Karatu Iraqw Tour
The group was established as Sandemu Iraqw Art and Culture Promotersin the year 2000 in Bashay village of Karatu district, Arusha region. This group has built a show centre to dispaly the traditional culture of the Iraqw people. The Iraqw is the main ethnic group living in Karatuand 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:
1. Walking tours in the villages, mountains and bush, organised according to the interests of t he visitors, and vary from
several hours to several hours to several days (Walking t ours can be extended to include the Hadzabe and Datoga in Lake Eyasi)
2. Visits to development projects – schools, dispensaries, hospitals, historical sites lik e German and British settlements, coffee plantations, and graves in Oldeani on the rim of the Oldeani mountain and Ngorongoro Crater
3. Traditional Iraqw meals – ugali (stiff porridge) with meat, vegetables, milk, fresh honey, kande (maize and beans) and
4. Camping in rural and natural traditional environment or stays in Iraqw traditional houses
5. Displays of traditional wares – weapons, garments, gourds, baskets, mats, clay posts and stone tools; some of the items
are for sale and others are part of permanent collection.
Where to stay
A wide range of guest houses, hotels and lodges is available in and around the town of Karatu.. Camping grounds are available in various Iraqw tribe villages and the area near Karatu town at affordable price. Camping facilities for hiring are available at our town. Karatu-Iraqw Coordination office or our local tour guides will assist in making arrangements for home-stays and overnights in the villages or local guest houses, lodges and hotels around Karatu town .
The guides of the Cultural Tourism programme are of the Iraqw tribe who knows well the area, their culture& history and speaks good English. Iraqw woman will expose you in various traditional activities.
Bookings for various excursions and tours can be made at Tanzania Tourist Board – Tourist Information Office in Arusha or at Karatu – Iraqw’d coordination office and Sandem Iraqw Art and Culture promoters centre located 7 km from Karatu town bus stand or through your tour operators/travel agents/lodge & Hotel Operators.
Located at Bashley village, Karatu-Iraqw Cultural Tourism Enterprise is 155 kms from Arusha. A number of luxury buses and mini-buses offer transport services to Karatu from the towns of Mara, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Dar-es-Salaam. It’s just a 3 hours drive by bus from Arusha, 15 minutes’ drive mini-buses from bus stand and 2 hours walking from Karatu bus stand to the centre. Being strategically located along the road (50m from Arusha-Ngorongoro tarmac road) the centre provides an opportunity both ‘time-rich’ and ‘time-poor’ visitors to explore Iraqw culture and an insight to development and environmental projects carried out on the slopes of Ngorongoro highlands
(Income from tourist visits will be shared between group members, perfomers 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.)