How to Successfully Summit Kilimanjaro in 9 Steps

MOSHI, Tanzania – Since 1986, Zara Tours has been guiding tourists on treks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, and more. Many people who come to hike Africa’s tallest mountain want to know just how many climbers successfully reach the summit. No guides can claim perfection in this area because there are several factors that go into one reaching a summit. Those who do find success have a few things in common though, and we wanted to share those now.

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How to Successfully Summit Kilimanjaro in 9 Steps:

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Prepare well. Do your homework on what to bring, and not bring on your trip and plan to arrive early to help reduce any jet lag that will be amplified once altitude is factored in.


Dress appropriately. Use your tour company’s checklist of gear to be certain to pack the right clothing for your 5-10-day hike. Waterproof boots, extra pairs of warm socks, gloves, wicking and insulating layers, topped by a windproof and waterproof coat are all critical. Bring both cold and sun protection.


Go slow. Age and fitness levels aren’t as important as proper altitude acclimation. Many hikers use one or two ski poles to reduce pressure on their joints while climbing. Take a slow pace to allow your body to adjust to the altitude and physical demands of hiking several hours a day.


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Get acclimated. Only 62% of all hikers make it to the summit and that is primarily because they fail to plan for proper acclimation of altitude. 95.5% of those who do an 8-day climb reach the summit and that number drops in half for a 6-day climb, and half again for a 5-day trek if climber fail to plan properly. Choosing a longer trek, while paying a little extra, increases your chance of reaching the summit.

A faster 5- or 6-day trek can lead to success if an overnight climb of Meru, followed by a day of rest, is completed to support acclimation.

Stay hydrated. More than 70% of climbers will suffer from some level of Acute Mountain Sickness, and one of the best ways to relieve this is to stay properly hydrated.  Carry 3 liters of water in both a water bladder and bottle as the first may freeze at higher altitudes, but makes staying hydrated easier.

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Train ahead of time. It is recommended that you train for several months prior to your trek as you will be hiking up to 6 hours a day on average and up to 10-14 hours on summit day. Endurance training, including hiking or stair-climbing, is suggested.

Climb the right time. December/January/February and Mid-May, June through October are the most popular times to hike Kilimanjaro because they offer the best weather conditions. Those looking for less populated experiences can choose another time, or a less-traveled route, and take the additional steps required to find success with those trails with more extreme conditions.

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Release ego. It’s important to listen to your own body and respect its needs for calories, water, and a slower pace. Let go of the need to get anywhere first or travel on your own. Park regulations require you have a certified guide, and you will be hiking with a group of porters, chefs, and guides. These guides will offer tips before your hike, and more along the way.  They have your best interests in mind, so pay attention.

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Celebrate. Whether or not you summit, be proud of your accomplishment to take on a challenge and see it as far as you could. Even training and showing up is something to be proud of. Tip the support staff well, and consider rewarding yourself with a relaxing trip to the beaches of Zanzibar or take in more of Tanzania’s beauty on a safari.

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About ZARA TOURS: Our full-service, multi-award-winning East African travel company owns and operates local hotels, lodges, and wild camps to create a truly amazing adventure-of-a-lifetime. Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, offers a landscape for every traveler: white beaches on the coast, the Serengeti plains full of wildlife, tropical rain forests full of monkeys and brightly colored birds, and one of the world’s largest mountains, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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With over 30 years of experience, we offer the best in trained climbing guides, accommodations, and safari operators to give a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will want to relive time and again. Find us online at and if you wish to contribute to our charities, please find us at for all the information you’ll need.

March 10, 2020 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

Dr. Tulia Ackson and Zara Charities Collaborate to Raise Awareness, Help Young Women

MOSHI, TANZANIA. In May 2018, the first Menstrual Health Management Symposium was held in Johannesburg, South Africa with the goal of breaking down taboos and shame, creating solutions for providing supplies, and expanding education around menstruation. Research has shown that millions of schoolgirls in Africa are unable to afford sanitary pads and this results in many girls missing school during their periods.


