Zara Tours

4.9 - Excellent Based on 4 reviews
The owner and the employees are part of the communities there. Not only do they work there, they raise their families there. They help shape and improve their own environment, so they're uniquely sensitive to their guests' interaction.

* Zara is positioned as the Best Value for climbs and safari, offering what is expected by world travelers, no more, no less (if you need cheap budget or desire expensive luxury, we can direct you to those types of operators)
* Zara is well established, having long term connections with the national parks and government.
* Zara is a full-service organization which assures honest financial transactions, and they will always be there for you.
* Zara is committed to your safety, satisfaction, and achieving goals

Proven Expertise
With over 27 years of experience, Zara Tours has proven expertise with Kilimanjaro and Safari Adventures Expeditions, guiding visitors successfully to various destinations in Tanzania, from the roof of Africa the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro, to the endless plains of Serengeti, over to the spice island of Zanzibar. Literally thousands of travelers have experienced their best adventure with us.

Our clients have included celebrities, photographers, film makers, exhibitors, senators, ambassadors, presidents, travel writers, and journalists. Annually, we guide 5,000 climbers on Kilimanjaro with a 98% success rate, and guide 3,000 safaris with our unique, unrivaled access into Tanzania’s parks.

We live here. This is our land and our heritage. We love the wildlife, people, and natural wonders of our country, and we are proud to share our knowledge and passion.

Professional Guides
Zara Tours has 88 safari and climbing experts who speak English, German, and Spanish. Our skilled professionals were selected by us from a pool of the very best local guides. They receive extensive training in Travel and Tourism, first aid, mountain rescue, beach and water safety, and wild animal behavior. They are among the most talented and respected professionals in the industry, with years of experience and successful trips with the destinations we operate.

Zara Tours offers the optimal value for African Adventures and Charity Tours in Tanzania. We do not cut corners, nor do we focus on luxury, rather we provide what most visitors want; a safe and successful journey.

Lodging and vehicles are owned by Zara Tours, and our guides are employees not contractors. Flexibility is a major feature when building your tour with us, putting your money where you want it to count. Want better lodging? We can provide. Want additional trips? We can coordinate. Prefer tents? Yes. Adjust the days for the budget you seek.

Zara Tours is very attentive to safety measures and takes responsibility for our client very seriously. Our professional guides are trained and skilled specifically for their adventure. They explain to you the precautions and measures, be it for mountain climbing, safari exploration, or beach excursions. They are prepared to prevent, detect, and treat altitude sickness and other expedition situations, and employ modern rescue measures and evacuation plans in case of any emergencies.

We are accountable and take responsibility for our guest, our environment, and the communities in which we operate. Zara Tour depends upon, respects and cares for our staff, whether they are in lodging or guiding. Our policy is very open and transparent about our operation. If you have a question, just ask! When you buy a trip directly with Zara Tours the funds are distributed within the community as follows.
- 70% goes specifically to Tanzania National Park fees
- 15%goes to community and projects we support under Zara Charity
- 15% goes to operational cost
Thus, 85% of the money we receive flows into communities to boost local economy and protect nature.

Our involvement to Humanitarian support and Environmental contribution is achieved under a registered charity organization, where again 15% of every trip you buy with Zara Tours is channeled back to support projects under Zara Charity.

Quality Equipment and Gear
We use modern, high quality camping equipment and clean, highly rated lodging and facilities to keep our clients as comfortable and safe as possible while on adventures with us. Our mountain gear is warm, waterproof, spacious, and perfectly suited for the rigors of Adventures. We provide thick foam sleeping pads. Mountain gear is comprehensive and known name brands. We rent rucksacks, day packs, Mount Bell sleeping bags rated to -25 degrees, balaclavas, heavy and light ponchos, socks, duffel bags, hiking poles, ankle gaiters, sweaters, torch/headlamps, flashlights, gloves, sunglasses, long underwear, raincoats, rain pants, hiking boots, water bottles, fleece pants, warm down jackets, hats, and neck scarfs.

Our Vehicles
We have fleet of modern, fully-equipped vehicles that take tourists on safari adventures, tours of the Island of Zanzibar, and shuttles to the trail heads of 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.

Individual and Groups
Individuals who want the company of others can be join a schedule group. Those who simply want to travel alone can do so. We offer all destinations for any size party on any dates.

We are a locally owned Tanzanian company. We began the company here in 1987; we built our properties, and own our vehicles. We developed our networks which help us get things done in our communities, and are proud of being led by a successful entrepreneur woman.

All food and drink provided on expeditions such as safari and mountain are fresh. Our chefs prepare delicious meals with fresh, local ingredients. These meals are nutritious and calorie dense, specifically designed to sustain the pleasure of our clients while on adventures. We also cater to all special dietary

Porters and Guide Welfare
We take porter welfare very seriously and do our best to ensure our staff is treated well. As a founder company of the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS), we comply with all established guidelines on porter wages and welfare by respective National authority. We pay our porters more than the set standard compensation. Our porters have proper food and shelter, and their loads are restricted to reasonable weight limits, which we measure in our hotel and confirm with park authority when we reach respective gate/entry point.

