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1st Stopover: Mto Wa Mbu Town
From your camp/lodge head to Mto Wa Mbu town “Mosquito River”, loosely translated as Mosquito creek nestled in a fertile Rift Valley spreading out from the base of Escarpment and bordering Lake Manyara National Park. It’s a wonderful, amazing, lively and interesting destination. Maasai Market and the road is lined with boutique for arts and craft, and vendors selling everything such as sweet potatoes, rice and the like. It’s a good place to stop for Red Banana.
Bike down through the Banana plantation and rice paddies fed by many springs emanating from the bases of Great Rift Valley. Banana and plantations are a daily staple of a Tanzanian’s diet and banana are used to make local brews, beer and wine.
2nd Stopover: Banana Plantations
As you bike down the Rift Valley via Mto Wa Mbu village, stumble upon the Maasai homesteads thatched by dried grasses and wood fenced loaf-like bomas. The name Manyara is derived from the Manyara word- Emanyatta meaning a plant used for making living stockades around their kraals. Scientifically known as Euphorbia tirucalli, a popular plant among the Maasai community used as a hedge for protecting their livestock against predators and cattle rustlers.
3rd Stopover: Acacia Woodland
You of coarse criss cross the acacia tortilis sperocarpa, an ideal vegetation for both grazers and browsers. Hence, impala and giraffe find this area to be their favorite ecological niche. In a pack of surprises, enjoy the scenery of acacia woodlands and open grasslands fringing vast fast of the Lake shore all with the backdrop of the Rift Escarpment with its soaring vultures, storks and pelicans.
4th Stopover: Flat Grassland Plains
Come across the open grassland on the Eastern shore of the Lake Manyara. View the spectacle of a scattering of Zebra, Thomson gazelles, wildebeest and giraffe graze on the open plains keeping an ever-watchful vigil for predators. Interestingly, herds of cattle graze side by side with zebra, wildebeest, Thomson gazelles and giraffe and Maasai boys shepherd move unconcerned among wildlife herds and their domestic stock.
5th Stopover: Lake Manyara Shore
What really sets Lake Manyara apart is its bird life, particularly the concentration of water-birds. High alkalinity due to the occurrence of volcanic lava and ash (rich in sodium and phosphate) results in the formation of soda crystals in the Lake, which attracts flamingos, pelicans and immeasurable other water-birds. Flamingos stay in the Lake in hundreds of thousands with their spectacular bright pink plumage.
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