaya, opposite Blue Room Restaurant. Fast, safe and reliable surfing. Voice, video and text chatting services, as well as laser color printing, bulk photocopies, and other services.