Posts tagged ‘Kilimanjaro’

Get Answers! 5 Frequently Asked Questions

At ZARA Tours, we are committed to providing exceptional, unforgettable, safe and life-changing experiences to all of our customers. Curious about what to expect before embarking on one of our many adventure offerings? Check out five of our most frequently asked questions below and find out.  (more…)

December 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Cultural Safari to Machame Nkweshoo

Established in June 2008 with the Vision of Making Kilimanjaro a green village through tourism. People of Machame-Nkweshoo welcome you to explore Cultural and Natural Heritage of Wachagga ethnic group that lives on the green slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. During your visit, you will enjoy beautiful landscape with great valleys, deep gorges, rivers, natural forest and local agricultural activities on small farms. On the other hand you will interact with local people and get an opportunity to listen to their stories about the culture, history and their total way of life

The tour in Machame-Nkweshoo includes:
• A warm welcome in a local Chagga household
• Get an opportunity to learn how to prepare local dishes
• A guided visit to Nkosalulu water falls and Coffee farms,
• A visit to one of the Oldest Church building,
• A visit to the caves used as hides during tribal wars,
• A view of the old coins,
• An opportunity to learn Chagga relics, stories and old tools that have been used since the ancient times
• A visit to the local market
• Kilimanjaro trekking
• A walking tour through coffee & banana farmlands to the dense Kilimanjaro natural forests for acclimatization along fast flowing streams before climbing the mountain
• A home-stay experience before and after your wildlife safari or mountain climbing expedition
• A visit to view points for Mt. Kilimanjaro
• A visit to environmental conservation project-tree nursery
• A visit to several development projects in the area such as coffee production, bee-keeping, schools, health care and community library

The following tours are on offer:

A visit to old Chagga Caves (4 hours tour)
These are massive underground tunnels (some caves reaching several kilometers) dwellings where the Chagga tribes hide from Maasai warriors during intertribal wars. Appreciate the architectural designs of the caves and listen to stories on how they were effective as hiding tunnels. You will get the full story of this war and the caves from our experienced guide when you arrive at the cave

An insight in local coffee production (2-4 hours tour)
Walk through coffee and banana farms to learn how coffee is grown, harvested and prepared into a cup of coffee in local people’s style. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn local skillfull practices of producing the best quality Arabica coffee using traditional ways. While drinking a locally prepared cup of coffee, you will also be getting stories of how local farms are managed and different ways of preparing and processing coffee

A visit to the Local Market (3-5 hours tour) ‘Get a taste of Kalali market’
A walk through a local community market on Mondays and Thursdays will give you a good perspective on how Machame people live, eat and interact to each others. This tour will give you an insight into local economy and daily life activities of Chagga people.

A visit to oldest churches
An opportunity to visit places where first German Missionary to Machame area visited many years ago. Explore some of the remaining memorial stones some put in place by Mr. Johannes Rebmann who came to Machame around 1840s where they built the first church in the area. Get an insight on how these missionaries worked to expand the missionary tasks in other parts of Kilimanjaro and the rest of Tanzania. Take a round walk to explore the whole route of the missionaries in the area and enjoy the scenery, people and various old buildings.

A visit to the waterfalls (3 hours tour)
Take a walk to Nkosalulu water falls in Makoa River that flows from Mt Kilimanjaro forest. The river with it waterfalls is surrounded by banana and coffee farms where visitors will see the indigenous people farming by traditional means.

October 31, 2014 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

African Safari Tours: Health tips for Hiking Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro, though not technically demanding like Everest, is a mountain that will challenge you both mentally and physically. It is important that you are prepared for this adventure.

How to Prepare

One of the best ways to prepare for Kilimanjaro trek is to do regular hikes, increasing in frequency and length as you get closer to the climb. Any aerobic activity such as biking, jogging and swimming, will build cardiovascular strength and help prepare you for the strains and pains of the mountain.

It is also highly recommended to get a medical clearance from your physician before attempting Kilimanjaro. If you are over 50 years of age it is recommended to get a stress EKG. Additionally, it is important to talk to your doctor about the following vaccines: (more…)

October 17, 2014 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment

An Essential Question: When to Climb Kilimanjaro

Kinapa photo

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro? First time travelers have a lot of questions about what to expect. Whereas, seasoned mountain climbers need some additional information so that they can customize their trek. The good news is whichever category you fall into, this information can be invaluable to you.

