Archive for June, 2014




Jacob Musa (13) and his young sister Julitha Kurwa (12) are not sailors. But still they have a right to shout: “Ahhoy there!” because they managed to reach to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (the snow-capped mountain and the roof of Africa) representing a cause for local orphans.

As Julitha recalls it was around 7.30 a.m. on June 21, 2014 after a breath taking two and half hour slow walk from Stella Point that she managed to reach Uhuru Peak, 5,895 meters, above sea level. “For some seconds I totally forgot that I came along with my young brother, then some 15 minutes or so later turning I saw him coming towards me in a second group and it downed on me he has made it. We both made it! And surely we were able to make it to the top summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro due to high assistance from the two mountain guides from the ZARA Tanzania Adventures (Zara tours) namely Faustine Chombo and Crispin Sawaki .. ” she explained joyfully in interview with this paper at Mweka gate during the ‘Reception ceremony’ of this year’s Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Mt.Kilimanjaro Expedition against HIV/AIDS.

She recollected that was the culmination of “our seven day Mt. Kilimanjaro climb” through the toughest Machame route (also known as Whisk route) that to her 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, and I will never forget the high assistance from my brothers from the ZARA and Geita Gold Mine whose assistance was very meaningful to me to reach the summit” noted young girl Julitha accompanied by her brother Jacob Musa, both standard five pupils at Mbugani Primary school located in Geita township.

“I and Jacob selected ourselves to join 2014 Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Mt. Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS and endorsed by fellow orphans at the Moyo wa Huruma orphanage located in Geita town.

Each and every one at the orphanage wishes to follow in the footsteps of our well-wishers for the Geita Gold Mine, as well as the Managing Director of the Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Mr. Michael Van Anen who joined as in our group and reach the summit. “Said Jacob Musa from Moyo wa Huruma Orphanage center who was the first young boy in this year’s Geita Gold Mine expedition group to reach Uhuru Peak, 5,895 meters, above sea level.
Moyo wa Huruma under the tutelage of Geita Roman Catholic Diocese cares for more than 80 orphans.

Julitha Kurwa who was the youngest guy in the group, and her brother Jacob Musa are both Standard Five pupils at Mbugani Primary school in Geita.

Explaining their journey in general the two young guys said that, with their fellow climbers from GGM they had enough walking and hills climbing exercises prior to our departure to Moshi on June 14, 2014.

When we landed in Moshi, all climbers were lodged at SpringLands Hotel located in Pasua area. We were introduced to ZARA Chief Guides, Mr. Faustine Chombo and Theophil Karia and received detailed briefing on the actual climb, and prepared for the first hike early next day

At dawn on July 15, 2014; we left the hotel in two ZARA Tanzania Adventure minibuses for a ride to Machame Gate. After formalities which including registration for each climber a flag-off function was organized for our expedition.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr. Lazaro Nyalandu, graced the ceremony. I remember him announcing: “I ask the expedition to go to Uhuru peak and while up there loudly declare in and beyond that Tanzania without AIDS is possible.”

The first day trek was tough by all measures. “Walking the 18 kms from Machame Gate to Machame Camp was beyond my expectation and that of many of my fellow climbers … I arrived totally exhausted. I was in fact feeling ill, wishing to go back and return to Geita for good.”

However, the expedition Captain from GGM Mr. Clement Msalangi in fact managed to cajole me to move on during the second and each of the following days.

However, the real examination came on the 21th June, 2014 when the expedition summit. We left from Barafu Camp where we arrived earlier in the afternoon at 10 p.m. to start the most daring climb to Stella Point and ultimately Uhuru peak. It was freezing cold and at
Barafu winds were blowing crazily.

The climb was very slow and the chief guide called for constant breathing breaks. I felt my body aching all over, air was thinner and walking with a torch on the forehead was tricky. At times I find myself sleeping but the requirement was to keep on walking ahead and more so above.

At dawn our expedition managed to reach Stellar Point, I thought that was it but I was proved wrong. The order came from the chief guide: “Climbers should stand up and move ahead to cover the last 200 meters to Uhuru Peak!”

“To say the truth, I don’t believe the remaining distance was really 200 meters. Because we walk and walk for over 2 hours lucky enough I and my young brother George we ultimately made it.

I had many people to thank for the feat but much salutes goes to Faustine Chombo-a professional Mt. Kilimanjaro tour guide from ZARA Tanzania Adventures who throughout the expedition played a role of my guardian farther. The other important person was our expedition physician, He was all over attending to climbers with various complains now and then. The good doctor was always keen to check on my fitness and that of my brother. She further said:
“Expedition captain, the chief guide, porters, and all members of the expedition I thank you for your assistance while we were on that giant mountain. I will always remember you!”

