Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mr. Roger Ansell


Zainab Ansell exchanging gifts with the Maasai community in Ngorongoro National Park

Zainab was invited by the Maasai community during christmas day.

This was such an honour as it showed that the Maasai community and Zara Tours were cooperating together to help the community. During the four hour celebrations there was speeches given both by the head of the Maasai Community and Zainab Ansell, then they served meat to her and her guests which showed that it was a peaceful meeting. After it all there were exchange of gifts, Zainab decided that she will do a trek up the mountain where she will raise money for the maasais in that area who have to walk 4km just to  get water and 12 km for their children to get to school.
                                       



Also, after the official opening of Ngorongoro Wild Camp under Zara Properties  the maasai women will be given an opportunity to sell their products to the clients of Zara Tours which will help them improve their living conditions.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Zara Charity



ZARA Charity
 
 
 
 


In order to support those in need in a more holistic and sustainable way and in order to reach more people to get involved - Zainab decided to launch the ZARA Charity in 2009. For the ZARA Charity, Zainab has brought together a group of charitable NGOs (Non-government organizations) and CBOs(Community-based organizations) that provide valuable relief to suffering Tanzanian communities. It is Zainab's aim to give them a firm ground of support upon which to stand and function.

As a separate charitable organization, ZARA Charity, its operations, and its finances are distinct from ZARA Tours. While ZARA Tours donates 15 US$ per traveler to support the ZARA Charity, any and all monetary or material donations remain with ZARA Charity to be passed on to its supported organizations with no form of contributed support ever going to ZARA Tours.  


ZARA Charity believes in complete and comprehensive accountability that ensures responsible application of all donor contributions to the specific causes they wish to help. If donating to the Charity as a whole, then this entails guaranteeing that donated funds are given directly and completely to supported organizations only.  

ZARA Charity has people in touch with many charitable organizations that understand their needs and can distribute donated funds accordingly. These people will follow up on how the money has been used in order to guarantee donors that their money is being used according to their interest and in the best manner for the benefit of the needy.  



Saturday, December 17, 2011


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Zara Tours (ZARA Tanzania Adventures) is a local outfitter based in Moshi, Tanzania. Founded 25 years ago by Tanzanian woman Zainab Ansell, has evolved into Tanzania’s largest Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of the country’s largest safari operators, with daily departures up the Kilimanjaro Mountain with a choice of six routes. We put more people on the Kilimanjaro summit than any other company. In addition, weekly departures are available on seven group safari itineraries through the wild areas and amazing bush lands. We have friendly, experienced and professional officials for the safaris and our standard properties such as two hotels, Springlands and Highview, as well as at our tented camps. Your safety and comfort are foremost as we bring your dreams to life and craft them into lifelong memories.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-life experience and major challenge. When you reach the top you can experience total freedom. It is not only a great shot, but also perfectly communicates “total freedom – being higher than the clouds – overlooking the whole continent of Africa”.

Our individual safari in Tanzania can include any park and areas of Northern Tanzania. We primarily visit northern areas such as Kilimanjaro Mountain, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti, Arusha National Park and Lake Manyara. Individual itineraries in the North range from 1-9 days and commonly visit the above spots, plus Tanangire, Oldoinyo Lingai, Usambara Mountains and Lake Victoria. South itineraries range from 5-day Selous safaris to 12-day trips that add Mikumi, Ruaha and the Udzungwa Mountains. 
                     
Finally, the firm offers three weekly group packages that combine Kilimanjaro climbs of 5-7 days with 4-5 day safaris to comprise 11-13 day adventures. There’s also an 18 day combination trip that joins a 7 day safari with a visit to Zanzibar.  We    do also coordinate cultural tourism as a part of our long days tour or as     a  day tour. It is an opportunity of a client to experience magnificent life style of bush people and  amazing wildlife resources of Tanzania. Visit our www.zaratours.com.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zainab Ansell in the newspapers today

Follow the link to view this article online http://www.dailynews.co.tz/home/?n=26407    

What the article says:

By JAMES LANKA, 14th December 2011 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 50

The Global Report on Women in Tourism (GRWT) an initiative by the United Nations World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO) has recently marked a new era for incorporating gender issues in the tourism sector.

