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, 25 kilometres southeast of Nyeri town and south of Mount Kenya. It is at an elevation of 1,868 metres (6,129 ft).


During World War II a dried vegetable factory was built in Karatina, providing the people with dried fruits.[3]


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


Karatina town hosts the largest open air market in Kenya and the 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.

In 2017 one of the Uchumi Supermarkets branch got shut down in Karatina.[4]

In 2018, Maguna brand of supermarkets opened 2 Supermarkets within the town. The town also plays host to another supermarket; Maathai Supermarket

Schools and universitiesEdit

Kirimara high school


  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
  3. ^ "Karatina: economic changes and their impact on the economic activities of Mathira Division, Nyeri District, Kenya, 1902-1963". University of Nairobi. Retrieved 5 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Mwiti, Lee (18 December 2017). "Uchumi Supermarkets announces closure Karatina branch". The Standard. Retrieved 5 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Student striped naked by police awarded Sh4m". The Standard. Retrieved 5 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Karatina University profile". Retrieved 5 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Kirigu Primary School". Kenya Primary Schools. Kenya Primary Schools. Retrieved 18 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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