“I almost forget to record here that on reaching Mweka Gate after two day descent we found the Executive Chairman of the Tanzania Commission for HIV/AIDS (TACAIDS) Dr. Fatma Mrisho accompanied by Dr. Ibrahim Msengi-the Moshi district Commissioner waiting for us on behalf of the Kilimanjaro regional commissioner Mr. Leonidas Gama!
I and my brother Jacob shook hands with the DC and received strong joyfully hugs from different top government officials from Kilimanjaro region including the GGM Acting Human Resources Manager Mr. Charles Masubi and Dorah Aloyce who represented the Chief Park Warden of the Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) Mr. Erastus Lufungulo” she observed how lovely the climb ended!

Sharing the ‘taste’ of Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing, some of the trekkers of this year’s expedition who reached the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Uhuru peak-5,895 m ASL) Mr. Tenga Tenga-a Tanzanian official from the GGM and Ms. Melinda Van Anen from a GGM official from Australia explained that, they experience all kinds of the World’s weather from tropical to arctic ones.
“Apart from enjoying the majestic of Mt. Kilimanjaro, we real experience all kinds of the Worlds weather from tropical to arctic ones…” explains Tenga Tenga who works with GGM as Public Relations Manager.

zara mama
Speaking with this paper, the Managing Director of the ZARA Tanzania Adventures Ms. Zainab Ansell said that, her company has become the guide of the ‘crucial’ expedition for more than a decade to join the government efforts in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

“As you know, HIV/AIDS has become one of the giant problems to our society that’s why I’m saying that, there is urgent need to join forces with the government to fight it; I appeal other institutions to emulate Geita Gold Mine initiatives.
She added that, she is very glad to have such a group that apart from combating HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tanzania, will promote in the Asian countries including China as the number of tourists from Asian countries is low compared with the other European, Scandinavian and Caribbean countries.



(The 2014 Geita Gold Mine Mt. Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS poses for the group photo during their Reception ceremony at Mweka gate after doing 7days Kilimanjaro climb, machame Route).

ZARA TOURS, founded in 1987, is currently the No. 1 Kilimanjaro outfitter in Tanzania and one of the largest safari operators in the country. ZARA TOURS owns and operates two hotels and three tented camps, and looking to open two new camps later this Year. Has 88 safari and climbing expert guides who speak English, German and Spanish, and a fleet of fully-equipped vehicles that take tourists on safari adventures or treks up Mt. Kilimanjaro. ZARA TOURS is proud to be known as one of the best operators in the region with a reputation for providing an exceptional, unforgettable and safe experience.

June 27, 2014 at 9:16 am Leave a comment



The government has recommended her people to step up the efforts to raise resources locally through various initiatives such as ‘GeitaGold Mine Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS’ the expedition that has been guided by the ZARA Tanzania Adventures for a more than a decade.
The Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Mt Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS has now reaches 13 years since its establishment in 2001; with the aims of raising money which are used in the joining government’s efforts in the combating of HIV/AIDS pandemic through government and local initiatives such as NGOs, CBOs.

Addressing the trekkers and other Kilimanjaro government officials during the ‘flag-off’ Ceremony of Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS 2014 held at Machame gate Yesterday, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu explained that, to date, the fight against HIV/AIDS is mainly dependent on foreign funding adding that, we have to step up the efforts to raise resources locally, through various initiatives such as Geita Gold Kilimanjaro Challenge; while we appreciate the assistance from our friends outside the country.
“The only promise worthy in Mt Kilimanjaro climbing experience is to emulate his examples, review our behavior so that we prevent new infections and ensure life without HIV/AIDS is possible in Tanzania and Africa in general…” Mr. Nyalandu explained in his speech.
Speaking on HIV/AIDS situation in Tanzania, the Minister explained that, over 30 years of the HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, emphasis has been placed on the development of strategies and approaches to scale up the interventions and deal with the scourge.

“Despite all the efforts, number of people infected continues to grow as it is estimated that around 2.2 million people in Tanzania are living with the virus…..” Mr. Nyalandu further explained.
The Minister however recommended the role played by the GGM in collaboration with ZARA Tanzania Adventures for the appliance of the obliging expedition adding that, the government through his Ministry will continue to support them.

