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Mto wa Mbu


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.


• A Walk through the farms in the green oasis at the foot of the Rift Valley.
• A view into the culture of the many
different tribes living in the area
• A trip to the
Miwaleni lake and waterfall, where papyrus plants grow abundantly
• Thorough explanation about the
irrigation system
that keeps their farm green


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. 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 tour

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.


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.


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.


One day Walk

People who like walking can combine the three half a day tour in a one day walk. Starting from the Mto wa Mbu market you go via the farm. On your way back to Mto wa Mbu you walk along the foot of the rift valley, passing the Njoro springs and the Balaa hill.

When doing a part of the distance by car the various tours can also be combined in half ot full day. Another popular option is renting a bicycle in the town and including many of the above tour option listed above.  other tailor made tours can be arranged.


Development projects

In the eighties the ILO had a Flood Control PROGRAMME IN Mto wa Mbu, that also assisted the district in improving the irrigation system Various intakes and aqueducts ensure that the water flows to all farms in the area. At the border of the irrigated land there are however serious problems of saltation, created by volcanic.


Kipepeo Tours , P.O.Box 2713 Arusha, Tanzania. Tel: +255 787 450216
Fax: +255 27 2544561,


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