It provides detailed statistical information on women’s role and their status in the tourism industry, offering recommendations on how to improve the current situation. UNWTO and UN women believe that tourism can be a vehicle for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Yet, much work needs to be done in order for this potential to be realized. One of the Great Female entrepreneurs, Ms Zainab Ansell who runs today, proudly, one of the biggest tourism
companies in Tanzania called, Zara Tours Company (Zara Tanzanian Adventures) was among the three women who attended UNWTO event in London, UK in November, this year.

The event debated among other issues, tourism’s potential for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment while at the same time examining current challenges and gaps to gender equality in the sector.

Other invited panelists were; Ms. Liz Cramer Campos, the National Secretary of Tourism, Paraguay, who represented her Government, and Ms Angela Hajipateras, the member of the Foundation for the Development of Zambezia, Mozambique who was a representative of Civil Society.

Ms. Zainab Ansell, say Women should justify why they are equal to men by demonstrating their capabilities in doing things men do. They should prove societies thinking that women’s position is in the kitchen by entering fields that were previously deemed male domain. These, she says, include businesses such as tourism industry which were taken as difficult to penetrate particularly by women.

“It took a lot of will and courage to reach the point I am today because women in Tanzania like in any developing country, face great challenges when creating companies and becoming entrepreneurs….” says Zainab Ansell, one of the female entrepreneur in Tanzania.

She says ‘An African belief that women are a weaker sex and supposed to stay at home and take care of children is no longer holding ground. Gone, she adds, are days when societies were not expecting women to be part of the public life or contribute to their economy and that of the nation.

Speaking in an interview with the ‘Woman Magazine’ recently at her office located at Pasua surbub in Moshi Municipality, Ms Ansell said that, in pursuing her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, she had to overcome many barriers. One of them she said, was access to credit facility.

“Women usually do not apply for loans and it was difficult for me to convince the loan officer to grant me a loan to start my business..” she explained. According to Ms Ansell, even to get licenses from relevant authorities was difficult simply because she was a woman seeksing to undertake such a big business.

“Licensing authorities were reluctant to give me the documents I needed to start my business. However, it was perseverance and resilience that kept me going when facing these barriers.” The Founder and Director of Zara Tanzania Adventures explained. She added that, her determination grew in the early 1980’s while working for the Tanzanian national flag
carrier, Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC), in the department of reservations and sales.

“Working with ATC created a dream. I wanted to open my own travel agency, to be able to move from clerical position to a more paying adventure,” she said adding; “In 1984, I used my savings and ‘Zara International Travel Agency’ was registered in Moshi, Kilimanjaro
region. The dream began to become a reality…” Ms Ansell explained.

According to her, it took a great deal of hard work to become an established agent. Learning by experience and participating in relevant courses run by different airlines was the key to her success. “After only about 18 months I applied for the membership of IATA (the International Air Transport Association) and was accepted. This seal of approval gave the agency credibility and sales started to go up,” she explicated.

The license to operate the travel agency, she added, was quite expensive and she noticed that it encompassed Mountain Climbing and Safaris. “Since I was paying for the license, I decided to give mountain climbing and safari a try, but miraculously it took off and started paying too, “she said. “It took about 6 years of hard work and pains taking dealing with airline bookings, ticketing, safari trips and expeditions on Mt Kilimanjaro to achieve recognition,” Ms Ansell explained.

From 1990 things started going well and a second office was opened. Proper planning was a vital part of the business and promotional trips became necessary, she said. Visits to travel markets in London, Berlin and South Africa were made to promote the business.

“On several occasions upon meeting representatives from foreign companies I noticed that many were surprised by their facial expressions to see a woman running a Tanzanian Travel business,” he said adding “It became necessary to prove myself a competent and reliable person, running an experienced and reliable company.” she pointed out.