“Apart from playing a big role in the community as a Corporate Social responsibility under GGM in collaboration with ZARA Tours Company and other stakeholders, the expedition also promotes the sustainability of local and international tourism particularly Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing…” he added.
Mt. Kilimanjaro makes a total of more than 30% of the total revenues from tourism industry in Tanzania insisting that, more efforts is needed to ensure its sustainability including protection and conservation.
“Few days ago I was in France with some stakeholders discussing tourism situation in Tanzania among many others, and I was very happy to hear good news about one of the tour operators in Tanzania called Zainab Ansell from ZARA Tours Company from this region who most of the tourism groups have being climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro using different routes through Zara Tours; one of them told me that “We always come because of Zara Tours” he explain more and say what I can only comment is that, the woman have done a very laudable work in the country’s tourism industry” he explained.
For his part, the Managing Director of the Geita Gold Mine Mr. Michael Van Anen explained that, in this year’s expedition a total of include 33 trekkers from GGM participated, where by 23 of them are Tanzanians; while the other 10 are foreign nationals from Colombia, Australia, Zimbabwe and South Africa under the leadership of Captain Clement Msalangi from GGM.
“The GGM Kilimanjaro Expedition against HIV/AIDS 2014 also includes the two orphaned children from Moyo wa Huruma Center which is located at Geita township in the newly Geita region. They are Jacob Musa (13), and his sister Julitha Sylivester (12), all the standard five pupils of Mbugani Primary school.” He further explained.
For her part, the Managing Director of the ZARA Tanzania Adventures Ms. Zainab Ansell explained that, she is very happy that her company has participated fully to join the GGM’s community initiative supporting government’s efforts in the combating of HIV/AIDS through that initiative as the pandemic affects all the people socially, economically, and politically regardless their race and color.
“As you heard, ZARA Tanzania Adventures Company has been the key guide of the climb for all trekkers of the Geita Gold Mine Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS for 13 years now, to join our fellows’ vision to combat HIV/AIDS in Tanzania…” she explained.
This year’s expedition is guided by the Mt. Kilimanjaro Professional tour Guides from ZARA Tanzania Adventures under the leadership of Chief Guide Faustine Chombo and Theophil Karia.
The Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS initiative was officiated by the President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who first kicked-off in 2002 involving 47 climbers and managed to raise 62 Mil/-. It is this humble beginning and modest success that encouraged Geita Gold Mine to make the climb an annual event for a national cause. Since then an average of 40 to 50 climbers joined the challenge’s expedition each year. To date, more than 500 individuals across the globe have participated in the climb and raised more than 2Billion shillings which have benefited over 30 NGO countrywide to fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.
The Kilimanjaro challenge aims to raise awareness on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, provide financial support to HIV/AIDS initiative and build national team spirit in this noble fight. The initiative aligns the challenge with existing government HIV/AIDS initiatives and programmes while giving local climbers opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the past 11 years many people have participated in the climb.
The youngest being 11-year old boy and oldest at 84 years our own retired President, H.E. Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi. The determination shown by Mzee Mwinyi was epic. According to the Prime Minister, Hon. Mizengo K. Pinda he equated this to ‘Mbiu ya Mgambo’ (a calling drum to war).
It is reported that Tanzania’s prevalence rate has gone down from over 13% in 2000 to 7.8% by 2007 and as low as 5.1% today. As part of MDGs and national efforts to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS, His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete launched the national voluntary HIV/AIDS testing campaign. Geita Gold Mine using the umbrella of Kilimanjaro Challenge counts this as a success as the initiative has also played a role in pioneering this awareness on the pandemic and look forward for the day when Tanzania will be declared Zero HIV infection.


ZARA TOURS, founded in 1987, is currently the No. 1 Kilimanjaro outfitter in Tanzania and one of the largest safari operators in the country. ZARA TOURS owns and operates two hotels and three tented camps, and looking to open two new camps later this Year. Has 88 safari and climbing expert guides who speak English, German and Spanish, and a fleet of fully-equipped vehicles that take tourists on safari adventures or treks up Mt. Kilimanjaro. ZARA TOURS is proud to be known as one of the best operators in the region with a reputation for providing an exceptional, unforgettable and safe experience.

zara mama

Director of Zara Tours (Zainab Ansell) with the minister of Natural resource and Tourism (Mr Lazaro Nyalandu during the ‘flag-off’ Ceremony of Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS 2014 held at Machame gate.





June 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment



Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu chatting with the former French President H.E Giscard d’Estaing who is a Patronage of Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Foundation during a fundraising dinner in Paris


Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu (MP) meets Mr. John Jackson, Chairman of the US Conservation Force during the fundraising dinner organized by Wildlife foundation of Tanzania in Paris. Looking on from left are the Director General of Tanzania National Parks Mr. Allan Kijazi and Director General of National Museum Professor Audax Mabulla.


Former French President H.E Giscard d’Estaing who is a Patronage of Wildlife Conservation Foundation of Tanzania delivering a speech during a fundraising dinner in Paris.


Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism presenting his remarks to the invited guests at the fundraising dinner in Paris.


A number of wildlife images were auctioned during the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of Tanzania fundraising dinner in Paris.


