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Mto wa Mbu girls own nice houses



Mto wa Mbu is a rapidly flourishing township of Monduli district. Most of the beautiful and modern houses here are owned by women, to be precise, pretty girls who make their money from tourists and travel agencies’ drivers who take visitors on safaris in Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the great Serengeti National Park.

Currently, Mto wa Mbu is a beehive of activities as caravans of tourist agencies remodeled Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover open roof station wagon vehicle crisscross this beautiful area which derived its name from a swampy area infested with mosquitoes in 1960s.

Human activity has changed Mto wa Mbu from a swampy mosquito infested area into a rapidly growing rural growth center with beautiful camping sites, pubs, restaurants and guest houses. As the tourist season is ushered in, Mto wa Mbu is a little known rural township that has not only representatives of the country’s over 120 tribes, but also multinational citizens.

Tourists arriving here to see the mysterious Ngorongoro Conservation Area, tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara National Park or eye catching annual wildebeest migration between the Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara in Kenya, the drivers of the caravans and girls masquerading the area, hope to earn tips for serving their visitors.

While the men/boys use their tips to bribe girls who also earn fees for services rendered to tourists, it’s the latter that are developing Mto wa Mbu with modern beautiful houses dotting their beautiful tarmac road running between Arusha and Mara regions through the Serengeti.

Men who came with their wives here have been abandoned while those earning a fortune from tourists such as tourism agencies’ drivers, get extra concubines to assist with spending their tips. On average, a caravan driver earns up to 150 United States dollars on a bullish day during the peak season of tourism which normally runs between May/June and October/November each year.

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  1. Catherine Kell

    27/07/2010 at 1:45 pm

    Finnegan, this is really interesting. I recently visited Mto wa Mbu. I was struck by what a good state the village was in – now I understand more about why! It woudl be good to hear some more detailed stories from the young girls themselves, or their husbands on the side…This would be an important issue to inform tourists and tour guides about.

  2. Rakesh Rajani

    27/07/2010 at 1:54 pm

    Indeed interesting. To echo Cathy– would be good to get a deeper, nuanced sense of how the ‘girls’ view their work and prospects, and to perhaps get some (even anon) quotes.

  3. Sulemani Sumaugala

    30/07/2010 at 11:21 am

    Once upon a time, Michungwani village near the Tanga-Korogwe junction along the Dar-Arusha highway, was famous in similar business. What befell this humble village is common knowldge to frequent travellers. A young generation of beautiful girls and perhaps their clients were wiped out by HIV AIDS, Im told! Now it is almost a ghost village. It lost its glory. Lest they be warned, Mto wa Mbu could face a similar fate.

    I congratulate this initiative to write rural Tanzania.

  4. Finnigan wa Simbeye

    08/08/2010 at 5:14 pm

    Apologies for not reply on time, I was travelling in rural southern Tanzanian regions of Lindi and Mtwara where connection was faulty.

    Yes, the young women love their work here and so too are tour guides, drivers and business owners. There is widespread use of condoms here because as I said this is a metropolitan village where all the over 120 tribes in the country are represented according to University of Dar es Salaam researchers. I will try to go back and do a detailed story later this month, may be.

    When I left Mto wa Mbu last month, girls were descending on the village from all walks of life as the tourism high season started, I was told.

  5. Mgeni

    06/09/2010 at 5:22 am

    Where are the pictures? If you are talking about something as visual as “good houses” you need to show us those houses.

  6. Maurice

    10/09/2010 at 3:07 pm

    Someone should warn the sex tourists that just as mosquitoes sometimes find their way past nets then one day HIV will surely find its way past the condoms. Pity they will not find pills for it at the pharmacy.

  7. Baba Caren

    11/09/2010 at 3:23 pm

    I feel very sympathetic for my fellow men whom their beloved wives have been taken by taxi drivers and tourists.But whom to blame? I believe its not the husband or the woman herself, its our leaders due to the reason that they work for themselves and not the public. And to combat the pandemic disease which is HIV,poverty alleviation has to be the first if not the foremost target by our govt.

