Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Best Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru Porter of the Year 2018

The winners at the 2018 Tanzania Tour Guide Awards were revealed on Saturday night (Oct. 13).
This year's awards show, hosted by Mc David from EATV and celebrating heroes and ambassadors in safari, mountain, Porter and cultural took place at the SITE tourism fair . The event was proudly sponsored by:
TANAPA | NCAA | TTB | Kilimanjaro Search & Rescue | Kilifair | CulturalHeritage | Adventure Aloft Baloon Safari | A&L Magazine |
The list of winners per their categories:
Safari Guide Category
Winner 📌Englebert Qorror - Jackal Adventure
1st Runner 📌Emilian Matay - Easy Travel
2nd Runner 📌Samuel Sikombe - Freelance
*Mountain Guide Category*
Winner 📌Eliakimu Mshanga - Tusker Trails
1st Runner📌Nelson Melleor - Trek2Kili Ltd
2nd Runner 📌Innocent Thadei Mosha - Zara Tours
*Cultural Guide Category*
Winner 📌Abraham Machande - Mto Wa Mbu
1st Runner📌Mhindoi Momoya - Eyasi
2nd Runner 📌Seuli Meyani Sarakikya
*Porters Category*
Winner📌Frank J. Ngatunga - TPO
1st Runner📌Dotto Jovith Joseph - MKPS

Friday, June 22, 2018

Let's Clean the Ocean to beat plastic pollution

Climate change is emerging as a potent driver of internal migration, in Tanzania we are experiencing rising sea levels that led to more intense rainy seasons resulting to flooding in the coastal areas.

There’s estimated to be 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste on Earth. By the middle of this century ton for ton, they’ll be more plastic in the ocean than fish. While most of the micro-plastic collects or is peppered throughout the surface, a study probing creatures from the deepest parts of the ocean found that many if not most of the organisms there had ingested plastic. Potential effects of climate change and rising sea surface
temperatures in the Indian Ocean coral bleaching has also led to reduced coral cover in most reefs of the country, with mortalities of up to 90% in many shallow areas.Life under land is critical to the global ecosystem.

Zara Charity through it’s Foundation has chosen to make a difference by engaging in regular
clean up activities to stop any further damage caused by environmental degradation from
human activity and promote the conservation

and preservation of the precious land and marine biodiversity and climate adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change which are already being experienced in this part of the world particularly seen in the rising sea levels. We are excited to take on this humbling challenge and encourage you to join us by supporting our mission by supporting our clean up activities and donating to construct flood proofing structures along the Indian Ocean Coastline. 

Monday, March 26, 2018


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.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society

The Mount Kilimanjaro Porter's Society was created by ZARA Tours in 2004 for the purpose of preventing the exploitation of the local population and preserving the local environment through sustainable tourism. Before the founding of the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter's Society, there was no regulating body to ensure the safety and well-being of the porters summiting the mountain. Given the need for employment, these individuals were endangering their lives to secure work, they received poor quality provisions and safety gear, they overloaded themselves with equipment, and they were not paid fair wages. Also during this time, few porters possessed significant knowledge about sustaining Mount Kilimanjaro's ecosystem or habitat. The creation of the Porter's Society has fought hard to alleviate these challenges through central coordination.Now the Porter's Society is an established organization with its own constitution, includes over 700 porters, and is completely self governed. The ultimate goals of this society are to protect the rights of the porters that work on Mount Kilimanjaro. The first of it's kind in the area, some of the beneficial measures provided by the MKPS include:
 (1) Weight limits on the amount of gear porters are required to carry
 (2) Minimum standards for wages, rations, and sufficient gear
 (3) Free English education classes
(4) Free first aid and mountain safety education classes
(5) Free educational classes on sustainable tourism and environmental conservation of the mountain
(6) Micro-finance loan assistance and provision of emergency funds for porters' families. 
(7) Health insurance for all porters under MKPS

Additionally, the porters of this society take part in two climbs per year in which they clean the mountain on their way to the top. In these ways the Porter's Society is working very hard to protect the health and safety of the porters while at the same time supporting the community and providing better customer service for tourists.
If you would like to find out more about the Kilimanjaro Porter's Society, please visit their website at http://www.kilimanjaro-porters.org