Dr. Tulia Ackson Mwansasu is the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania. She was appointed as a Member of Parliament by President John Magufuli in 2015. Last year, under the guidance and support of Zara Tours, Dr. Ackson climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on the Marangu Route to raise awareness and funds for such schoolgirls. Funds raised (approx. 100 mil Tanzania shillings), were used to buy dispensary machines and manufacture sanitary pads for the purpose of supporting schoolgirls during menstruation, especially in the more rural areas of Tanzania. Zara Charities, the philanthropic side of Zara Tours, also made a financial contribution to the efforts.


Menstruation is a natural part of a woman’s life and should never be an obstacle for young women in achieving their dreams of education. With efforts from people like Dr. Ackson, Zara Charity founder Zainab Ansell, and others across Africa looking to create awareness and support, no girl will be put to shame or be scared of her body.


Have a project that needs awareness? Want to join in the multiple humanitarian and environmental efforts that Zara Charities is involved with? Learn more at:

67351520_2188678537927245_7267094384342990848_oAbout ZARA TOURS: Award-winning Zara Tours offers safari, mountain trekking, and other African adventures to create the vacation of a lifetime. Whether seeking to relax on the white sands of Zanzibar, see primates and colorful birds in Kenya, climb the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro, or capture the big 5 game on camera, Zara Tours can lead the way. Our full-service African travel company owns and operates local hotels, lodges, and wild camps to create a truly amazing African experience. With over 30 years of experience, we offer the best in trained climbing guides, accommodations, and safari operators to provide an experience you will want to relive time and again. Find us online at

September 10, 2019 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

Zara Tours & Zara Adventures Awarded Best Tour Operator – First Prize

MOSHI, TANZANIA – When Zara Tours was founded in 1986, owner Zainab Ansell knew she wanted to create an organization focused on community giveback. Before sustainable tourism was a buzzword, she was creating exactly that, founding Zara Charities in 2009. Currently operating two area hotels, 3Lodges and 4 luxury tent camps in the northern circuit of Tanzania, Zara Tours is one of the largest safari operators in the region.

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In June 2019, Zara Tours was honored to receive the 1st prize for Best Tour Operator (Overall), in the Tanapa Tourism Awards/Tanzania National Parks Awards. We also won 1st prize for Mountain Climbing and Best Seasonal/Special Camp/wild camps.

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(Zara Tours Awarded 1St Prize -Best Tour Operator overall winner Award)


(1st Prize Best Tour Operator – Mountain Climbing awards )


(Zara Tours Awarded 1St Prize -Best Seasonal/Special Camp overall winner Award)

Ms. Ansell continues to donate a portion of all tourist sales back to the community through Zara Charities and their various projects.

Known for its safety, efficiency, and reliability, Zara Tours offers one of the best values in Tanzania tourism. We are able to do this because We have our own properties and equipment. We also currently employ over 280 guides who speak English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and many other languages. With a priority on education and sustainability – both for and with, our staff and clients, it becomes clear why we would be recognized for our contribution.

The KiliClean Project is probably one of their most notable offerings, giving a 15% discount to trekkers who are willing to clean as they climb. Offered twice a year, this option encourages environmentally conscious trekkers to get all the joy of climbing, with the additional benefit of giving back.

For those not interested in trekking, but still interested in the preservation of ecology, safaris through the new Mkomazi National Park have begun. Designed as a refuge for certain species of endangered animals, such as the black rhino and African wild dog, it features over 75 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds.

About ZARA TOURS: Our full-service African travel company owns and operates local hotels, lodges, and wild camps to create a truly amazing adventure of a lifetime. Tanzania, the largest country of East Africa, offers a landscape for every traveler: white beaches on the coast, the Serengeti plains full of wildlife, tropical rain forests full of monkeys and brightly colored birds, and one of the world’s largest mountains, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

With over 30 years of experience, we offer the best in trained climbing guides, accommodations, and safari operators to give a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget. Find us online at

August 14, 2019 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Zara Tours Offers Education, Opportunity, and Give-Back to Tourists and Community

TANZANIA, AFRICA – June in Africa kicks off the top of the season for wildlife viewing and a pleasantly tropical climate in drier weather, resulting in less mosquito activity. The coastal areas will be hotter and more humid than those further inland, and the mountain areas will drop in temperature significantly overnight, as altitude increases. This weather, that lasts until October, makes trekking the perfect African holiday activity.