According to Ms Ansell, things went well and with a great deal of hard work the business expanded. “Nothing is easy and there were many hurdles to overcome. Client accommodation was one problem, and finding hotels with good security, acceptable standards but affordable prices, was another challenge,” she added. In 1994, she added, she decided to build her own accommodation facility, - ‘Springlands Hotel’.

A new learning adventure was the hotel business. Initially it had about 10 rooms, but after few years it expanded to 88 self-contained rooms, a swimming pool and services such as internet, laundry, television room, a Sauna, security boxes, airline ticketing and more were
added. “Usually safari trips require accommodation facilities in various destinations so eventually I opened another hotel for this purpose,” she said.

The High view Hotel was opened in 2006 with 40 self-contained rooms. Other properties were also initiated, the Serengeti Wild Camp and the Ikoma Gorge Wild Camp, she added. She further explained that, these are both permanent tented camp sites with all the comforts of home. A new property is now due to open this month- the Ngorongoro Wild Camp.

“And I hope to keep this adventure going for as along as I can…” Ms Ansell pointed out.
According to her, tourism is a very demanding business and a good understanding of its ins and outs was necessary for success. She says, "in tourism industry, as a business expands so do the problems." However, she adds, the challenges are there to overcome and with the
assistance of reliable staff this can be accomplished.

“One very important element for success is to work with the community. It should not be viewed as charity; it should be seen as a good business. Creating employment, which is very much needed, and training people will translate into good service and less poverty,” she added.

According to her, Zara has assisted and continued to support local community projects such as the Maasai women’s project, the Kilimanjaro Porter’s Society, the Kilimanjaro Orphanage, the Huruma Women’s Foundation and installing electricity and water to surrounding villages.

“Women’s rights have improved significantly in Tanzania over the past three decades, which means it is easier now for women to come forward and work to achieve their goals and
ambitions,” she said. According to Ms Ansell, women are now heading an integrated part of Tanzanian business.

She said there were huge opportunities out there for women to get out of poverty circle but to
achieve them requires hard work, endurance and determination. “A good example is the
company I run. It is now in its 27th year, during which time I have learnt a great deal about
tourism trade. Mistakes are inevitable, learn from them and don’t give up,” she insisted. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bush Lunch






 Some of the guests enjoying bush lunch at the wilderness in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
You too could be part of this experience.
For more information go to www.zaratours.com


Monday, December 12, 2011

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Pictures brought to us from the team of expert drivers from Zara tours. They not only lead the tours but also take awesome pictures. Elephants also happen to be Zainab's favorite wild animal.

Asamoh Gyan, Ghanaian professional footballer with Zainab Ansel

Zainab has been participating in many social and economical activities. She has been very supportive to others. As a result she has been very close to very successful people who in turn have become supportive to her activities.

Speech at World Travel Market

Watch her speech below. Or follow the link to find the summary of her speech and other speakers http://ethics.unwto.org/en/event/wtm-event-gender-and-sustainable-tourism-development-exploring-links

Zara Tours

                                                                 
Company: Zara Tanzania Adventures
Address: P.O. Box 1990
City: Moshi
Zip/Postal Code: 11201
Country: Tanzania
Phone: 866-550-4447
Fax: 905-564-3597
Web Site: http://www.zaratours.com
Email: zara@zaratours.com
Information & Reservations: 866-550-4447
Owner: Zainab Ansell & Roger Ansell
Company Media Contact: Adam
Phone: 866-550-4447
 
 
About Zara Tours
 
Mrs. Zainab Ansell founded Zara Tours in 1987 in her hometown of Moshi, Tanzania, after studying tourism and working for Air Tanzania.  The company started offering climbs to Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as safaris to the National Wildparks.  Today it is Tanzania’s largest Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of the country’s largest safari operators.  In fact, there are daily departures to Kilimanjaro and a choice of six routes.  It also operates two hotels and three tented camps, as well as offering trips to Zanzibar.
The company utilizes a fleet of Land Rovers, Land Cruisers and mini-buses, all equipped with viewing roofs, for its safaris and climbs.  The 88 registered Kilimanjaro guides offer trips in English, German and Spanish.
  
