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Karatu is a colorful bustling town and the gateway to the Ngorongoro Highlands. Dusty but absolutely delightful, the main street is wide and always vibrant with people in brightly colored clothes chatting, laughing and going about their daily activities.

Maasai-related souvenirs

Maasai herd cattle and goats along the verge, there are stalls selling everything from spices to saucepans and oxcarts weave all over the road. In the center of town there is a lively market selling fruit and vegetables. It's a fun place to visit to practice your bartering for souvenirs including Tinga Tinga paintings, carved wooden ornaments and the brightly colored kangas that many Tanzanian women wear every day.

Ngorongoro Highlands

Large elephant bull in the Ngorongoro CraterOutside Karatu, rolling hills merge into the Ngorongoro Highlands. Here, mountainsides are covered in thick forest and cultivated areas are filled with farms and coffee plantations with villages scattered in between. Waterfalls tumble over rocks, sunbirds flit from flower to flower and elephant and buffalo follow ancient paths through the vegetation to rivers to drink and to mineral rich caves to extract salt.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Amy

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Karatu by contacting one of our Tanzania specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Karatu

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Karatu, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Karatu

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Karatu

    Accommodation choices for Karatu

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Karatu. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.