We believe in being honest with our partners, our staff, and our guests. We do not over promise. We are transparent about for what our customers pay. We do not tolerate stealing from our guests or each other in any shape or form.

Trusted Experts
We have over 27 years of experience in the Tanzanian tour and hotel business. We continually develop our expertise by learning from our guides, our partners such as TANAPA, TTB, NCAA, IATA, TALA, HATS, and TATO, our guests, and our retailers. We have worked with many of our retailers and communities for years.

We have clients which use us a trusted partner for their trips and charitable expeditions. We do what we say we are going to do.

Our business is hospitality, and we currently operate two hotels and five wild camps. Springlands Hotel is located in Moshi and used as a base for Kilimanjaro treks. Highview Hotel is located in Arusha in neighboring Ngorongoro Crater – the cradle of mankind and one of the 7 natural wonders of Africa

Recognition:Today, in terms of guest numbers, Zara Tours is Tanzania’s Nunber 1 Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of Tanzania’s biggest safari operators. Client testimonials are supported by a number of national and international awards, and the owner, Zainab Ansell, is invited to speak around the world at major forums regarding travel and women-owned business.

2014 - Zara's Ikoma Wildcamp awarded Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor.

2014 - Zara's Highview Hotel awarded Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor

2013 - Zara's Highview Hotel awarded Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor

2013 - Zara Tours winner of Canadian Certificate of Excellence in Commerce

2012 - Zara's owner, Zainab Ansell, received Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award for running a successful Tour Operating Company

2012 - Zara presented with Humanitarian Award in London at the World Travel Market (WTM)

2012 - Zara Charity received the Ngorongoro Marathon Award for organizing a successful race to fight Malaria

2012 - Zara won Tours Football Bonanza Cup

2011 - Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) presents Zara with Sustainable Tourism Award
Ratings and Reviews Explained

The overall rating score is based on all time feedback received and does not express any opinions of The current reviews and scores are thus representative of a company's performance.

5 - Excellent
for Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit
By Imorse From United Kingdom (UK) At
“A very well organised trek with a very good friendly crew,good food,total age of the 4 of us 239 years and they got us all to the summit.I have trekked in the himalaya and south america and this was the best crew I have used.”
4.5 - Excellent
for Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit
By Julie From United Kingdom (UK) At
“Three of us climbed the Machame route in the beginning of November (we are aged 50, 52 and 74). The friendly team on the ground sorted out our gear hiring requirements and generally made sure we were ready to go. The guides were professional, helpful, patient and caring and, together with their team, were absolutely phenomenal all round. On summit night a second assistant joined us on the walk and his help was invaluable as two of us suffered with symptoms of altitude sickness and his presence meant that we each had our own guide. Even though our summit took longer than usual because of us not feeling great they made sure that we all made it to the top and back to base camp safely.

I would highly recommend Winford and his team. They did an amazing job in some trying weather conditions and we are very grateful to them for helping us realise our dream.”
5 - Excellent
for Kilimanjaro - Lemosho route
By Paige Hudson From United States of America (USA) At
“Kilimanjaro 8 Day Shira Route

Choosing a Guide Company:
I chose Zara Tours, the local outfitter for Kilimanjaro because I had booked with them in the past, and was very satisfied with the level of service I received for the cost. With the exception of a “western guide” they can provide all the bells and whistles you may want to pay for -- including Gamow bags, oxygen, and pulse oximeters.

The Route:
I chose a special 8-day Shira itinerary because, although you drive up to Shira 1 at 11,485 ft, you avoid day 2 of the Lemosho route which is a pretty grueling day. On day 2 we did a 3-4 hour acclimatization hike and spent another night there at Shira 1. On day 3 we did another acclimatization hike up to Cathedral Peak on the way to Shira 2 at 12,600 ft, and this put us back on track with the usual 8 day Lemosho route. Zara is very good about designing a trek around your wants and needs. If it’s possible, they will do it for you.

My Team:
I paid for a private climb because at 52, I’m a little older than the average climber, and I didn’t want to have my climb affected by other climbers based on speed, experience, illness, or any other factor. When you undertake an expedition of this sort, personalities and experience or lack thereof can come into play. More than once I saw a climber arguing with a guide about the rest of the party being too fast or too slow, and I knew I had made the right choice. The guide basically oversees the team, and spends the day leading you to the objective camp for that day. On arrival at camp, the guide is essentially off duty other than briefing you on the next day’s objective, but my guide, Simon Parmena, was always nearby and available for anything I might need. Though I hadn’t asked for it, he carried oxygen and an oximeter just because he wanted to be able to assist any trekker in need. Talk about a work ethic! But I think what I liked the most about Simon was that he was able to read me as a trekker so well. By that, I mean he knew when I needed a break; he regularly reminded me to eat and drink; he was an excellent manager of trail time which is so important for someone like me who would stop and look at every view and rock and flower along the way and end up at camp three hours overdue. He also explained his rationale for different choices and educated me along the way. I highly recommend Simon as a guide.

My cook:
Robert, was responsible for preparing all meals including trail lunches for long days. He made the most delicious meals, multi-course affairs that included soup and lots of vegetables and fresh fruits at every meal. Breakfasts begin with porridge which is great the first few days, but after that, if you aren’t used to it, it gets kind of old, so this time around I brought instant oatmeal from home, and Robert gladly provided my oatmeal and toast. On day 3, even that got old, so I asked Simon if Robert might know how to make French Toast, and he said absolutely, so I had that for the rest of the trek…delicious. There’s something about having made to order French Toast while you’re climbing a mountain and sleeping in a tent.

My waiter:
Amiry carried all food and cooking supplies to the next camp, and then served me all evening. He was very caring and hardworking. The whole team was great, but Amiry spent the day as a porter up to the next camp, and then became the waiter at camp. I told him he was more of a butler/personal footman than just a waiter. His English was nearly as good as the guide, which is not always the case, and he went above and beyond in so many ways. Every night when it would get so cold, he made a hot-water bottle for me to sleep with; when I was particularly tired on the morning after a long day, he packed my duffels for me; he was always looking out for how much I was eating and drinking. He consistently went above and beyond his normal duties. He even came with Simon and me on summit night when usually only the guide goes and the other team members wait back at high camp. I just can’t praise Amiry enough. I’m not sure I would have made it without him.

The porters Emanuel and Paolo were extremely hardworking and served as incredible inspiration when the going got tough. I remember looking up at the Barranco Wall thinking how in the world was I going to do that? Then you see the porters climbing with huge loads on their heads, and you find the courage and inspiration to move forward.

Springlands Hotel:
This property is your base of operations before and after the climb. It is a few km from town, but the compound is very secure behind high walls and a steel gate with 24 hr security. Once inside, it truly is an oasis with lovely gardens and a gorgeous pool area. I read negative commentary, and while I found some of the comments to be technically accurate, I felt expectations were a bit high. All too often, people travel to a developing country like Tanzania, pay $70 USD a night, and expect The Plaza. There are going to be differences here and there, but you need to have an open mind and remember where you are. Power outages are common, for example, but rarely last longer than a few minutes. Wifi is not available in rooms, but it is in the garden and dining areas, and it’s free, which is not always the case even in some top hotels. Yes, there are flies outside in the covered dining area. Care is taken to keep food covered, but you’re outside, and garden settings are going to have flies; that’s just part of being outside. Rooms vary in size and features, but are certainly comfortable. All beds have mosquito nets, and if you have any problems, the staff is ready to assist. There is also a small gift shop that carries water, snacks, souvenirs, and all the toiletries you may have left behind. Souvenir prices were fair, and saved me a trip into town. There are also spa services such as massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure at very reasonable prices. All in all the Springlands Hotel felt comfortable and secure and had everything I needed.

The Tipping Ceremony:
From what I saw, this event varies widely from quiet and small celebrations to loud drinking parties with singing and antics, and certificates and cash changing hands. As a private client and the only woman, I opted for the former small celebration with my team. The hotel cashier graciously got six envelopes from the bank for me, and I determined how much to give each person. The envelopes were open, and all looked inside without extensive discussion and seemed to be quite pleased. A note here, it really is important to give newer currency as cash will be worthless to them otherwise. No banks or other merchants will accept them, and the porters will be stuck waiting for another guest who is willing to trade new bills for the old. I gave new USD to the guide, waiter, and cook, and a combination of new USD and TZ Shillings to the porters. Bottom line on tipping – these people rely on tips as a significant part of their income. They work hard, and while tipping is certainly not required to the levels suggested, particularly if you are unhappy with the service, Tanzania is not like the US with the typical safeguards American workers have.

Summing Up Overall the trip was fabulous. I was proud of myself for all that I accomplished and for finally getting to Uhuru Peak, and I couldn’t have done that without my team. I feel very comfortable recommending Zara Tours.”
5 - Excellent
for Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit
By Tracy Pepper From Canada At
“The staff at Zara are wonderful, very friendly and welcoming. The guides that Zara use are professional and speak excellent English. They choose their "team", as I found it interesting to learn that the porters are independent and just contracted work. It's up to the guides to chose who they can rely on. The porters work so hard and are the salt of the earth. I was so impressed. I have met many very happy people who have climbed multiple times and always use Zara. You become part of the famly here. You're never forgotten and you are well looked after. I highly recommend Zara Tours. They get an A++”
Our Tours and Holidays
Zara Tours
Free Cancellation

Kilimanjaro - Machame Route - 6 Days

  • Starts/Ends Moshi/Moshi
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 1,797 6 days

Kilimanjaro - Lemosho Route

of 1 review
  • Starts/Ends Tanzania/Tanzania
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 2,055 10 days

Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit

of 3 reviews
  • Starts/Ends Tanzania/Tanzania
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 2,048 11 days

Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route

  • Starts/Ends Tanzania/Tanzania
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 1,906 7 days

Kilimanjaro Climb - Rongai Route

  • Starts/Ends Tanzania/Tanzania
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 1,650 9 days
Zara Tours
Free Cancellation

Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route

  • Starts/Ends Tanzania/Tanzania
  • Operator Active 1 day ago Zara Tours
  • Next Departures Apr 1 Apr 2
From US$ 1,790 9 days
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