The story of Kiroyera Tours is one inspired by traditional family values, community care, hard work and entrepreneurial spirit.
It grew from the passion of two loving parents (Ta Augustine and Ma Winifrida Kalemera), whose pride in their homeland and determination to make a positive difference in their community was embraced by their 5 daughters: Mary, Ediltruda, Rose, Restituta and Redempta. Together they founded Kiroyera Tours (2001) with the goal of developing tourism as a means of alleviating poverty and protecting the natural environment of Kagera in the north west region of Tanzania.
Read their inspirational story HERE
Today, Mary is Managing Director of Kiroyera Tours and is an award winning business women, environmentalist and tourism consultant at Kiroyera Consulting. Ediltruda remains an active Director and has been instrumental in developing their Bukoba site and its impressive new Big Bar building on the shores of Lake Victoria (opened 2015).
Rose, Restituta and Redempta are now not involved in the day to day running of the company, but still take a keen and supportive interest in their family business!
Sustainable and ethical tourism lies at the heart of Kiroyera Tours. Through the promotion of community-based tourist activities they seek to preserve Tanzania’s environment whilst providing opportunities for local people to feel valued, become self reliant and achieve long term financial security for their famillies. Please read more about their innovative projects (see Harvard University USA):-
Heritage Initiative is a non-profit, non-governmental organization helping to alleviate poverty among disadvantaged groups by:- providing opportunities for growth; helping others to help themselves; encouraging community development; and promoting the natural environment and beauty of the region.
BUDAP is committed to alleviating unemployment among the disabled (particularly victims of polio) by training and employing them in the production of handicrafts including traditional drums (ngoma) for retail.
Kagera Museum is the first and only Museum in the region and is privately run by Kiroyera Tours. It is located in the Nyamkazi area of Bukoba and educates both local school children and international visitors on the natural heritage of the region.>
The Ummul Yatym Orphan Children’s Home (UYACHO) is a non-governmental organisation, legally established in December 1998 (reg. no. 10203) of which Mary is a board member. The organisation helps children, orphans and those living in vulnerable situations by providing them with shelter, food, school equipment and health care.
The orphanage was devastated by the 2016 earthquake, but has now been rebuilt with the assistance from many people, including support from Turkey. Please see our Youtube video.
It is honey from Tabora central Tanzania, where the best honey comes from the Miombo woodlands. We discovered we were neighbours in Kinondoni where my office is and two days later, escorted by her granddaughter, she brought me six bottles of honey labeled ‘Kiroyera Natural Honey’. I thought what a wonderful, kind, entrepreneurial role model Agnes is and I wanted to continue supporting her.
We now sell our bottles of Tanzania’s tastiest honey to all our visitors and clients, both local and from overseas, with proceeds going to support the education of orphans at UYACHO orphanage in Bukoba.” (Mary Kalikawe)
“Every time we travel, for whatever reason, we are part of a global movement;
a movement that has the power to drive positive change to our people and the planet.”
(UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai )
Kiroyera Tours is committed to the philosophy and principles of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, and have been supporting the United Nations World Tourism Day in Bukoba since 2002. On 26th September 2015 Mary and her team hosted this year’s regional event, welcoming government and community officials, local tourist companies, Kagera residents and international tourists to the shore of Lake Victoria to discuss future opportunities for the regions tourism development and to celebrate together this important day in spectacular style!
To read more about the day please visit Bukobawadau blog
Kiroyera Tours has made a lifelong commitment to delivering excellence in customer service and governance for which they have won local, regional and international awards since their foundation, including:
2004: Millennium Tourism Award (presented in Spain)
2005: World Bank top ten Pan African Women Inventors and Innovators Award (presented in Ghana)
2006: United Nations HABITAT Mashariki Innovations in Local Governance (presented in Kenya)
2006: Winner of Tanzania ZEZE (Cultural Promotion Excellence)
2007: SNV/Zonal Governance award, Tanzania
2007: Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (TCCIA), SME sector excellence Award in “Service”
2011: Tanzania Women of Determination, awarded to Kiroyera Tours MD Mary Kalikawe
2012: Tanzania Women of Achievement (Business category), awarded to Kiroyera Tours MD Mary Kalikawe
2017: Tourism and Leisure sector, Country and Regional Winner awarded to Mary Kalikawe in South Africa by CEO Global