To Karatu on an $80USD Budget

To Karatu on an $80USD Budget

A rather spontaneous #roadtrip, I traveled with my nephew to #Karatu in #Tanzania for a weekend. With an itinerary based mostly on intuition and an 80 USD budget, we hired a #localtour guide to show us around. It was a well spent weekend and a well spend 80 USD!

Karatu, Tanzania

Even though I live in a country that is known for diverse culture and natural resources including wildlife, my greatest challenge to go out on adventures is having enough time and money to travel. My mid-year resolution is therefore to organize weekend getaways to nearby destinations. Last weekend I set off for Karatu, Tanzania. I have never been to the region, had no idea where to sleep or what I will find there. The only thing I knew was that it is the land of the Iraqi people who are close to the Maasai, both being nilots. Armed with the internet on my laptop and mobile phone, I further found out the location, the time it would take to go there and names of a few hotels that were slightly above my budget. Asking around from colleagues, I found out the price it would cost and how to get there.

Budget Trip

With a budget of $80USD (128,000 Tanzanian shillings), my nine year old nephew for company and without a host, I set for Karatu. The road trip was a great idea, I enjoyed watching the landscape taking different forms from plains to hills and valleys; it was a wonderful feeling to see streams and rivers flowing in places that were dry a few months ago. With a stop-over at Arusha, it took about 4hrs or so to reach Karatu town. I spent less than 100,000 Tshs for the whole trip from and back home; the cost includes meals and snacks, a tour, transport and accommodation.

The road trip was a great idea, I enjoyed watching the landscape
from  $267

Karatu Guided Trip

 Karatu, Manyara, Tanzania
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If you are planning to go to Karatu it is a good idea to get in touch with a freelance tour guide and let them know your budget. The only difference in costs for foreigners will be the amount paid to the tour guides which ranges between 10-30 USD depending on the tour type. Transport, food and accommodation costs are the same for both local and foreign tourists. There are direct buses from Moshi to Karatu which leave at around 6:00 am, alternatively you can take a bus to Arusha then Karatu, the price is the same at 7,500Tshs. The benefit of stopping-over is that you can enjoy a meal in Arusha, take a stretch and get on with the journey. Several buses leave Karatu to Arusha up to evening hours (around 5 pm) so you can actually get back on the same day if you wish to, direct buses to Moshi are from 6:00 am up to around 7:30 am.

The benefit of stopping-over is that you can enjoy a meal in Arusha
Native people carrying wood sticks

I whole heartedly and without any conflict of interest recommend, Richard, a freelance tour guide who made our experience in Karatu memorable at short notice, keeping in mind our lack of time and traveling with a budget.

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