Although it may not seem like your prime tourist destination, the small Ngorongoro highlands town of Karatu offers a perfect base from which to explore the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara National Park. Visitors who simply want to take in the Tanzanian countryside and unwind will find Karatu’s rolling hills, dense forests, and infinite coffee plantations the perfect place to do so.
The town offers a number of accommodation types ranging from tents to luxury lodges offering spa treatments. The nearby coffee plantations are interesting places to visit to sample the brew from the Tanzanian highlands and most offer guesthouse accommodation. The Ngorongoro Forest is littered with hiking and nature trails where trekkers can discover hidden caves and rushing waterfalls.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to the Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge, are a short drive away, as is the Lake Manyara National Park. Visitors staying in Karatu have the option of finding more budget-friendly accommodation options and making their own day trips to the various places of interest. The nearest airport is in the town of Arusha, a 2.5-hr drive from Karatu.
- Near the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Karatu is a good spot to stopover or find more budget-friendly accommodation options for your trip
- The Ngorongoro Forest offers lush hiking trials and diverse vegetation—discover hidden caves and cascading waterfalls
- The Ngorongoro highlands are famous for their coffee plantations—sample the brew from the Tanzanian highlands
- A 2.5-hour drive from Arusha Airport, which connects to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar