We camped in Mto Wa Mbu for one night on either end of our time in the Serengeti. We spent one afternoon on a village walk and enjoyed a homemade local dinner prepared by a few bibis, or grandmothers. Mto Wa Mbu is home to 22,000 people with people from all 126 tribes of Tanzania. The name means “river of mosquitoes” in Swahili. We toured a banana plantation where they grow three types of bananas for cooking, eating, and for brewing beer. Bananas take 9 months from transplanting to harvest. The tree is cut back after one harvest because the quality deteriorates with each successive harvest. We learned about various local plants used for natural medicine as well.
The Chaga tribe originally from Kilimanjaro are famous for making banana beer which is about 1.5% ABV. Banana wine is 10% ABV and is made industrially in Arusha.
The Makonde tribe migrated to Tanzania from Mozambique in the 1970s due to civil unrest. They are famous for their wood carvings. We spent time at their local shops before having a home cooked local meal.