Ganako Karatu – Arusha Region
Ganako-Karatu is situated on the way from Arusha to the national parks in northern Tanzania, just on the lower slopes of Ngorongoro highlands outside the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, it is an important resting place for most safari travellers.
A visit to Ganako-Karatu includes the following:
– A walk through the Ngorongoro highland forest
– A visit to coffee plantations to enjoy the pure taste of African coffee
– A view into the culture of the Iraqw tribe in the villages surrounding Karatu
– A visit to the colourful Iraqw market on the seventh day of each month
– A visit to the historic and ritual sites (German Colonial Settlements)
– A visit to a community development project that aims at improving the living conditions through income generating and environmental conservation
– A lunch of traditional Tanzanian food and local processed drinks
– A visit to Lake Eyasi to meet the Hadzabe Bushmen, people who are believed to have lived in the area for nearly 10,000 years
– A stay with an Iraqw family to enjoy their food and their unique lifestyle
There are various tour options available:
– Half day walking tours from Karatu Walk through farmlands and forests on the lower slopes of the highlands, and visit a local brick-making factory before proceeding to the Iraqw bomas, for more information and history.
– Visit the Elephant Cave and Waterfall. This hike is popular with bird watchers and those interested in the flora and fauna of his part of the Great Rift Valley. Enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal prepared by a local woman. Over lunch, hear the history of the Rift Valley highland settlement.
– Tour around Karatu town-Starting from the Centre, the tour takes you through the town to observe economic activities like local markets, shops, small industries, schools, dispensaries, churches, mosques, orphanage centres and environmental centres. See how local brew is made.
Full day hikes from Karatu
Snake Hill tour
This trip includes a climb to the top of Mlima Nyoka (Snake Hill) which is abundant in birdlife, flora and small fauna. From the top of the hill, one can enjoy spectacular views, with Lake Manyara on the eastern side and Lake Eyasi to the west. The walk back to Karatu passes through Lambo village to observe the daily social activities.
Oldean Village tour
The guide will take you to Oldean village, a historic German settlement. Pass through Mama India Centre where you can observe different social project activities.
Rift Valley tour
During this hike of the Rift Valley, the guide will tell you fascinating stories and the traditions of the residents. This walk takes you along the Rift Valley with panoramic views over the Salela plains and Lake Manyara. Descend to the valley floor and return to meet with and talk to local fruit, cassava and sweet potato farmers about their irrigation scheme.
Lake Eyasi tour
Drive to visit the Hadzabe Bushmen who are believed to have lived in the area for nearly 10,000 years. The Hadzabe are the last of the hunter/ gatherer tribes. You will be able to observe their daily lives and even join the men in hunting.
Extended village stays, camping and hiking inside the NCAA itself, ornithological, botanical and other specialised treks can be arranged on request. Bicycles can be hired for the day.
– You can also choose to volunteer in their Conservation programmes, education in various primary & secondary schools around Karatu and the rest of Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Getting there: From Arusha, several buses go to Karatu. Duration to reach is 3 hours by bus and 21/2 hours by private car. (Income from tourist visits will be used to support the development project through the non-profit company-Karatu Culture, Environmental and Health Organisation KCEHO).