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Zara’s Destinations
 
Zara Tours began with treks up Mount Kilimanjaro and today offers climbs on each of the six available routes up the 19,340 foot peak, the highest in Africa.  They are the Marangu, Machame, Rongai, Umbwe, Shira and Lomosho and differ based on the total distance traveled and the steepness of the climb.  There are also two special Kilimanjaro itineraries.  In May and November, clients can join the porters from the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society on the six-day Machame route as you and they clean the mountain.  In May and October, Macon Dunnagan, the author of the novel “Sons of Kilimanjaro” will lead trips.  Macon’s book is about four men whose ascent of the peak helps them overcome their personal struggles.  He has climbed the mountain nine times and is one of the few who have ever climbed it twice the same month.  For the fall departure, $250 of the trip fee will be donated to the American National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, as Macon’s wife battled ovrian cancer.  The firm also offers 3-5 day trips up Mount Meru, the second highest in Tanzania at 14,977 feet.  The peak is East Africa’s only active stratovolcano and the Ash Cone inside the caldera is visible from the summit.
         


Weekly departures are available on seven group safari itineraries that range from 5-10 days.  They primarily visit northern areas such as Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti, Arush National Park and Lake Manyara.  Individual itineraries in the North range from 1-9 days and commonly visit the above spots, plus Tarangire, Oldoinyo Lengai, Usambara Mountains and Lake Victoria.  South itineraries range from 5-day Selous safaris to 12-day trips that add Mikumi, Ruaha and the Udzungwa Mountains.

Finally, the firm offers three weekly group packages that combine Kilimanjaro climbs of 5-7 days with 4-5 day safaris to comprise 11-13 day adventures.  There’s also an 18-day combination trip that joins a 7-day safari with a visit to Zanzibar.  

              

Speaking of Zanzibar, Zara offers three packages to the Spice Island, ranging from 3-5 days.  Bask on the sandy beaches here or snorkel at the dolphin conservation area.  A spice tour takes you to the numerous spice and tropical fruit trees growing here, such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, black pepper and others.  Visit Stone Town to browse the central market and visit historic sites from the days of the slave trade.
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Zara’s Accommodations
 

Zara entered the hospitality lodging industry in 2000 when Zainab and her husband Roger opened the Springlands Hotel in Moshi, named after the nearby crystal-clear springs.  The hotel is an ideal base for treks to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.  It was designed with clean, simple lines.  Shortly after that, they added a mobile Wildcamp at the Serengeti and a permanent Wildcamp at Ikoma, two of Tanzania’s traditional safari hotspots.  In 2007 Zara opened the Highview Hotel, located on a hillside adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  This hotel is similar in design to Springlands and is managed by Zainab’s daughter Leila.
                                                                  
In 2008 Zara will continue to expand with two new properties that continue the focus on reliability and high-quality service.  A deluxe permanent camp will be built on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and a third Wildcamp will open at Selous.
                                                                 
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Responsible Tourism
 
Zainab Ansell has been active in her community for her entire life and is passionate about the future of Tanzania, the environment and the youth, women and guides and porters of Kilimanjaro.  Zara Tours practices sustainable tourism and a portion of the company’s proceeds goes to these causes.  Zainab works to make the area benefit, rather than suffer from the increase in tourism.  The company supports: local schools, local charities, Amani Children’s Home, Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society, local women’s rights groups, employment programs, environmental programs, cultural programs, the African Studies Institute at the University of Georgia, Sustainable Tourism Development and Wildlife Now.
The Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society was been founded by Zara Tours in 2004 with the goal to improve the working condition of all porters on Mount Kilimanjaro and other hiking areas in Tanzania. Today, most porters at Mount Kilimanjaro (and all porters of Zara) are members of the Society and can benefit from various resources such as language classes, classes in environmentally sustainable tourism, healthcare and first-aid classes, training in providing customer services, classes to know their rights, legal advice, assistance in micro-finances to improve their family’s living conditions and guarantee a proper education of their children, year-round employment possibilities, and access to an affordable equipment and clothing store.