The high table was given a name of Kilimanjaro


Tables during the fundraising dinner were identified by using names of some of Tanzania National Parks like this one of Serengeti.


Tarangire was also cited in one of the dining tables.Image

Mikumi was also well presented during the dinner.



Director General of Tanzania National Parks, Mr. Allan Kijazi was among Tanzania official delegation that attended this important fundraising dinner.

Over 500 Million Tanzanian shillings were raised during the recent Wildlife Conservation Foundation of Tanzania annual fundraising dinner in Paris, France. Speaking during the function, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu thanked the foundation for their passion in wildlife conservation over the past 10 years since the foundation was formed as they have contributed much to the wildlife sector through their donations in terms of vehicles, equipment and supplies to various protected areas in the country.

Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu said that a major review of the law has been made to enable establishment of the Tanzania Wildlife Authority, which will be a solution to various conservation challenges facing some of the protected areas particularly the poaching crisis. He told the invited guests that government would work closely with other stakeholders and international community to ensure that illegal wildlife trade is stopped for the betterment of the wildlife sector in the country.

On his side, former French President who is the Patronage of the Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Foundation of Tanzania H.E thanked the participants for their financial commitments and pledges towards conservation sector and assured them that the raised funds will be used for the intended purpose of conserving wildlife sector in the country. 

Over 170 participants attended this year’s fundraising dinner from various parts of the world who have a passion in wildlife biodiversity conservation.

Images by Pascal Shelutete, TANAPA



June 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment


The Annual wildebImageeest migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet.  Sometimes referred to as the ‘Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth’, The Great Wildebeest Migration is a movement of approximately 1.5 million wildebeest throughout the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems.  400,000 zebra and 200,000 gazelles accompany them along the way, making a total of over 2 million migrating animals!

A general guide to the Wildebeest migration based on the movement of the mega herd over the last ten years. 

From early December the Migration starts to move into the Ndutu region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  The short grass plains here are rich in nutritious grasses with phosphorus, providing the herds with the best conditions to raise their newborn. Mid February is calving season when approximately 8,000 wildebeest are born every day for a period of approximately 3 weeks.  The area around Lake Ndutu itself is the place to be at this time of year.  The best accommodations are Ndutu wild camp, and Ngongoro Wild Camp ‘The Luxury camp’, Highview Hotel run by Zara Tours (The Tanzania Wild Camp) Zara Properties,

From April to May, the herds migrate North with a split occurring when some wildebeest head directly up across the plains of the central Serengeti and the mega herd starts to push out to the Serengeti’s Western Corridor.  This is the best time to stay at Serengeti wild camp, and the larger central Serengeti hotels, such as the Serena and Sopa Lodge.

The central splinter herds then continue north to the Mara with the very first herds crossing the Mara River in late June, early July.  The mega herd in the intervening time, is concentrated by the Grumeti River at the end of May/beginning of June and it is here we suggest people stay.  At Serengeti Wild Camp the permanent and Wildebeest Camp run the only mobile operations at this time of year but some of the Serengeti’s luxury lodges are found in the area, specifically Serengeti Serena Lodge, Serengeti sopa Lodge, and 4 Season lodge are also good options for anyone travelling in June.  It is worth pointing out here that even though the Migration does cross the Grumeti River in this area, the river crossings are not the famous ones documented by film makers and wildlife documentarists.  The Grumeti runs very shallow so the herds hardly get their feet wet!  The Mara River is where the impressive crossings happen.

As early as the 1st July the very first crossings of the Mara River begin, with the front runners of the mega herd pushing through.  These river crossings are fantastic.  For the beginning of the month we still recommend staying in the Western Corridor but there is much to be said for splitting your time between the West and the northern Mara river area in the North.  Towards the end of July, Serengeti Wildebeest camp and Ikoma wild camp is the place to be.

River crossings at Kogatende start to occur every day in August as the mega herd settles into the area.  For August, September and October, game viewing up here is superb with river crossings pretty much guaranteed every day.  There is no distinct movement as the herds tend to cross back and forth over the river, following the rains and subsequent fresh grasses.  It is not uncommon to see different herds crossing in different directions on the same day! Our Serengeti wildebeest Camp are located in here.

November sees the herds pushing South again with Mid November being a great time to be in the central Seronera area of the park.  Serengeti Wild Camp can have good herds at the beginning of the month but again Ndutu Wild camp are the only mobile options that can guarantee great locations amongst the herds.  Having said that, the Serengeti’s large hotels also have good locations and Serena can be good for travel from the 15th November onwards if the rains come early.  In summary though, November and early December are the hardest months to predict due to the intermittent showers (or lack of) that occur across the park.  The best answer is to go mobile!!




June 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment


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