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Karatina is a town in Nyeri County, Kenya. It hosts a municipal council and the headquarters of Mathira East district. Karatina municipality has a total population of 6,852, all classified as urban (1999 census[1]). It has six electoral wards, all in the Mathira Constituency; the remaining five wards of Mathira constituency represent Nyeri County Council.[2]

Karatina is on the NairobiNyeri highway, 20 kilometres southeast of Nyeri town and south of Mount Kenya. It is at an elevation of 1868 metres.

There are two major hospitals in Karatina, the government-funded Karatina General Hospital and the private Jamii Hospital. In addition, PCEA TumuTumu Hospital [1] is a few miles west of Karatina.

Karatina town hosts the largest open air market in East Africa and the Second largest in Africa. People living in Karatina are known to be very active with most economic operations beginning at 4am in the morning and ending at 10pm. More than 90% are Kikuyus which form the largest tribe in Kenya. There are many auxiliary services and the town is rich in agricultural products are well. there is an ideal mix of urban and rural life.


  1. ^ Kenya National Bureau of Statistics: Population of local authorities[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Electoral Commission of Kenya: Registration centres by electoral area and constituency Archived 28 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

Coordinates: 0°28′54″S 37°07′30″E / 0.4817°S 37.1251°E / -0.4817; 37.1251