Monday, March 26, 2018

Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society

Mount Kilimanjaro porters’ society is a properly established society as it was duly registered on 30th September 2005 as a Non-governmental organization with a certificate no 13296 under the Non-Governmental Organization Act No.24 of 2002 of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In an effort to promote sustainability of tourism in Tanzania, Zara tours partnered with Mount Kilimanjaro Porters’ Society (herein referred to as MKPS). In accordance with this partnership, since that time and to this date (MKPS) porters are assisting Zara Tours clients during Mt Kilimanjaro climbs. This ensures employment for the MKPS porters through Zara Tours. A significant number of Porters support their families and earn their livelihoods through the jobs they get from Zara Tours.

Zara Tours as a company, 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 and who shall hold valid identity cards issued by the registered porters Association.

Therefore, Zara tours provides employment to MKPS porters who fulfil the above criteria. Zara ensures quality climbing gear for the porters as well as financial support and advice to MKPS whenever needed.

The Mount Kilimanjaro porters’ society abides to the rules and regulations set forth as follows;

  • It 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 meals to the porters 3 times a day.
  • It provides proper clothing to its porters including but not limited to technical clothing that are required when trekking in high altitude conditions which includes water and wind resistant jackets and pants, gloves, base layers, socks, hats, sunglasses and proper footwear.
  • It also provides proper shelter as porters are given access to tents or provided with sleeping quarters, sleeping bags and mats.
  • Proper tipping policy is being observed as there are tipping sheets filled by the visitors. Whereas 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 with park authority when they reach 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;

  1. 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.
  2. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT EDUCATION: - 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. Mount Kilimanjaro Porter’s Society arranges financial management 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 Kilimanjaro.
  3. OPENING OF BANK ACCOUNTS: - the Porter’s society has opened an account at DTB Bank were all porters have their own bank accounts and bank cards, which will help them handle their money better.
  4. FIRST AID TRAINING: - To reduce the risk of losing lives, for tourists, porters and guides, the porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters society are provided with basic mountain first aid training. This enables them to be of help for each other, in the case of an emergency, but also to be effective if 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.
Apart from the previously mentioned benefits gained by the porters by being the members of MKPS, there also projects set by MKPS which engage the porters, staffs, sponsors, partners and locals and includes the following;

  • Mount Kilimanjaro cleanness project; this involves the climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro with the goal of picking up rubbish and other unwanted materials on the mountain.
  • Tree Planting Project; It involves planting of tress and educating the community on the importance of trees.
  • Car wash; Cars are washed to raise money to support day to day operations of MKPS.
In summing up, Zara Tours observes all the rules and regulations set by the Kilimanjaro National Park towards promoting sustainability in tourism and protecting the rights of all who are involved.   

I therefore have good reason to believe that there are many competitive companies which run treks on Kilimanjaro and our 31 years of success in the business is already sending waves to some of our competitors. Unfortunately, they attempt to distort the market forces through foul play and applying unethical techniques on business to destroy the effort of others.

ZARA is one of the Companies owned 100% by Tanzanians hence all the profits gain goes 100% to the development of the country and her people.

Furthermore, we would like to emphasize that MKPS is not a mere society of porters with no core values. We believe that this organization plays a crucial part in the daily lives of all porters and this is due to undeniable fact that MKPS has a number benefits for the registered porters which have been explained and discussed above. ZARA Tours is proud of this and we will continue to support and play an important part in the lives and well-being of all our staff.

Monday, March 19, 2018


TANZANIA, AFRICA–For travelers planning their next adventure, Tanzania’s one-of-a-kind mountain trek and savannah safari are only two of the possible ways to spend your time in this gem of East Africa. Zara Tours invites you to explore the land of natural wonder.

Tanzania’s safaris are considered second to no other country in experience and variety of wildlife. See the Big 5 live and in the flesh or spend your days wandering among gorillas or wildebeest. Home to 16 sweeping national parks and protected areas, you will see animals that live nowhere else in the world.

