About ZARA

Zainab Ansell
Zainab Ansell

We, ZARA Tours, are a tour operator from Tanzania specialised in Kilimanjaro trekking and wildlife safaris in all Tanzanian National Parks and Game Reserves. Magnificently owned and managed by Zainab Ansell, since 1987 we have guided thousands of tourists anywhere in Tanzania, from the plains of the Serengeti to the summits of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tourists on Kilimanjaro and on Safari

Our current standard itineraries with daily departures include climbs, hikes and game drive safaris at the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Lake Eyasi, Lake Manyara, Selous Game Reserve, Lake Natron, Oldoinyo Lengai, Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, Saadani National Park and Usambara Mountains. Upon request we can guide groups in Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National Park, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains. Please check our website for details.

We also operate two hotels, the Highview Hotel in Karatu, next to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Springlands Hotel in Moshi as a base for Kilimanjaro climbs. Our high quality tented camps include the Serengeti Wildcamp, the Ikoma Wildcamp and the Selous Wildcamp.

Highview Hotel, Springlands Hotel, Wildcamps

On this blog we will communicate you many interesting stories about things to do in Tanzania and news about our offers.

Sustainable tourism development in Tanzania is our concern. We try to arrange tourism products from which the environment and the society of Tanzania can benefit, rather than suffer. Therefore we have launched and implemented extensive environmental and social programs. In this blog we have the intention to inform you as a traveller about critical issues for sustainable development. For instance, our conservation biologist Ahmed Attas will write about environmental issues crucial to Tanzania’s National Parks.  

Conservation biologist Ahmed Attas training ZARA guides and drivers: 

Conservation biologist Ahmed Attas training ZARA drivers and guides

ZARA also supports several local charitable NGOs such as the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society (MKPS), the Kilimanjaro English Nursery School, The Hurama Woman Project, The Karatu Orphanage, the Amani Street Children Project and the Montessori Usambara School. On this blog we want to give a platform to these organisations to inform about their work.



ZARA Charity is a registered non-profit organization that harnesses the power of tourism in Tanzania to help sustain and empower local people through grounded community based initiatives. We believe firmly in the ethos of responsible and sustainable tourism that can create better communities in Tanzania and a better Tanzania to visit. We accomplish this by supporting local communities through projects that work towards providing lasting supportive solutions to local problems.


At Zara Charity we are part of the global movement to ‘give back’ and we do this by reaching out to our network of travel industry partners, organizations, travelers and global citizens who are interested in contributing and collaborating in our locally focused sustainable tourism projects. We take a serious approach to ensuring that tourism in Tanzania also benefits those who are unable to reap its direct benefits, by helping to bring donations, opportunities, and solutions to the regions in which we run our tours and set-up our properties. That is why 10 percent of the profits from Zara Tours go directly to our social, economic, and environmental initiatives.

With your help we have been able to use several tools to support and sustain local communities including dealing with alternative sources of income by providing employment for local people, establishing the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter’s Society a regulating body that ensures the rights, safety and well-being of the porters summiting the famous Kilimanjaro mountain, raising awareness and dealing with health concerns, supporting education initiatives, tackling environmental obstacles by creating customized, long-term solutions in the communities we operate in and working closely with women and children in order to improve their economic, social, education, and political conditions. Zara Charity has hosted events and workshops geared primarily to women and this year is no different, beginning this September the charity will organize a specific Mount Kilimanjaro climb for women, to raise awareness about the plight that Massai women face as well as collect funds that will be donated directly to the various women’s groups we support including the Maasai Women’s Project. 20 percent of the proceeds from the climb will be donated directly to the Maasai Women’s Project, 10 percent of which will be donated from Zara and the other 10 percent from clients’ contributions.


We are an established Tour Operator founded by an exemplary women entrepreneur – Zainab Ansell – from the Tanzania area who has historically been concerned about the impact of our tours and activities in her home country. As the largest business sector in the world economy and in Tanzania’s economic development, tourism if properly planned and managed has the potential to become a formidable tool for alleviating social, economic, and environmental issues and stimulating growth particularly in developing countries like Tanzania. This is a fact recognized early on by Zara Charity where we recognized our responsibility to develop and operate in a manner that makes a positive contribution to the natural, social and cultural environment.

We have been able to harness the power that tourism wields with the contributions of global citizens who have been mesmerized by the landscape, the wildlife, the energy, the people and vibrant cultures that Tanzania has to offer and we will continue to operate in ways that reduce environmental impacts, benefit local communities, safeguard the future livelihood of local people, and ensure the protection of Tanzania as a sought after destination for future generations.


