|Company:||Zara Tanzania Adventures|
|Address:||P.O. Box 1990|
|Information & Reservations:||866-550-4447|
|Owner:||Zainab Ansell & Roger Ansell|
|Company Media Contact:||Adam|
|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 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 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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|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.