Elephant Caves walk | Karatu tours
Elephant caves walk is done between Ngorongoro and Manyara, from Karatu area! If you would like to stretch your legs a bit after a longtime sitting during safari, there is an option to have a 2 hour hike to the Elephant Caves and Endoro waterfalls.
Start of the track is located in Karatu town near Gibbs farm. You will be accompanied by a professional guide. You will hike through Ngorongoro rainforest – this is a corridor for animals between Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. During your walk through untouched forest you will be able to observe all the beauty of wild nature and amazing bird life. Your guide will explain to you about theanimal’s tracks from their footprints.
Why the elephant caves are called elephant caves? Those giants used to come to the rocks which are very rich for calcium, they hit the rocks with their tusks and eat the piece sand it helps the elephants to receive enough minerals and to make their bones very strong. The big holes are still there and that is why people call this place“elephant caves.”
You will be able to come very close, even step inside the caves and see signs from tusks.
There is a small Endoro River near the caves, and the elder elephants pick this place as a point to spend their old age and finally pass away so some call this an elephant burial grounds as well.
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How to get to Ngorongoro
Karatu is within the Arusha District. It is best reached by car or bus from Arusha. The 150 km on a decent road will take just over two hours. The international airport for Arusha is Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), about 45 minutes away from the city.
A cheaper option is to take a bus or dala dala. This can take up to three hours and should be between 5000-7000 Tsh. These can often get crowded and for the cheap price you often miss out on comfort. It is generally advisable to take a bus that arrives before night falls for safety reasons.
If you are willing to splurge a bit more money, a small plane to the Lake Manyara airstrip is also recommendable. Coastal Aviation and Air Excel both fly from Arusha to Manyara for around 100 US$ as a stopover on their way to the Serengeti.
Watch out because this flight is most likely leaving from Arusha Airport, a small local airport, rather than Kilimanjaro Airport, which you might have arrived from via an international flight. From the Manyara airstrip, it is about a 30 minute drive to Karatu, either by taxi or through a transfer arranged by us.