Zainab Ansell and Zara Tours’ philanthropic efforts were finally cemented in 2009, with the founding of Zara Charity under non-government organization act 2002 section 12(2) of act no.24. Owner and founder Zainab Ansell has historically been socially conscious about the impacts of Tourism in Tanzania and has developed her business around sustainable employment practices and charitable giving. From its inception in 1987, Zara Tours has used its position as an employer to give back to the community from which it was founded and to help those within it that are struggling. The company has been instrumental in helping many organizations, such as the Mwema Street Children, the Kilimanjaro Foundation School, and the Mandela School, find sponsors to help fund their operations. Additionally, regular work is conducted with the Huruma Women’s Group and other women within the Maasai villages in Karatu and Eyasi to facilitate education and small business ownership as a means to rise above their restricted positions in their communities. Health awareness projects are also on the long-term agenda for Zara Charity with their involvement and management of the annual Ngorongoro Marathon a Malaria awareness and fund raising initiative held in Karatu.

Zara Charity will continue to support and convey a positive impression of Tourism in Tanzania, both locally and for the global market whilst utilizing its powerful reach to ensure that long-term positive contributions and solutions benefit and sustain the communities that we are in.

We are a premium member of Sustainable Travel International:

STI Logo


8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen Harris  |  June 15, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    My friends and I were with Zara guides when we climbed Kilimanjaro in Sept 2001. I am thrilled to see Zara’s involvement with the Ngorongoro marathon. I ran my first marathon in 2005 and have raised funds for each of my marathons to help the families of the porters and guides that supported us up Kili. I am looking forward to supporting Zara’s efforts with the Ngorongoro Marathon. K.

  • 2. Jacinta Jones  |  April 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I and my friends climbed Kili with Zara in March 2009. The whole trip was brilliantly organised. All 9 of us had an amazing experience and had nothing but praise for our wonderful guides and porters. Nothing was too much for them – I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. Asante sana, Mndeme, Abu, August and others.

  • 3. Abby  |  June 11, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi guys,

    We, the UN World Food Programme, recently launched a video blog called On the Road – with the first series is set in Tanzania looking at nutrition centers, gives you a taste of Masai goat and follows school kids as they walk 6kms to get water to cook their lunch.

    It’s gritty, personal and uses cheap technology (namely a flip cam and Camtasia for editing, usually by candle light). The bloggers are people on the field, who often are working against the clock on their laptop’s battery’s life.

    It’s very different from anything a UN agency has created before. Usually content and video for UN agencies are produced by professionals and go through the wringer before they’re approved, so getting traffic to justify it’s existence would help! I’m hoping you’ll help spread the word for us on your blog and any social networks you’re active on?

    You can find On the Road here: http://www.wfp.org/on-the-road

    There are banners here: http://www.wfp.org/how-to-help/community/link-us

    Feel free to drop me an email with any questions you have about it?

  • 4. Barbara Dougan  |  October 29, 2009 at 2:00 am

    In September, 2009, my daughter, granddaughter and myself climbed Kili and we had a wonderful trip thanks to our guide, Faustine, assistant guide,Justine. Also, thanks to David and Jacob and the rest of the porters who took very good care of us.

    They were all excellent and we appreciated their efforts. They did everything for us.

    We had such a good time. Thanks, everyone. Asante sana.

  • 5. Stephen  |  March 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Came to Arusha for some safari expedition and wondered where else in the world can I get such an experience. Zara was dedicated up the last day…This is it people, if you want to explore Tanzania to the fullest ZARA tours is it.

    Thank you ZARA for the memory of a lifetime

  • 6. Olle Andersson  |  March 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Dear Ms Mansell,
    I’m a friend of Mats Ansell and just now in a conference in Arusha. Two friends of mine and myself will be returning to Sweden on Sunday night. We were thinking of going earlier for Kilimanjaro Airport, passing through Moshi. We would all like to at least get a glimpse of Mt Kilimajaro before leaving. We could then have a meal at your place. Is it very cloudy these days? Maybe we wouldn’t see the mountain but still have a nice lunch and a chat with you and Roger. Please let me know ASAP.
    Warm regards,
    Olle Andersson from Kråkberg, Mora,Sweden

  • 7. Nadhir Salum  |  August 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I appricite your itinerary

  • 8. Susana lobo  |  January 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Dear sirs.

    We qre a group of 5 who want to climb killimanjaro using the machame route. Our arriving date in arusha will be sept. 9th 2011. We want to take 7/8 days to do the climb. We want to have you quote different hotels ( including the use of ibori hotel or mountain village lodge ). Let us know about your policy for cancelations of one member of the group ( how that would affect the other members)

    Thank you. Susana


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