The town of Karatu is located at the southern end of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The landscape of Karatu is dominated by the extinct volcano of Ol Deani. Karatu area is well known for coffee and arable farms on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater.
The town was of great importance to the German colonial administration. Karatu was popular for farmers and settlers, because of its vast and extensive fields. A few large farmers still cultivate coffee and crop on the hills and valleys in Karatu's vicinity.
Karatu primarily acts as a safari gateway to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Learning the local greetings can get you far when it comes to being hassled. A simple saitaa will cause both shock and joy. 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.