Archive for September, 2008

Sounds of Wisdom festival Zanzibar 2009

Sauti za Busara is an international festival celebrating East African music taking place around the second weekend of February each year in Zanzibar. The dates for 2009 will be 12th to 17th of February.

Featuring top-quality musical performances by more than 400 established and upcoming artists (40 groups in total), Sauti za Busara has already established itself as one of Africa’s leading music festivals. It’s an event that unites people in celebration. The festival celebrates Swahili music and culture, old and new. It’s popular with locals and now attracting people from all over the world. Since the first Sauti za Busara festival in 2004, the number of visitors to Zanzibar during February has increased 400%, boosting local revenue and bringing important economic benefits to the island through cultural tourism. The festival directly employs 100 local crew, builds skills and opportunities for musicians, artists, traders and technicians.

During the time of Sauti za Busara, all the hotels and restaurants in Stone Town are full, the boats and planes are fully booked, the tour guides are busy, Zanzibar is energised and excitement is in the air.

A carnival and street parade kicks off festivities on Thursday 12th February, featuring a beni brass band, drummers, wanandege (umbrella women), dancers, stilt walkers and acrobats. The parade arrives at Forodhani around 5pm and continues into the Mambo Club (grassy side) of the Old Fort, where the main stage of the festival is situated. The venue is exploding with colour and there are around twenty stalls selling food and refreshments, clothing, music and local handicrafts.

From Thursday through til Sunday, around ten groups perform each day. Big names rub shoulders with upcoming artists, including thirty of the best groups of Zanzibar, Tanzania and around East Africa, from Comoros, Zimbabwe, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and UK, traditional and modern, acoustic and electric.  

ZARA now offers a luxury 12 nights all-inclusive program with a Canadian tour leader, visiting the festival and staying at the historic 236 Hurumzi Hotel in Stonetown. After the Festival, we are up to the 5 star Fairmont Zanzibar for some downtime at the beach. See the itinerary.

September 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm 1 comment

Website for Huruma Women Group

huruma women moshi
The Huruma Women Group is a community-based organisation of Tella Mande in rural Moshi, initiated and directed by Mary Saria and Berther Mawenya. The aim of Huruma (swahili for ‘compassion’) is to help the disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the community. ZARA has been a friend and supporter of Huruma Women Group for several years. In July, Huruma Women group welcomed their first international volunteer, Julia from Germany who has degrees in social work and educational sciences. Before starting with Huruma, she first spent 3 months in Dar-es-Salaam accompanying the social workers of the SOS Children’s village at their ‘Family Strengthening Outreach Program’. Then during a further 3 months in Tanzania with the Huruma Women Group, she tried to assign certain principles that worked at the big organisation in the capital to the small rural initiative of Mary and Berther. As a result of Julia’s voluntary work, Huruma now even have their own website, as she convinced a friend of hers who is web designer, Jacek Jonczyk to create a webpage for the charitable group free of charge. The website is now online at ZARA thanks Julia for her big support, Jacek for his effort and Gabriel of World Unite! for translating the website’s English texts into Swahili.

September 13, 2008 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

2nd Ngorongoro Run to be held on April 18th, 2009

Ngorongoro Marathon

Minnesota Health Voluteers with the support of ZARA will be organising the second Ngorongoro Marathon on Saturday, 18th of April 2009. Runners will make their way through one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes on earth, ending at the mighty Ngorongoro Crater. Participants can run the full half marathon (21 km) as individuals or as part of a team running a fraction of the race. Tourists and locals are welcome alike.

The aim of the run is to raise awareness and funds for the fight against malaria. Malaria affects between 300 and 500 million people every year, over 90% of whom live in Africa. Malaria kills over one million every year, but there can also be debilitating effects to the survivors. Women who become infected during pregnancy run the risk of having low birth weight babies, may suffer from anemia, premature births, birth defects, still births and spontaneous abortions. Young children can be left with neurological after-effects and learning disabilities.

If you take part in the run, you can book any ZARA safari or climb for a discount of 50 USD. First, please contact Jolene Mullins, Tanzanian Country Director of Minnesota Health Volunteers at to book your participation in the run and inform her about the time you expect you need to run the half marathon. Runners will be grouped into three speed groups depending on their estimated pace. Then, book your ZARA Tanzania adventure  (before or after the run) online through the ZARA website and mention that you take part in the run to claim your discount.

September 8, 2008 at 2:20 pm 1 comment


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