 Ready to see more than Tanzania and compare the range of experiences? Zara Tours also has many packages for travellers looking to experience Kenya, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Uganda, and more. Find your ultimate destination now.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Danish Lady Breaks a Record After Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for 5hrs and 52 minutes with Zara Tours

DANISH national Ms. Kristina Schou Madsen (32) has become the first female to spend only 6 hours and 52 minutes for a climb and return trip to from the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro-Uhuru Peak (5,895m ASL).
Speaking with this paper in an exclusive interviews here yesterday after her ascend from the ‘Roof of Africa, Madsen explained that she decided to have such a unique expedition dubbed “Speedy Climb’ for the cause, just soon after coming back from the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Uhuru peak) in her 7-days expedition through Machame route.
“Me and fellow trekkers had first 7-days Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition from February 13 to 19 this year; then soon after the expedition which was for fun, I decided to have a ‘Speedy Climb’ on February 23 this year after some having some mountain acclimatization to support some projects undertaken by the ZARA Charity organization…..” she explained.
Ms. Madsen who was also accompanied by her two friends in the ‘Speedy Climb’ namely Simon Grimstrup, and Josephine Dewett Kristensen who reached Uhuru and Stella point respectively further explained  that she is going to raise some funds through the expedition to construct some classrooms, toilets, dinning hall and a modern kitchen for the Maasai school in Ngorongoro, in Arusha region, among many projects.
“I’m happy that I become the first female in the World to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro using only 6 hours and 52 minutes for the cause, and I’m going to raise funds to support some projects undertaken by the ZARA Charity organization including the construction of the key buidings at the Maasai school at Ngorongoro area in collaboration also the ZARA Tours and Zara charity organizations…. “ she enlightened.
She further explained that, apart from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in those two expeditions, she is also going to visit Ngorongoro cater as well as Serengeti National Park (SENAPA) to see wild animals in their nature.
Giving her experience, Ms. Madsen who is also a professional runner said that, she used to run on different mountains in the world including Everest Marathon and US Marathon.

For his part, Freddy Martin, a professional mountain Guide from ZARA Tanzania Adventures-the organizers of the two expedition explained that, he has more than 11 years experience on mountain climbing; but he had never had such unique expedition of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in such a very few hours.
“In the ‘Speedy Climb’ through Mweka route we used to run to the top, surely this has inspired me, and I hope one day I will break the World Record…” he explained.
Zainab Ansell, the Managing Director of the ZARA Tanzania Adventures-one of the leading tourism company that organized the safari and the expedition explained that,  she is very glad to receive organize such a good expeditions that among many other things, will promote the Tanzania’s tourism in America and all over the world in general.
Last year, the Tanzanian, Lekule, became the first African to spend 8 hours and 36 for a climb and return trip to from the mountain peak.
The first record of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was set by Simon Mtui by spending 9:20 in 2006, followed by Kilians Jornet from Spain spent at around 7:20 in 2010.
Lekule who holds the record of being the first Mount Kilimanjaro climber who used shortest time, called also for cooperation from private institutions and the Government in sponsoring athletes for Mountain Run so that they become better internationally.
During the interviews, Lekule said he is in preparation to set a new record in the high and famous mountains in the world for the initial practice in the country and then abroad.
“I like to promote Tanzania worldly and I have already received many invitations to go out to compete in the Mountain Run. My goal is to set a record in the high mountains, so I still have to practice and will continue to practice here and later outside Tanzania,” he said.
Lekule said that so far, World Record is held by Karl Egloff from Ecuador, who spent 6:53 to climb and slump Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014, breaking the record that was set by Kilians Jornet from Spain who used around 7:20 climbing and descending the same mountain in 2010.
Also, in 2016, Researchers exploring  a remote valley on the mountain (two hours walk from Mrusunga forest in Kidia ward, Moshi rural district), discovered towering tree that reaches 81.5 metres into the sky; and that’s enough to make it the new record holder for the tallest tree on the entire Continent of Africa.