Whether hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru, or the Ngorongoro Highlands, Zara Tours’ focus is on education, safety, and sustainability. Our Kili-clean program runs twice a year and our porters, along with others in the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society (MKPS), trek and clean to keep the mountain beautiful for generations to come. Trekkers who wish to join in this environmental project can do so, and earn a discounted rate on the standard trek fees.

The 5- to 9-days trekking routes are all lead by skilled guides and porters who place safety first, which starts with proper hydration and altitude acclimation. From solar-powered sleeping huts on the easiest hike to slow and steady treks to the summit, Zara’s diverse offerings are given to private climbers or groups and include prepared meals.

ZARA TOURS 1A full circle, we educate porters, who educate visitors. These visitors allow us to reinvest in our communities to provide further education, skills, and the ability to earn income and support their families. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that supports and equips everyone to have a better life.


ZARA TOURS was founded in 1987, with sustainable tourism in mind well before it was a trend. One of the largest safari operators in the region, Zara Tours creates one-of-a-kind experiences for tourists interested in safaris through the Serengeti, trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru, gorilla watching in Uganda, and more. Our full-service African travel company owns and operates local hotels, lodges, and wild camps to create a once-of-a-lifetime experience, you will want to relive.


A portion of all proceeds goes right back into the community through Zara Charities which supports vulnerable groups like orphans, Maasai women, and porters. Learn more at

August 1, 2019 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

Preparing for Your Spring East African Safari

Have you been dreaming of going on a safari? Safaris tend to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience people often have on their “bucket list”. Safety and preparation are critical in helping them be successful and enjoyable, which requires the support of high-quality and knowledgeable staff, like ours at Zara Tours.


Spring is a perfect time to visit East Africa, so get your pen and paper ready to jot down what it will take to make it a vacation to remember!


The Best East African Vacations

Because East Africa has so much to offer, working with a company who can help you have the experience you desire is very important. The best vacations depend on the level of adventure and sights you’d like to see, as well as the amount of time you are able to spend there.

37240682_10156261874200042_1641902238471290880_oWhen you consider East African Tanzanian vacation, consider:

37565393_1897443723647727_4908993455771877376_nThink about what type of experience you’d like to have and look at ways to combine the areas you’d like to see with the time and budget you have available.

What to Pack for Tanzania

You will want to check luggage limits for domestic flights as you will likely be limited to 30 – 40 lbs (15-20 kg) per person. You will want clothing that provides rain, wind, and bug protection – light-weight, cool shirts, and pants are best. Wear waterproof, sturdy shoes. Consider the weather and location of your travel and plan accordingly. Click here for a more detailed safari packing list.
6.3 Makuti Main Restaurant & Main PoolCheck for specials:
When considering your trip, look for specials on the areas you want to visit. For example, every April, Zara Tours offers discounts to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro with their Kili-Clean program. This opportunity allows trekkers to give back to the community by picking up trash left by tourism while exploring the majesty of one of the world’s largest mountains. To see other discounted options, check out Zara Tour Specials page.


May 17, 2019 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

‘Pink’ Elephant – A Rare Species of Elephants Found in South African Safari Park

Let us talk about the (pink) elephant in the room. Lately, an extremely rare albino elephant was spotted in South Africa’s MalaMala Private Game Reserve. A video of this adorable three weeks old champagne-pink calf has now gone viral on the Internet.
Speaking of the Pink Elephant, it is a rare occurrence in African elephants, and it’s presence has not been well documented. From the clip, it was hard to point out if the calf is a true albino or if it’s unusual coloring is caused by leucism, a genetic condition causing pigment loss.
Irrespective whether albino or leucistic, this baby elephant has a tough road ahead of it. As animals with skin conditions are often sensitive to the harsh rays of the sun and could also have health problems related to a genetic mutation.
An article on this rare elephant was published by Earth Touch News Network recently –Baby ‘Pink’ Elephant Filmed Frolicking On South African Game Reserve…

“A Call For Sustainable Biodiversity Conservation; The Elephant Can Survive Only If Forests Survive.”

Forest elephants have been diminishing throughout their range during the last several decades.

Therefore, if we do not conserve our environment and forest today, then the day is not far when we will only find the Elephants in photos and videos.


Zara Advocates For Sustainable Biodiversity Conservation To Save The Pink Elephants In South Africa.

Zara Tours is committed to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism. As the saying goes “Towards a journey every step counts” – so is our commitment to realize sustainability, we try to contribute as much as we can and are prepared to help as much as possible for the cause of Elephant Conservation In Africa including this marvelous Pink Elephant In South Africa.

Marvel At The Sight Of The Rare Pink Elephants; A Truly Heart-Warming Sight.

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Nature never misses a surprise. If you perceive that you have seen it all, then we can guarantee that sighting of this rare pink is something you are yet to encounter. Marvel at this unique sight with us on our South African Safari.

Elephants, Ecosystems, And Survival
Did you know elephants are closely affected by the turmoil they face in their families and the ecosystems in which they live?

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  • Yes, just like humans elephants share a close bond with nature and family and are adversely affected if any crisis takes place.
  • However, with rising deforestation and continuous poaching activities, elephant species are threatened of being endangered.
  • Elephants are highly adaptable intelligent and masters of survival, which allows them to survive a lifespan of 60-70 years.

About Zara Tours: Zara Tours was established in 1987 in Tanzania, Africa and is one of the Continent’s biggest safari, Operators with leading experience in the region’s Top Tourism hotspots such as the Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa. We offer private and group tours and safari experiences from 1 to 30 days. To learn more, visit more information.

April 18, 2019 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

The World’s Top Five African Destinations To Enjoy A Breath-Taking Sunrise

Africa’s diverse topography gives it some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world. From rolling desert dunes, thick jungles and wildlife-filled savannah plains the African horizon is simply breathtaking. There’s nothing quite like watching the sunrise from the majestic Kilimanjaro or on a tropical beach. Whatever the reason, as the dawn rolls in the horizons of these magnificent African Destinations the site is, to say the least spellbound!

Top Five African Destinations To View Sunrise

  1. Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro: Seeing the sun rising in the sky from the highest peak in Africa is magical, the glorious blend of the rays in the horizon will give you Goosebumps for sure!
  2. Tanzania’s Mount Meru: In a scene set behind Mt Kilimanjaro, the sight of the sun rising from the peak of Mount Meru is nothing sort of breathtaking.
  3. Kenya’s Mount Kenya: The sun rising from the peak of Mount Kenya is an incredible experience characterized by colorful beams and a golden sky.
  4. Uganda’s Murchison Falls: As the dawn graces the skies, the sun rising over the Nile; the world’s longest river is quite an enchanting and beautiful sight to behold.
  5. Rwanda’s Kigali: Sunrise from a hike up Mt. Kigali that overlooks the entire city will leave you amazed with the mesmerizing gradient illumination over the city.

Add one of the above countries spectacles to your African Safari Adventures as these destinations put on the most fabulous sunrises!

Popular Travel website Makes time to see the World in its recent article “The Best Places To Visit In Africa In 2019 (With Photos & Things To Do)” has included all the African Destinations in which we operate. Below we have highlighted some of the main highlights of these countries.



Tanzania is an entrancing travel goal exemplified by Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s most noteworthy pinnacle; the Serengeti National Park; one of the world’s largest wildlife ecosystems and recently proclaimed world wonder; and the Ngorongoro Crater with its inconceivable concentration of biodiversity. Get the best Tanzania Safari Packages to find the true definition of an authentic African Safari.

Kenya is one of the iconic safari goals in Africa. It is home to an immense wildlife concentration and boasts some of Africa’s most popular destinations including the Masai Mara, which together with the Serengeti in Tanzania has the Great Migration from July to October. Get the best Kenya Safari Packages to enjoy a magical African adventure!


Zambia is popular for incredible African strolling safaris. This magnificent destination is home to the fabulous Victoria Falls and the powerful Zambezi River where guests can appreciate the exciting wilderness in a boat safari. Get the best Zambia Safari Packages for a delightful experience!



Uganda, known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’, is a nation where mountains soar, with incredible landscapes, it is home to the source of the Nile; the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake; Lake Victoria. Rafting down the Nile offers a world-class adrenaline adventure, but the country’s most sought after the experience is tracking mountain gorillas in their misty habitat. Get the best Uganda Safari Packages for a thrilling encounter!