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kilimanjaro Porters society

This society was registered under the name Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society on 30th September 2005 as a non govermental organization with a certificate no 13296 under the organization art of the United Republic of Tanzania.  The society exists as a shield for porters who are registered under it with the goal of  improving the living and working condition of these porters.
The fact that a large percent of the porters are low income earners who are either semi-illitrate or illitrate, mount kilimanjaro porters society we ensures that these porters are taken care of in the case of payments as they come back from work and other aspects that relates with work and their normal lives.  With our big assistance from  mount kilimanjaro porters society we ensures that porters are benefited in the listed ways below:
  1. Health Insurance
With the nature of work the porters do it is easy to get sick or injured while they work, for this case all porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society are registered on the National Health Insurance Fund to secure them if they get sick or injured while working. Together with that at the beginning of every high season (more tourists climbing kilimanjaro), Mount kilimanjaro porters society we ensures that all porters are healthy checked so as to start the season while everyone is physically fit.
  2. First Aid Training
We reduce the risk of loosing lives for both tourists and porters, the porters under Mount kilimanjaro Porters Society are trained with the basic mountain first aid knowledge which enables them to be of help between themselves and even to clients. The training is usually done during low season (less tourists climbing Kilimanjaro) because here many porters are in town and they attend in high numbers.
  3. Beginner English Learning Classes
Almost 90% of the porters can not speak English, for this reason it is hard for them to communicate with tourists whenever required to.  To remove this misunderstanding Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society organizers tailor we made english classes for the porters which enables them to gain the basic language knowledge and be able to communicate with the tourits. Also this is done during low season (less tourists climbing Kilimanjaro) because many porters are in town and the number of attendees is high.
  5. HIV Aids Education
HIV AIDS has been a threatening disease in our country for a while now. People with less knowledge on how to prevent themselve from such a disease have been attacked by this disease generations to generations. Poverty and illiteracy is the main cause for this disease that is why as Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society usually we arranges HIV AIDS classes for the porters so that they can learn how to prevent themselves from it and also to be able to go to work and take care of their families.
  4. Financial Management Education
With the income they earn without proper methods of saving and using it will be difficult for porters to take care of their families. Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society we arranges finacial managemnet classes for porters from time to time and also we ensures that all porters have bank accounts for which their salaries are paid to and also they use them to save money for the future especially during low season when few tourists climb Kilimanjaro.

For More information about Mount Kilimanjaro Porters society, its other sponsors, projects and initiatives please visit their website http://www.kilimanjaro-porters.org/

Monday, August 28, 2017


JOHN Cairns (50), a Canadian man who lost his right arm and right leg in a workplace accident in 1992, accompanied by Lucas Wise-man had 7-day Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Expedition through Rongai route to raise awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities and funds for his Wheelchair of Hope Foundation.

A man with only one left leg and one right hand from America is not a sailor. But still he has a right to shout: “Ahoy there!” because he managed to reach a top Mt. Kilimanjaro representing a cause for people with physical disabilities worldwide.
As Cairns recalls it was around 6.35 a.m. on August 7, 2016 during their summiting to the ‘Roof of Africa’ after a breath taking 2 and half hour slow walk from Hans Meyer cave that he managed to reach Gilman’s point, 5,681 meters, above sea level.

“For some seconds I totally forgot that I came along with my friend Lucas Wiseman, then some 15 minutes or so later turning I saw him coming towards me from Uhuru peak (5,895m ASL), just few meters from where I was in a second group under guidance from professional mountain guide from the ZARA Tanzania Adventures and it downed on me that he has made it. We both made it!”

He recollected that was the culmination of “our seven day Mt. Kilimanjaro climb” through the toughest Rongai route that to him still seems like a dream. “Reaching Gilman’s peak was a dream come true
but the actual climb is a long episode that ones need to grow old first to forget,” Mr. Cairns noted in an exclusive interviews with this paper with tears of joy!

“I do like the challenge that’s why I come to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro though I lost my right leg and hand and I’m very much appreciate myself that I made it to the Gilman’s Peak with the ‘great assistance’  from Edwin Kilawe, a Tour Guide with ZARA Tanzania Adventures..” he explained.

According to Mr. Cairns, he dreamed to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro for a long time to prove to the World that ‘Anything is Possible if you like’ and disabled can do if assisted.

