Ngorongoro Karatu Area Parks and Reserves
Accommodation and park fees within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area can be high. Just 20 km out of the park lies the bustling town of Karatu, surrounded by beautiful coffee plantations. It is here that comfortable, affordable accommodation in spectacular settings can be found. The area has easy access to Ngorongoro, with its breath-taking scenery and teeming wildlife, especially at Ngorongoro Crater.
* Ngorongoro Karatu Area Highlights
- ∞Easy access to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater
- ∞Prolific wildlife-viewing and spectacular scenery at Ngorongoro Crater
- ∞Beautiful, lush surroundings with many established coffee plantations
- ∞An array of spacious and private accommodation in the area to suit all budgets
- ∞Plenty of energetic activities in and around Karatu, including walks, trekking and biking
- ∞Village walks and visits to meet local people and learn about their culture and traditions
The bustling town of Karatu lies about 20 km south of the gate into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. From the gate, it is less than 10 km to the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater. Surrounding the town are well-established coffee plantations and forests, providing a spectacular setting for a wide array of accommodation.
Many people opt to stay in this area rather than on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Accommodation on the crater – and daily park fees for staying in Ngorongoro – may not fit into everybody’s safari budget and the area outside the park offers up some beautiful, more affordable, alternatives.
Ngorongoro Crater is up there on the Tanzanian ‘must see’ list. The biggest intact caldera (a ‘collapsed-in’ volcano) in the world, covering 260 km², this small area boasts an incredibly diverse array of habitats and huge numbers of animals, including the Big Five. This makes for incredible wildlife viewing opportunities.
Things to See and Do in the Ngorongoro Karatu Area
- Visit nearby Ngorongoro Crater with its teeming wildlife
- Spectacular walks both in and out of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Mountain biking
- Guided treks in the area – number of days and difficulty to suit all fitness levels
- Visits to local villages to learn about the customs and culture of the people
- Walks around the coffee plantations discovering the origins of Tanzania’s famous coffees
When To Visit Ngorongoro
The wildlife living in the Ngorongoro crater itself are there all year, so from an animal-viewing point-of-view, it’s good all year. Due to its size, the area may get crowded during peak tourist season which is pretty much all year round. Major rains generally fall in April and May, which may make some roads unpassable, but this is the quietest season if you wish to avoid the crowds.
By car: Karatu is about 150 km from Arusha by road. The trip generally takes just over two hours.
By air: There are daily flights from Arusha to Lake Manyara Airstrip. Arusha has two airports; Arusha Airport is the domestic option with daily flights from numerous local destinations. Kilimanjaro International Airport connects locally, inter-continentally and internationally.
Before you go to Ngorongoro Karatu Area Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Ngorongoro Karatu Area
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention