I started ZARA Tours in 1987, organizing African safaris and climbs to Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today, ZARA tours is Tanzania’s No.1 Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of the biggest safari operators.
I entered the field of hospitality (Tanzania Wildcamps) where currently i operates two hotels, four tented camps and two lodges.
In 2009 through Zara Charity, i initiated a global movement of sustainable tourism and giving back to the vulnerable groups in Tanzania.
We are delighted to share with you that you can now make your tripmore responsible by contributing to the environment of the hostcommunity you are visiting.
Since 2009 Zara has been committed to practicing sustainable tourism.We have various outreach projects that benefit the community, theeconomy and the environment.
In recognition of the fact that Climate Change is the biggestchallenge of our generation. Through this project you can participatein climate action by planting Trees. Trees contribute to conservingthe environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climateamelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.
Within our resources we have a treenursery.
For an added cost of USD 15, you will be able to make your tour moremeaningful in the area you travel by planting a tree.
Maasai community has one of the highest illiteracy and lowest school enrollment rates in East Africa, this is due to lack of enough schools and pastoral life adaptations which prevents many children from getting education. We strongly believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty that plagues their communities and can create a better future for children and their families. That is why we started to promote education in Ngorongoro Conservation Area among Maasai adaptations by building a Pre-school where by 96 children are currently registered on our two maasai pre-schools that’s (enduleni and Isirwa pre schools) and with it an opportunity to sponsor a child as he or she begins an education journey that will prepare him or her for future success. Here, children are given meals, learn basic skills, English and Swahili, also getting exposed to a classroom environment.
With this foundation, they will be better prepared for Primary School and will stay in school longer and do better. Pre-primary school opportunities also help to encourage families to be more supportive of formal education. Ngorongoro pre-school offers the hope of education to Maasai children, who face many challenges to education. Some do not live close enough to school to attend, while others are too poor to afford it. The opening of Ngorongoro pre-school offers quality education to a new generation of Maasai children.
HOW CAN YOU HELP THIS COMMUNITY!
To sponsor a student in Pre-school (elementary education), the cost of one full year is USD150.
This will include:
- school fees and boarding fee
CLICK THE BELOW DONATION LINK TO SUPPORT A CHILD AT MAASAI PRE SCHOOL
MT. KILIMANJARO PORTERS SOCIETY:
STANDING UP FOR THE FAIR TREATMENT AND
DECENT WORKING CONDITIONS FOR PORTERS ON
Mount Kilimanjaro porters’ society is a Non-governmental organization registered under the Non-Governmental Organization Act No.24 of 2002 of the United Republic of Tanzania with certificate no 13296. Porters are the backbone of the trekking world. The society is affiliated with Zara Tours. Zara Tours is East Africa’s Leading Mt. Kilimanjaro Outfitter and one of the biggest Safari Companies in the region. founded in 1986 Zara Tours is one of the only operators who pay and treat their porters fairly creating a sense of community and hope for the porters. In the quest to advance Sustainable Tourism Development in Tanzania, Zara tours partnered with Mount Kilimanjaro Porters’ Society (MKPS) since it’s establishment in 2005. The partnership gives exclusivity to MKPS as the officially contracted porters for all Zara Tours clients during Mt Kilimanjaro climbs. This ensures employment for the MKPS porters through Zara Tours. Zara has sustainably impacted and continues to impact thousands of lives in Tanzania, as she directly employs nearly 1,410 on both permanent and seasonal basis, sustaining thousands of families in a country where unemployment prominently exists. For the porters, being a member of MKPS has a imesurable benefits. Through the employment opportunities provided by Zara Tours a significant number of Porters support their families and earn their livelihoods. For the porters Zara Tours has been at the frontline in revolutionizing their working conditions creating a dignified, fair and decent work environment them.
CORE VALUES OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO PORTER’S SOCIETY (MKPS) WORKING WITH ZARA TOURS As an ethical organization, Zara Tours obeys and promotes the rules and regulations as provided by the laws of Tanzania and never at any time has Zara Tours been sued or questioned by the authorities for not keeping and upholding the law set forth by the state. According to rule 7 of the Mountains National Parks Regulations of 2003 a tour operator and its guides shall only hire or employ porters who are honest, disciplined and trustworthy and who are members of a registered Porter’s association holding valid identity cards issued by the registered porters Association. Zara tours provides employment opportunities to MKPS porters who fulfil the above criteria. Zara Tours takes responsibility in ensuring quality climbing gear for the porters as well as financial support and mentorship to MKPS whenever needed. The Mount Kilimanjaro porters’ society abides to the rules andregulations set forth as follows;
• The society provides proper wages to its porters as per minimum wages set by the Labour Institutions Wage Order of 2013 GN No. 196 of the United Republic of Tanzania. Porters are paid more than the set standard wages. • It provides three meals a day to the working porters. • It provides proper climbing gear (clothing )to its porters including but not limited to technical clothing that is a prerequisite when trekking in high altitude conditions which includes water and wind resistant jackets, pants, gloves, base layers, socks, hats, sunglasses and proper footwear. • The society also provides proper shelter as porters are given access to tents or provided with sleeping quarters, sleeping bags and mats. • In collaboration with Zara Tours, a proper tipping policy is being observed as there are tipping guidelines and sheets filled by the visitors. This ensures that full transparency is observed and the tip is being shared to the group as suggested by the visitor. • Loads are restricted to reasonable weight limits, which are measured in Zara hotels and confirmed by the Kilimanjaro National park authority when they reach the respective gate/entry point. As per rule 12 of the Mountains National Parks Regulations of 2003 which limits the luggage to weigh between 18-25 Kilogram.
All the aforementioned corresponds to rule 5 of the Mountains National Parks Regulations of 2003 which provides that each tour operator and his guide shall make sure that all climbers have all necessary, suitable and adequate climbing gears and adequate foodstuff. The society exists as a shield for porters who are registered under it with the goal of improving the living and working conditions of these porters. The porters gain the following benefits as being the member of the society;
HEALTH INSURANCE: With the nature of the work the porters do, it is easy to get sick or injured on the job. Therefore, all porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society are registered on the National Health Insurance Fund to provide them security if they get sick or injured while working. At the beginning of every high season (where there are more tourists climbing Kilimanjaro), Mount Kilimanjaro Porter’s society ensures that all porters are healthy and medically checked, so that at the start of the season everyone is physically fit. This benefit goes hand in hand with rule 8 of the Mountains National Parks Regulations of 2003 which provides that the Registered Porters Association shall make sure that all porters intending to climb any mountain are healthy and physically fit and have justified their fitness by submitting medical certificates. They do this once every twelve months.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT EDUCATION
Being knowledgeable about proper methods of saving and spending money ensure that the porters have concrete ways and strategies of spending money, this enables them to better take care of their families. In collaboration with Zara Tours, Mount Kilimanjaro Porter’s Society arranges financial management training classes for porters occasionally and ensures that all porters have bank accounts where their salaries are paid into. Bank accounts allow the porters to save money for the future, especially during low season when fewer tourists climb the Kilimanjaro.
OPENING OF BANK ACCOUNTS the Porter’s society has opened an account at Diamond Trust Bank were all porters have their own bank accounts and bank cards. This helps them handle their money better.
FIRST AID TRAINING To reduce the risk of losing lives, for tourists, porters and guides, the society in collaboration with Zara Tours has facilitated First Aid training for the porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters society. They are provided with basic mountain first aid training. This enables them to be of help for each other, in the case of an emergency and has also proven to be effective in incidents where a client is ill. The training is usually done during low season because this ensures that there are many porters available in town, allowing the course to attain a high attendance rate.
IMPACT OF ZARA TOURS ON MKPS
ZARA is one of the prominent Tour Companies owned 100% by Tanzanians hence all it’s profits and gains goes 100% to the development of local host community and the country at large. The following MKPS incentives and benefits have been sponsored by Zara Tours through Zara Charity;
Zara Tours takes responsibility in ensuring quality climbing gear for all the porters, through Zara Charity Zara has managed to donate 300 sets of quality professional Mountain climbing gear for the porters.
Zara Tours has also facilitated the opening of Bank Accounts for the porters. This project has benefited 500 porters so far.
Currently Zara Tours sponsors health insurance for 500 MKPS porters through Zara Charity. Being the first tour company in Tanzania to cover mass low-income earner mountain crew with health insurance.
Zara Tours has facilitated First Aid training for 500 porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters society. The porter receive regular training to keep their minds refreshed (3 times a year).
MKPS COMMUNITY SERVICE
Apart from the benefits gained by the porters by being the members of MKPS, the porters also have the opportunity to give back to the environment and the community by participating in Various Sustainable Tourism Projects Spearheaded by Zara Tours such as; The Mount Kilimanjaro Clean Up Volunteer Trek
Since 2014, Zara Tours Organizes A Kilimanjaro Clean up Volunteer trek. The six day event biannual event happens every April( sometimes early May depending on climatic conditions)and November. This project involves the climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro with the goal of picking up rubbish and other unwanted materials on the mountain. MKPS plays a significant role of providing manpower, restoring the trails and planting trees in the forest. The aim of this trek is to raise awareness on climate change and conserve the environment by preserving this precious ecosystem and biodiversity.
Tree Planting Project
Since 2009 Zara has been committed to practicing sustainable tourism. It has since engaged in various outreach projects that benefit the community, the economy and the environment. Within it’s resources is a tree nursery. This has allowed Zara and it’s partners to engage in afforestation for environmental conservation more effectively, MKPS participates in the various tree planting campaigns and in educating the community on the importance of trees. Anti Plastic Pollution Campaign and Indian Ocean Coastline Clean up
Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by it. For the second time this year, MKPS joined Zara Charity alongside TESO and Zara Foundation anti-plastic pollution and Indian Ocean Coastline clean up. The team engaged in a thorough clean up of the Coastline focusing in the area called Deep Sea. The team was able to extract over 7 tons of waste 95% was plastic bags, 3% mineral water bottles and 2% other garbage. MKPS is humbled to be a part of Zara Tours’ efforts to address one of the world’s greatest challenges; plastic pollution and is at the frontline in raising awareness of the need to eliminate plastic waste across the country. MKPS is not a mere society of porters but an organization that plays a significant role in improving working conditions and the livelihood of all porters. ZARA Tours is proud of the progress made by MKPS in the years it has partnered with it and will continue to support and play an important part in the lives and well-being of all our staff and partners.
Zara Charity Sponsors the Indian Ocean Coastline Clean up once again.
It is astonishing how much plastic washes up on our beaches.But that is just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to how much plastic must be in our oceans. Most of it isn’t thrown off ships but is dumped carelessly on land or in rivers and it isthen blown or washed into the sea.
Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by it. Some are harmed visibly—strangled by abandoned fishing nets or discarded six-pack rings. Many more are probably harmed invisibly. Marine species of all sizes now eat micro-plastics, the bits smaller than one-fifth of an inch across.
As an advocate for Sustainable Tourism Development.Zara Charity alongside TESO and Zara Foundationtook to the Indian Ocean Coastline in Tanga again earlier this November.The team engaged in a thorough clean up of the Coastline focusing in the area called Deep Sea.We were able to extract over 7 tons of waste 95%was plastic bags, 3% mineral water bottles and 2% other garbage.
Zara charity is proud to be a sponsor of this much needed call for action and is humbledto be able to part take in tackling one of the world’s greatest challenges; plastic pollution. In all our operations, we have embarked on a campaign to we recycle, reuse and reduce plastic in efforts to curb Plastic pollution and are at the frontline in raising awareness of the need to eliminate plastic waste across the country.
Join us to raise importance on the need to address biodiversity conservation andclimate change by participating in our next Mt. Kilimanjaro volunteer clean up trek coming up in 2019
Climate change is ultimately one of the biggest challenges of our generation. At Zara Tours we are committed to saving our natural resources and protecting them for future generations.
The purpose of the clean up trek is to ensure the sustainability of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The mountain is the primary source of water for domestic supply, agriculture and hydropower, food, fuel, non-timber forest products (including medicinal plants) and building materials for the people of Kilimanjaro region in northern Tanzania. It also provides economic and cultural benefits and is one of the major tourism attractions in Tanzania. Currently there is very little done to preserve its eco-system. The last three decades have seen a fluctuation in its famous glaciers and icecap greatly influenced by climatic conditions.