“When back to Canada I will tout for all people to come to Tanzania and enjoy agony, joy and pride of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and I thank God that I made it to high peak, much salutes goes to ZARA mountain guides, Edwin Kilawe and Joseph Meela and their team for their good assistance who was very patient and kind to me. They assisted me very much to fulfill my dream, and next year I will come to scale gain the highest Peak of Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro to Uhuru peak…” Mr. Cairns further explained in tears of joy.

  Commenting on why he decided to ‘take Mt. Kilimanjaro challenge’ Cairns explained that, he has decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro which is also famously known as ‘The Roof of Africa’ with also the aim of delivering mobility into the lives of children, teens and adults, within the community who otherwise would have limited resources to acquire a wheelchair on their own in Canada and in Tanzania through the charity Kilimanjaro climbing organized by the ZARA Tanzania Adventures for the cause.
According to him, his mission through his charity organization called Wheelchair of Hope Foundation is also transforming lives through providing dignity of mobility, hope and opportunity through freedom of independence.
“Through the generosity and support of both local and international sponsors, Wheelchair of Hope Foundation is able to deliver hope, independence, and enable human and social upward mobility…” Cairns explained.
On his way to the highest top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Cairns provided free toothbrushes and toothpaste to the marginalized children in Rombo district, Kilimanjaro region donated by Family Dental Centre in Canada.
 Explaining his life experience and how he became physically disabled, John Cairns explained that; “Twenty-three years back, I was hit by a train and survived,” he said. “I’ve met many mountains, some the size of Mount Everest metaphorically, and have climbed and succeeded to achieve just unbelievable success through tragedy.”

Two years ago, Cairns founded the Wheelchair of Hope Foundation, which gives the gift of mobility by providing free devices such as wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters to those who need them in and around the Quinte region.
The foundation’s mission is to equip people with the devices they need to live their lives to the fullest, he said.
“When you think of everything that you do on a day-to-day basis, it all centers around mobility,” Cairns said adding that mobility devices positively impact the lives of those who receive them. We bring a higher degree of quality of life that they’re so deserving of.” Cairns said.
For his part, a photo journalist form Canada, Lucas Wiseman who reached the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895m ASL) explained that; “I had a spirit of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro long time ago that’s why I succeed and made it to Uhuru Peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895 m ASL) under great assistance from professional mountain guides from ZARA Tours, and I’m now planning to climb other highest mountains of the World for charity as we did..” he explained cheerfully.

According to him, scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro to the highest peak is way of fulfilling his dream of helping the needy people worldwide being the first young Tanzanian to scale and reach the highest peaks of the highest mountains in different continents of the world famously known as ‘Seven Summits’.
As Wiseman recalls it was around 4:55 a.m. on August 7, 2016 after a breath taking 2 and half hour slow walk from Stella Point that he managed to reach Uhuru Peak, 5,895 meters, above sea level.

“For some seconds I totally forgot that I came along with my friend John Cairns, then some 20 minutes or so later turning I saw him going down from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and told that he reached Gilman’s point. We both made it!”

She recollected that was the culmination of “our nine day Mt. Kilimanjaro climb” through the tough Rongai route that to him still seems like a dream. “Reaching Uhuru peak was a dream come true but the actual climb is a long episode that one’s need to grow old first to forget,” he noted.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Choosing to Climb with MKPS Kilimanjaro

we understand that a very significant factor in the decision of many adventurers to climb Kilimanjaro with us is that we control everything directly ourselves, not relying on any middlemen or local tour operators to dilute the integrity of sometimes very sensitive and specific information as it passes down through the chain of command. Consequently, our climbers expect near-perfect communication between management and our staff on the ground on Kilimanjaro, and swift and ready access to information pertaining to all aspects to their booking. While we believe that the nature of Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society's (MKPS) operational structure affords us a very great advantage in this sense, we would however, like to caution climbers that they should please understand the limitations of the hardware that we use on Kilimanjaro, and – more significantly – the limitations of the cellular network provider to supply consistent signal across the mountain. With such concerns in mind, we would suggest that while climbers may rightly expect MKPS to enjoy the highest standards of communication realistically available, we regret that such are the objective limitations that lie outside our control, that climbers should certainly not base their decision to climb with us on the assumption that we will unfailingly be capable of providing photographs of their climb sent in live-time direct from the mountain on every day of their climb.
For family and friends of a climber it can be worrying to imagine them struggling against altitude, the elements, and objective risks associated with climbing a mountain, and to have no information or updates about how they are faring.