Karatu Iraqw – Arusha Region
The group was established as Sandemu Iraqw Art and Culture Promoters in the year 2000 in Bashay village of Karatu district, Arusha region. This group has built a show centre to display the traditional culture of the Iraqw people. The Iraqw is the main ethnic group living in Karatu and Mbulu districts. They also live in Babati and Hanang districts. Their objective is to compile for posterity, a record of the lifestyle, traditions, history and culture of the Iraqw people, and also to involve and benefit local people in cultural tourism, thereby disseminating information and knowledge of the ancient traditions to the world.
The following is on offer:
– Walking tours in the villages, mountains and bush, organized according to the interests of the visitors, and vary from several hours to several days (Walking tours can be extended to include the Hadzabe and Datogan in Lake Eyasi.)
– Visits to development projects schools, dispensaries, hospitals, historical sites like German and British settlements, coffee plantations, and graves in Oldeani on the rim of the Oldeani Mountain and Ngorongoro Crater.
– Traditional Iraqw meals – ugali (stiff porridge) with meat, vegetables, milk, fresh honey, kande (maize and beans) and more.
– Camping in rural and natural traditional environment or stays in Iraqw traditional houses
– Displays of traditional wares -weapons, garments, gourds, baskets, mats, day pots and stone tools; some of the items are for sale and others are part of a permanent collection.
Getting there: The Centre in Bashay village, Karatu, is about 155 km from Arusha town (to the west) 7 km from Karatu town (to the west) and 1½ km from the main road to the south of Arusha-Ngorongoro tarmac road. Karatu town is easily reachable by public bus from Arusha (3 hours) or by private car (2 hours). From Karatu town to the Centre (about 7 km), local buses are available. (Income from tourist visits will be shared between group members, performers and artisans. Additional contributions will help to collect, preserve, promote and develop the culture. Part of it will go to help the community development in the village).