If you’re wondering when to climb Kilimanjaro, the answer depends on two things:

1. Your level of experience as a climber

2. Your personal preferences

Knowing a few basic facts about the region can help you set some parameters before you schedule your trip.

Picking a Date: Deciding when to climb Kilimanjaro

Your first step is simple: check the calendar. Due to Tanzania’s proximity to the equator, we have distinct weather patterns that don’t follow the seasons you’re probably used to. Our weather breaks down like this:

  • Dry season
  • Long rainy season
  • Short rainy season

No matter when you visit, Tanzania has a more temperate climate. However, the amount and length of the rainy season can be a safety hazard, especially for inexperienced climbers.

Novice climbers should book a trip in later summer or early fall (August, September, or October). This is the busiest season to hike Kilimanjaro, so if you don’t like crowds, start climbing and training now, before arriving in Tanzania.

All climbers should undergo preparatory training that lasts several months and get them physically and mentally ready for their trek to the Kilimanjaro Summit. That way if you choose to, you can handle a more difficult hike in less favorable weather conditions.

Experienced climbers know that safety risks increase in bad weather. Conditions like snow, extreme cold, mudslides, and rain translate to poor accessibility as well as visibility on the mountain paths. Porters can help make your Kilimanjaro hike a successful one, but it’s the combination of their knowledge and your track record that will help you reach the summit safely.

Peak Dates: Learning the Value of Planning Ahead

Typically, only the most experienced climbers make the trek during the rainy seasons. The first one occurs in November and December, while the second rainy season occurs in the spring. Be sure that your schedule allows for some flexibility.

Certain features of the mountain and community events will draw a crowd, no matter what time of year it is. These include:

  • A trek to witness the summit icecaps
  • Hiking Kilimanjaro by the light of the full moon
  • Charity events sponsored by the local community
  • The type of trek you choose

Dates for these specific activities schedule-out at least two years in advance. Climbs are usually 5 to 9 days long.

Due to the effects of climate change, if you are determined to see the summit icecaps, go as soon as possible; don’t put it off. It has been predicted that the icecaps will disappear by 2050.

Contact Zara Tours for complete details and additional trip planning,

Where’s the Proof? The Picture of a Quality Trekking Company

Trekking Kilimanjaro is a trip that takes several months to plan and prepare for—f a truth that may seem obvious. Travelers should expect to:

  • Get appropriate vaccinations
  • Sort out their travel documentation
  • Select desired tour
  • Follow a suggested packing list
  • Have a skill-based route in mind

These are all good steps, but do you know what’s missing from this list? Choosing your Kilimanjaro trekking companies.

Rating the Importance of the Company you Keep

Tourists who come to Tanzania for the first time are entering an environment they’re not familiar with. Many tour groups fail to realize just how many options there are for Kilimanjaro trekking companies.

Realistically, there are hundreds of companies and independent climbers who will claim to be licensed operators. The danger is they may not be telling you the full truth. At Zara Tours, we believe in clear and honest communication with tourist groups, staff, and porters. This policy has made our company an industry leader in tourism for over 20 years.

Here’s what you need to know:

Independent organizations like the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society (MKPS) focus on improving the working life and safety of the porters who trek Kilimanjaro routes, but not every tour company is reputable or trustworthy.

Some guides are left to make their climbs without pay and adequate personal supplies, and they lack the proper clothing and climbing attire. They rely on gifts and tips from various climbing groups to make a living from day to day.

As you may imagine, it’s not a pretty or safe picture for anyone involved. The best way to safeguard yourself and your guides from harm is to choose Kilimanjaro trekking companies that comply with Guidelines for Proper Porter Treatment.

Fair and Equitable Treatment—Where’s the Proof?

One of the frequently asked questions our company gets from prospective tourists is, “Why do you include banking and payroll proof on your corporate website?”

The MKPS was established in 2004 to ensure the fair and reputable treatment of Kilimanjaro trekking companies. The goal is to have every porter that works for Zara Tours receive training, all necessary supplies, and a fair wage for the work they do.

