Listen to an audio version of this blog post! Just press the play button below.
In a world of conflict, where hundreds of groups, nationalities, tribes, and clans live in an uneasy peace or outright hostility the small picturesque Tanzanian village of Mto Wa Mbu stands out as a hopeful nod to the future.
Why? When you step into this colorful community of markets, workshops, banana plantations, eateries, and local art projects, you’ll be visiting a world inhabited by over 120 tribes, living in harmony with one another.
To walk through the village square and absorb the myriad styles and languages, is to experience a peaceful multi-cultural mix that the United Nations could only dream about.
Yet, the many tribes in Mto Wa Mbu work and live together peacefully, trading on their experience in crafts, agriculture, art, and commerce.
Another Kind of Safari
On your northern Tanzania safari, take a break for a different kind of cultural experience. Mto Wa Mbu is near the site of the famous Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park, often visited on safari tours.
But you can have your own mini safari just visiting the village as the paths leading there are also frequented by large numbers of giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, zebra, and more during their migration.
Arriving at the village’s banana plantation, you’ll get to meet the locals and learn how they have cultivated 32 types of this useful fruit, hauling them about on their motorbikes.
A Celebration Of Art
You might not expect to find art in rich display within such a tiny backwater village but Mto Wa Mbu is one surprise after the next. Discover the bright expressions of the youth arts project, where the local youth are happy to share their creative visions, and you can purchase their work.
One of the village’s many tribes, the Makonde, produces intricate masks and figurines. Stop by their workshop and they’ll share how they create their art from local woods and even help you carve your own pieces. And of course, you can purchase their delicate creations.
Did Someone Say Lunch?
On our way to one of the local eateries, we’ll pass the main market and can stop to sample some of the local fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices on offer.
We’ll settle in for lunch with choices of traditional dishes coming to you straight from a nearby wood stove. Wash down your mid-day meal with mbege, a local beer brewed from what else… bananas.
Or, take a shot of konyagi, a Tanzanian favorite distilled from sugarcane.
Then enjoy a leisurely after-lunch stroll to Balaa Hill for great panoramic views of Lake Manyara and the great expanse beyond.
You may not have thought that the unifying concept of The Melting Pot still existed in our fractious world, but little Mto Wa Mbu is proudly here to prove us wrong… and give us hope.
Just contact us and we’ll make this charming village part of your safari adventure.