Tourism in the Dodoma region
Dodoma has a truly privileged location at the heart of Tanzania. From here roads lead in all directions to popular nature reserves in the central part of the country, to the green south, or to the north of Tanzania, where the most popular tourist destinations are concentrated.
National Parks and Reserves near Dodoma
The closest national park to Dodoma is Ruaha, Tanzania’s second largest park after Nyerere National Park. More broadly, Ruaha is a part of the Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes the famous Rungwa Reserve (Rungwa Game Reserve) as well as Kizigo and Muhesi reserves and the MBOMIPA Wildlife Management Area. In fact, a part of Ruaha Park is located in one of the southern areas of the Dodoma region.
Ruaha is home to both the Lesser and Greater Kudu – beautiful antelopes with large spiraling horns. Other species of antelope, including Grant’s gazelle, are also found here. Elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyena dogs, and other animals live in large populations in the park. There are huge hippos thriving in the waters of the great Ruaha River. Moreover, the park is inhabited by more than 500 species of birds! Apart from the stunningly diverse wildlife, there are interesting archeological sites and many discoveries of ancient rock art have been made here.
The northernmost area of the Dodoma region contains a part of Tarangire National Park, which is often called the “little Serengeti”. Tarangire is home to a large number of elephants, for which the park is also known as “The Paradise of Elephants”. These animals look very organic next to the majestic baobabs in the valley of the Tarangire River. Zebras and giraffes stroll through the trees, warthogs scurry to and fro, and herds of beautiful impalas run wild. Lions, buffalo, cheetahs, and large eland antelopes are not so rare here either, as well as many other animal species.
Elephants stroll through Tarangire Park
The Swagaswaga Game Reserve in the Dodoma region is home to elephants, warthogs, and very cute duikers – small antelopes native to sub-Saharan Africa. Many other species of antelope thrive in this park too. Another reserve here is Mkungunero Game Reserve, which is a part of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem, where you can see the cow antelope kongoni, giraffe gazelle (gerenuk), hyena, warthog, baboons, zebra, elephant, lion, and other animals.
If you have plans to visit the most popular protected areas in Tanzania, such as the famous Serengeti National Park, the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the main peak of Africa – Kilimanjaro and its surroundings, and other natural attractions of northern Tanzania, write to our managers, and we will create the perfect program for your trip to Africa with safari and other activities!
Rock Art in Kondoa
Dodoma region is famous for its historical monuments inherited from the ancient tribal cultures that lived in these territories. The list of national historic sites in Tanzania includes two locations where archaeologists have discovered rock paintings. They are located in the areas of Kondoa and Baja.
The Kondoa rock art is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kondoa is located about 150 kilometers north of Dodoma, in the direction of Babati. The drawings can be found on the so-called Masai escarpment (a reference point is the Kolo Rock Museum & Tourist Information Center in the village of Kolo). The ancient paintings are quite numerous and are scattered over a wide area.
In this place, scientists have found from 150 to 450 shelters with rock art left by the people of the Sandawe and Maasai tribes. You can learn a lot of interesting information about the culture and traditions of the most famous African people – the Maasai – in our article with beautiful pictures. Ancient Maasai and Sandave artists depicted hunting scenes, tribal rituals, and other traditions of their peoples on the rock walls. If you want to read more about the rock art of Africa and at Kondoa in particular, here’s a wonderfully detailed article about it.
The Kondoa rock art collection consists of individual paintings scattered on the walls of stone shelters, shallow caves, and cliffs. Most often, there are depictions of people performing certain rituals or daily activities. Sometimes we can see silhouettes of animals painted on the rock as well. As a rule, ancient artists either wished to depict the life of their tribe or to help some of their own people by evoking divine powers. For example, to heal the wounded, to ensure success in hunting, or to call for rain – ritual depictions on the rock walls called for the help of spirits guarding the tribe.
Unfortunately, we do not have exact dating for the rock carvings and paintings. But for other artifacts found at the Kondoa sites, it was possible to conduct radiocarbon research, which showed dates exceeding 40,000 years! It is also interesting that not all the images belong to such remote antiquity. Some of them are very recent – according to scientists, several drawings were applied in the 1970s by members of the local tribes.
Cave paintings have also been found in Bahi, although much less is known about them. It is assumed that their authors belonged to the more ancient Wamiya people, whose habitable lands became settled later by the Gogo tribes, traditionally inhabiting the Dodoma region. And the Gogo artists, apparently, did not understand the meaning of the original images and supplemented them at their own discretion.
The rock art of ancient Tanzania, along with the Olduvai Gorge and other cultural heritage sites has yet to be studied in more detail. Hopefully, the pilgrimage of scientists to this region rich in historical monuments will continue, which means new discoveries will be made that will attract even more travelers from all over the world.
As you can see, Tanzania, in general, is interesting not only for its marvelous and rich wildlife with huge populations of animals but also for its cultural history in the broadest sense, and modern cities like Dodoma, which have a peculiar and in their own way attractive development