Welcome to Mpwapwa, a vibrant market town located in the Dodoma Region of Tanzania. Known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and diverse culture, Mpwapwa is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. Let us take you on a journey through this fascinating city and discover its many attractions.
Mpwapwa is one of the oldest colonial districts in Tanzania, with a fascinating blend of German and British influences. The town was home to the local German colonial government headquarters in the early 1890s, followed by British administrative offices after World War I. As you wander through the streets, you’ll find remnants of this colonial past, adding a unique charm to Mpwapwa.
Education has always played a significant role in Mpwapwa’s development. The town is home to the oldest teachers training college in Tanzania, Mpwapwa TTC, which has been training educators since its establishment. Additionally, Mpwapwa boasts a secondary school dating back to the turn of the century, originally known as the central primary school. This school served as the primary source of education for local residents who worked for the colonial administration. Today, it stands as a testament to Mpwapwa’s commitment to education.
Mpwapwa also has a rich history in the field of veterinary research. The town was once home to one of the oldest veterinary research institutes in Tanzania, located in Kikombo. Although the institute has since been moved to Temeke in Dar es Salaam, Mpwapwa’s contribution to veterinary science remains significant.
For history enthusiasts, Mpwapwa has an intriguing connection to the renowned reporter and explorer, Henry Morton Stanley. It is believed that Stanley stayed in Mpwapwa as a resting post during his expeditions. Near the Anglican missionary Cathedral, All Saints, you can still find a rock with an etched note attributed to Stanley in remembrance of W. L. Farquhar. This historical artifact serves as a reminder of Mpwapwa’s place in the annals of exploration.
The district of Mpwapwa is home to two prominent ethnic groups. In the center and north, you’ll find the Gogo ethnic group, while the Hehe ethnic group resides in the southern region, bordering Iringa. The cultural diversity in Mpwapwa adds to the colorful tapestry of the city, creating a unique and welcoming atmosphere for visitors.
Transportation in Mpwapwa can be an adventure in itself. The district is fairly mountainous, and traveling by car from north to south can take several hours along the dirt roads. The main road north from Mpwapwa town to Kongwa eventually connects to the tarmac road leading to Dar es Salaam. Additionally, the central line railroad from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma and western Tanzania passes through Mpwapwa District, with Gulwe station located approximately 12 miles south of Mpwapwa town.
While Mpwapwa has seen its share of challenges, it has also witnessed remarkable progress. The district is home to the Mpwapwa District Hospital, which was opened in 1964 and played a significant role in treating the injured after the tragic Igandu train disaster in 2002. Mpwapwa owes much of its development to influential figures like Ali Saidi Mtaki, who brought electrical power and healthcare facilities to the town.
As you explore Mpwapwa, you’ll come across neighboring towns with their own unique stories. Kongwa, a nearby town, once thrived with amenities from the failed groundnuts scheme. Today, you can still see remnants of its European community, including schools and paved roads.
In Mpwapwa, traditional ways coexist harmoniously with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. While the Gogo culture forms the backbone of the society, several other tribes have made Mpwapwa their home, including the Bena, Nyasa, Chaga, Hehe, and Kaguru. This cultural diversity enriches the city’s fabric, creating a vibrant and inclusive community.
With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, Mpwapwa is a destination that should not be missed. Whether you’re exploring the colonial heritage, immersing yourself in the local culture, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty, Mpwapwa offers a truly authentic Tanzanian experience. Pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Mpwapwa!