Visitors on their way to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater pass through the town of Karatu, under the benevolent peak of Ol Deani, on their way through the northern highlands. After climbing the Manyara Escarpment, the vegetation becomes more lush and green, finally entering into the highlands around Karatu. The extinct volcano of Ol Deani has gentle slopes and it is a prominent feature of the landscape.
In the past, the area around Karatu and Ol Deani was of great importance to the German colonial administration. The area’s cool climate, verdant hills, and pleasing views make it popular with settlers and farmers. Vast and extensive fields cover the slopes of the volcano and the lands around Karatu town. Coffee was a main crop grown for export, and a few large farms that remained in private hands still cultivate the cash crop on the hills and small valleys outside of town. Karatu offers splendid views of the northern highlands and is a popular base for visitors on their way to Ngorongoro Crater.
KARATU IRAQW CULTURAL TOURISM
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.
KARATU IRAQW OFFERS:
– 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.
GANAKO KARATU CULTURAL TOURISM
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.
GANAKO KARATU OFFERS
– 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 fam
Information from TOURIST BOARD TANZANIA