  8. John

    21/09/2010 at 11:00 am

    This is something which is interesting not only to here but also to use in empowering women, that they can do something like man and become independent, though i don’t agree with the fact that women sometime use their body to gain their living, i think this is bad and need to be avoided if we need a real long achievement for these women!

  9. Ganja

    21/09/2010 at 8:47 pm

    Well, it is good alert but further finding is needed for justification otherwise the story may annoy girls who are struggling through their own initiative to make their way out in the area.

  10. mchesele

    11/11/2010 at 5:31 pm

    i personally thank you.
    well so interesting blog where the truth is revealed, the lies is separated.
    god bless jf god Tanzania.

  11. venance mollel

    12/11/2010 at 10:27 am

    since u gt my sms tel me how can met with u

  12. Annastazia

    18/11/2010 at 10:20 am

    It’s common to find about six women sitting near the main road selling one kiroba of rice!! most of them dont sell rice but their bodies. I stayed for a week a month ago, hata HIV rate is high…

  13. mkama

    18/11/2010 at 12:42 pm

    Hey Finigan could it be that girls you see there are actually shuttling in from Arusha?

  14. Maeda

    15/01/2011 at 6:45 pm

    Hey Finigan am a man from Mto wa mbu and recently I was there, in fact what you are saying is true and this because the said town is like a tourist center in Arusha but the problem as to now is the rapid increase in the number of HIV/AIDS infected people as a result of social interaction between the Mto wa mbu dwellers and the outsiders. It is terrible because you can see a healthy and beautiful girl but she s affected.


    29/03/2011 at 3:21 pm

    General speaking when we discuss about mto wa mbu women we have to consider the areas like michungwani ,chalinze ,whereby the same problems are facing the areas mentioned above .How to solve the problem while most of the family they can not meet their basic need

  16. Yusuph H Kajabukama

    14/04/2011 at 7:57 pm

    Please, your story is poorly substantiated with what you are trying to address, I’m a Mto wa Mbu resident and happened to be an eco-tour guide in Mto wa Mbu, I’m well informed about my village, one thing I know is the relationship between Mto wa MBu women and the tourist industry, but I totaly disagree with you how you relate them to each other. I think you would sound so fair if you could try to address other issues but not this one, this is an insult to all men in Mto wa Mbu, people like Vitalis, Mohamed Abdi, Mzee Jackson, Mzee Hussein and many more who owns the most houses you see along the main road.

  17. Noa Noa

    05/07/2011 at 8:43 am

    Would it be possible to help any of these girls by providing loans from the KIVA organisation?

  18. frank martin kubena

    14/08/2011 at 11:47 am

    the message should help people grow up their mind, not otherwise

  19. frank martin kubena

    14/08/2011 at 11:49 am

    the article seem to degrade Mto wa Mbu. I urge people to be writing messages which are educative

  20. frank martin kubena

    14/08/2011 at 11:51 am

    the message written will not only degrade the place but also annihilate the position it plays in the tourism industry whose country’s economy depends for foreign income.

  21. frank martin kubena

    14/08/2011 at 11:53 am

    leave no comment on things that you do not have full information by not having done a thorough research on it.

  22. frank martin kubena

    14/08/2011 at 11:56 am

    it is greatly embarassing. this is due to the reason that HIV/AIDS can be spread anywhere depending on one’s behaviour and not otherwise

  23. marijxn karanda

    21/03/2012 at 6:48 pm

    duh!! these girls should know that there is no CURE 4 AIDS!!!!!!!!

  24. TZadverts

    30/05/2012 at 7:44 am

    Aids has no cure. If you cant avoid sex at least use protection.

  25. costantine ibengwe

    04/12/2012 at 2:47 am


  26. flavian

    14/07/2013 at 8:28 pm

    2walinde dada ze2 kwa njia yoyote ile

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