Dubbed “The Horn of Africa” hardly any nations in Africa are as compensating to go in as Ethiopia. Spread over beautiful scenes Ethiopia boasts rich historical significance and it is a truly unique country to visit with some of the continent’s most amazing places and more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in Africa. Get the best Ethiopia Tour Packages for a truly unique holiday.



Rwanda; the land of a thousand is a nation wealthy in widely varied vegetation popular for the uncommon Silverback mountain gorilla. Get the best Rwanda Safari Packages to find the lively gorilla in their habitat!



Botswana is one of the last great refuges for Nature’s magnificent pageantry of life. From the perfectly clear waters of the Okavango Delta to the expansive elephant groups in the Chobe National Park and the capricious Savute Channel, Botswana is an exceptional safari goal. Get the best Botswana Safari Packages to find Africa’s wilderness wonders!

South Africa often described as the world in one country is a standout amongst the most entrancing and awesome nations in Africa, celebrated for its lovely biodiversity, natural life, rich culture, and daylight.

Cape Town and the 12 Apostels from above in South Africa

“Africa Gives You The Knowledge That Man Is A Small Creature, Amongst Other Creatures, In A Large Landscape.”

The above saying by Nobel laureate Doris Lessing rightly captures the essence of Africa. With its vast landscape, a plethora of wildlife and multitude ethnicity, Africa is like the largest landscape which has a plenitude of animals including man, the well-evolved species of mammals.

Why African Safari Is Worth Considering With Zara Tours?
African Safari with Zara Tours offers the ultimate value for money experience as we not only organize safari and trekking tours but our guests get to stay at our properties in Tanzania, which is a complete package. We offer our clients a one-stop shop holiday.

  • One of the leading Kilimanjaro trekking and safari outfitters in the region.
  • Zara Tours is one of the first local-based travel company in the region.
  • Zara has over 30 years of experience in the industry, guaranteeing the best services to our clients.
  • Zara owns its own hospitality properties in Tanzania giving the best accommodation to our clients.
  • Zara owns a fleet of 102 vehicles comprised of; 4×4 Land Rovers, 4×4 minibusses and 4×4 Land Cruisers (all equipped with viewing roofs).
  • All our guides are the multilingual speaker.
  • Giving back to the community is our priority. In 2009 Zara creating a platform for us to engage directly with the community. Zara Charity supports vulnerable and marginalized groups in our tourism host communities such as orphans, the Maasai women’s group and more.

Is Africa On Your Travel List? It’s Time To Dream And Plan

With over 50 African nations to look over choose from, selecting where to go can be overwhelming. The initial step is to settle on the sort of vacation you want or the particular things you’d like to see.

Are you looking for the classic African SafariTours experience? Then perhaps Kenya or Tanzania is the apt choice for you. Want to find out wonderful ancient cultures? Ethiopia is your calling. For beach vacations, consider the stunning islands of the Indian Ocean.

If you’re traveling with small children, then South Africa is the destination for you, where malaria isn’t a problem. Head to Uganda or Rwanda, if you want to track the last remaining mountain gorillas, the closest relative to man, we share around 98% of our DNA with them.

Tips And Tricks For Travelling In Africa


  • Pick The Correct Tour, Above All Else.
African safari tours differ significantly and things like your tour guide, the safari area, and the cost would all be able to impact your experience.
  • Recognize What’s In Store.
It is important to be mentally prepared by reading about the destinations you will be visiting before travel; this will proactively help shape your expectations. Remember that to ensure you aren’t baffled when you arrive.
  • Pack Appropriately
Bring comfortable and suitable outfits, shoes that are appropriate for the savannah, insect repellent and sunscreen plus whatever else you figure you may require.
  • Be Realistic
You’re going to see some mind-blowing creatures. What’s more, some of the time you will see something that will leave your jaw on the floor. However, don’t consequently expect to see a lion bring down a gazelle directly before you!
About Zara Tours:

Zara Tours was established in 1987 in Tanzania, Africa and is one of the Continent’s biggest safari, Operators with leading experience in the region’s Top Tourism hotspots such as the Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa. We offer private and group tours and safari experiences from 1 to 30 days. To learn more, visit for more information.

April 18, 2019 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

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