Karatu is a dusty little town that lies on the gateway to Ngorongoro Crater. People here are accustomed to seeing tourists and many of the children will run up to a foreigner and ask for a pen. Learning the local greetings can get you far when it comes to being hassled. A simple saitaa will cause both shock and joy.
From Arusha there are three options to get to Karatu. In Karatu all transports leave from the 1 bus station.
- Peugeot (from/to Arusha (8-9 persons)). takes 2.5 h. Is the most comfortable option. You can find them at the main bus stand in Arusha. Prices are 7,000/= per person or 50,000/= per car. A modern minivan will hold 8-9 people and if you're paying per person it will not leave until full. It is normal to pay upfront so that the driver can buy gas.
- Bus (from/to Arusha (40 persons)). takes 2.5h. Leaving Karatu daily at 7AM, 7.30AM 12AM, 12.30AM with Dar Express or Saibab. Early buses mainly head or Daressalam via Moshi and Lushoto, but some wait in Arusha more than an hour. So ask before paying the whole price. 6000TSh.
- Daladalas (from/to Arusha (up to 20 persons)). It's am tough 3 hour ride with the typical daladalas, which usually gets very crowded 5000TSh.
Karatu is a sleepy small town. Everything can be done by foot. Because of the pedestrian paths besides the main Arusha road walking is safe and comfortable.
In Karatu it is no problem to hire a car with driver for an selfmade excursion into the nearby Ngorongore Crater. All lodges and hotels can help you to arrange a car. It should not cost more than 160 $ ( 250 000TSh) including a 4WD car, driver and gas.
- Walk about Karatu (Steve), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Steve is a very friendly young man who speaks English fluently. He can help to arrange a perfect safari, because he used to work at the entrance gate himself. With him it is easily possible to pay the fee right at the gate without the TANAPA card
There are three banks in town. All with attachted ATM. The entrance fee for Ngorongoro (TANAPA card) can only be paid in the Exim Bank. Ask for the opening hours.
- 1 Manyara Garden. Local beer garden with basic food and cheap beer. Sometimes football is being showed.
- 2 Paradise Garden. Nice and green garden with small indivuell huts. Cool beers and food is served.
See Eating section.
- 1 Giraffe Executive Inn. Decent and clean hotel right next to the bus station. Rooms are small, but with attached bathroom. Probably best what you can get in the whole country for this price. Double 25.000 Tsh including breakfast.
- 2 Kudu Campsite. 10$ p.P..
- 3 [formerly dead link] The Octagon Safari Lodge. With Irish Pub Camping 15$, rooms from 75$.