tanzania safari tours with the green oasis of Mto wa Mbu, the village at the Lake Manyara, invites for walking tours, where you can see a mixture of Tanzanian cultures while enjoying the tropical vegetation at the foot of the Rift Valley. This is a good alternative to the game drives.
The area around Mto wa Mbu was rather dry and hardly populated till the early fifties, when the first steps were made to irrigate the area. Within a few years hundreds of acres of newly cultivated land were created. The news of the fertile lands spread rapidly through the country and from all remote corners people came to try their luck. Fruits and vegetables from all over Tanzania were introduced in the area. Within a few decades the dry and empty plains were turned into a green semi-urban center. The rapid population growth also turned Mto wa Mbu in a melting pot of cultures. Nowhere else in Tanzania have so many different tribes gathered in such a small area. Many people have still kept their traditions. The various traditional modes of production stand as an example of this cultural diversity. In the little town chagga people are producing their banana beer, a former from Kigoma makes palm oil from Palm trees that he brought from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the Sandawe are making bow and arrow for hunting on smaller game and the Rangi are using the papyrus from the lakes and rivers for making the most beautiful mats and baskets. On the surroundings plains Maasai families live in traditional bomas and the warriors wander with their cattle looking for pasture and water.
Visit the Cultural diversity of Mto wa Mbu, farming with tanzania safari tours
Starting from the market, where you visit a Chagga family producing banana beer, you walk northwards passing many different farms. On your way you get explanation about the various fruits and vegetables growing in the area. Mzee filipo, a farmer from Kigoma, will show you his oilpress and tell you the history of irrigation in the area. Your trip ends at a farm built by the Belgium Development Organisation ACT, where you can visit their sunflower seeds production and make marvelous pictures of colourful flower fields with the rift valley as background.
Papyrus Lake tour
This walk starts five kilometers north of Mto wa Mbu, where the Miwaleni waterfall that falls down from the rift valley has created a green oasis. Passing some little streams you walk in the direction of the Papyrus Lake, from where the Rangi people collect the materials for the mats and baskets they make. On your way you can see rice farming and visit Sandawe families who still make traditional bows and arrows for hunting. The walk can be extended with a climb to the waterfalls at the rift valley.
Ballaa hill tour
Starting from the centre you walk in northern direction. The farmers mainly grow bananas (30 varieties) and the big leaves provide a pleasant shade. On your way you can visit some farms and get explanation about the irrigation methods in the area. Finally you can climb Balaa hill, “the hill of misfortune”, in about twenty minutes and enjoy the beautiful view over the green oasis of Mto wa Mbu. On the top the guides will explain you why the hill got its mysterious name. The walk can be extended with a visit to the Njoro springs, one of the main water sources for the area and a nearby waterfall.
Cultural Walking Safari Guides
The guides grew up in Mto wa Mbu and recently finished Manyara Secondary School. They can speak English and are familiar with the area. They will be happy to tell you interesting facts and stories about the different cultures, the irrigation system and the various fruits and vegetables in the area. They like to gain experience and earn a small income by showing tourists the beauty of their area.