In addition, the MKPS gives each porter their own bank account and helps them learn money management skills. By changing the way these skilled, competent, and valuable workers support themselves, we continue to be a reforming element in the Tanzanian tour industry as a whole. The banking information you’ll see on the website is our show of credibility as a tour company.

When it comes to trekking the mountain itself, you’ll want Kilimanjaro trekking companies that know the best routes to the summit and can match those routes to the skill of the climber.

There are six routes to choose from. The choice of route depends on

  • Experience level
  • Weather conditions
  • Size of the group
  • Goal of the climb
  • Safety and price

Zara Tours porters create a signature, safe, and one-of-a-kind experience for each individual climber.

What Defines the ‘Best” Tours in Tanzania?

People use the word “best” a lot. It is a mark of quality, signifying something special; like gaining a wealth of knowledge or making a difference in the world around you. These same associations can be used when talking about the best tours in Tanzania.

In fact, at Zara Tours, we believe that all of these elements apply to our trips, even if each traveler comes on safari with a specific motivation in mind.

The Tourist’s Perspective of going on Tours in Tanzania

Going on the best tours in Tanzania may start out as a collective goal, but it is the serious traveler who achieves that goal. When they get here, they not only see the beauty of Africa firsthand, they meet like-minded people from all walks of life. It is this combination of shared experience that shapes the kind of trip they will have. There are packages available for every interest and age group. Here are some common ideas:

  • Couples on their honeymoon usually focus on luxury-level tours, unless they both like camping out under the stars. This makes for a more intimate shared experience between two people.
  • Tourists with families or an educational interest will try to experience several things in the duration of a single trip. This could include a shorter tour, a day trip to Kilimanjaro, crater camping, and a Maasai adventure.
  • Tourists with a vested interest in tours in Tanzania can come learn all about sustainable tourism. We offer packages that include a visit to various charity sites that are supported by tourist dollars. This allows people who are interested to see their travel dollars at work.
  • There are also individuals who come to Tanzania with a specific goal in mind. That goal could be to privately experience the best tour in Africa or to participate in a local charity event, like the malaria awareness marathon.

Picking the Best Travel Timetable

Some of these goals can be met on any day at any time; others have to be planned far in advance.

Luxury accommodations need to be booked far in advance. Certain tour sites are inaccessible during monsoon season and direct participation in charity events will require advance notice, registration, and planning ahead. Once you’ve picked a time frame and trip package that meets your goals, spend time on some research about the region you will be visiting.

The best tours in Africa actually start long before you are trekking through the protected plains of the country. They start with why you decided to take this trip in the first place. The Zara Tours website has helpful information about Tanzania as well as packing tips and sneak peeks to help you prepare for your trip. Use these resources and more to learn more about the country you’ll be visiting.

Zara Tours is a dedicated provider of trips that make a difference. Be a part of our next tour and see your goals realized.

July 23, 2014 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

FAQ’s for First-Time Climbers from a Kilimanjaro Climbing Company

The selection of a Kilimanjaro climbing company is one of the biggest decisions you will make when planning a trekking trip in Tanzania. Several of these companies do not treat their porters well and work within a dishonorable barter system. Zara Tours is a marked exception, using a portion of all proceeds to support porter services.

If you are unsure of a climbing company’s rating, be sure to check with the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS) to ensure the well-being of everyone involved in the trek. This is only one example of the pre-trip resources available to you.

Climbers often have preparatory questions before they actually take this once-in-a-lifetime trip. We will try to answer some of those questions for you now. (more…)

April 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment

Two Signature Trips, One Unique Tanzania Adventure

For the seventh year in a row, Zara Tours will be sponsoring the Ngorongoro half marathon, which will be held on April 19, 2014 in Arusha, Karatu. It’s all part of raising awareness and fighting Malaria. World Malaria Day is April 25. (more…)

April 18, 2014 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

Why do People Mountain Climb?

Why do people climb mountains? This is a question that we have been asked ever since we started offering Kilimanjaro tours. While the question itself may seem straightforward, the answer certainly proves less so.

The fact of the matter is people climb mountains for several different reasons. There isn’t one all-encompassing explanation that will fit every climber. True, some people may think those who do are: courageous, thrill seekers, daredevils, risk takers, or conquerors, but does that really tell you why someone would take on a mountain? Let’s look at the question from a different angle. (more…)

March 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

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