THE TREE WALK EXPERIENCE IN MANYARA
‘What’s tree walking?’ you ask, its a simple term. It means walking from one tree to another. Oh only there is a bridge in between standing a few hundred feet above ground, piece of cake. I must say the tree walking experience sounded prettier than it actually was. It was the scariest and yet the most fascinating thing I had ever done (I don’t do much). If you suffer from acrophobia (fear of heights) you might want to sit this one out. But again if you decide to swallow your fear and choose to do it, then even better. The view and sceneries you get to see along the way are so worth the anxiety.
So our journey to the lake Manyara national park began in the late hours of the morning just before noon. Since I slept the night before in mto wa mbu, the drive wasn’t so long. Approximately less than an hour. Upon arriving we had to pay for the entrance which similar to other national parks in the country the fee differs based on the nationality of the visitor and age. All I know is for the locals the entrance fee is 10,000 for adults above age 16, and 2000 shillings for children between age 5 to 16 and free for children below that. The fee for foreigner is 45 dollars for adult, 15 dollars for those between 5 and 16 and free for those below that age.
After the payment we took a less than 5 minute drive to the tree walk excursion site where we were introduced to Benson who was our tour guide. He explained in detail the history of the place and also showed us their cadaver collection with buffalo carcasses and a bird which my weird self found super intriguing.
The tree walk tour can take from just 20 minutes to more than an hour depending on your speed and the stops you make. The path has nine bridges and 10 platforms. Our tour specifically took 40 minutes total from the starting point to the exit.
It was an amazing experience. We had a stop after every bridge to admire the scenery. If I could describe in words how I felt it would probably make zero sense but ill give it a shot, I felt like everything stopped, time itself, I was alone and free. I guess that is one reason I really love flying or to be above the ground. Makes me feel freer than I actually am. The guide told us that some of the visitors bring bottles of wine and stay for hours end up there. I could see why.
After reaching the highest point the bridge automatically descends back to the starting point, but you do not have to worry about having to squeeze in space for the coming group. The exit bridges are totally separate from the ones you come with.
Overall it is an activity every tourist should do at least once in their lifetime. The experience is well worth the money you pay for. I made a collection of few photos so you can see for yourself and think whether you are brave enough to make the death walk. But don’t worry no one has ever really fallen from the tree walk bridges. You might be the first (just kidding).
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We will be more than happy to help you plan for your tree walking and overall safari experience in the Lake Manyara national park and every where else you plan to visit in Tanzania.
Your Rafiki blogger here,