In 2006 Kimble and Ryan Barker, a father and son from Louisiana, planned an adventure to Tanzania. Both fell in love with the country, it’s wildlife and most importantly, it’s people. They and their guide, Said Kambelenje became friends and stayed in regular communication. In 2016, Said visited the United States and during his stay with Ryan, an idea was conceived to offer customized, affordable safari adventures and from that, give something back to the people of Tanzania. After some research and discussion, the three created Tanzania Adventure Tours, a Tanzania-American collaboration. Kimble, Ryan and Celine assist customers with the planning and booking of their Tanzania adventure, while Said facilitates all of the on-the- ground operations in Tanzania.
Ryan Barker | Co-owner
My name is Ryan Barker and I am currently the Director of Chapapeela Sports Park in Hammond Louisiana. Through the park I am able to reach out to many children, teens and young adults and help make a positive impact in their lives. I was born and raised in Hammond. I attended Holy Ghost School and Hammond High School. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to play football at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business and a Master’s Degree in Education. I have coached football and baseball on the elementary, High school and college level. I have coached as a volunteer, a graduate assistant and a paid member of the coaching staff. Also, I taught freshman level courses at my alma mater, Hammond High School. A turning point in my life was my first trip to Africa. At first what seemed a completely different world was way outside of my comfort zone. But as I got to know Said and the people of Tanzania I realized that we all want the same from life; the opportunity to live peacefully, to contribute to our communities and provide adequately for our families. Through Tanzania Adventure Tours we will give back to the wonderful people of Tanzania through our non-profit organization, Enrich Tanzania. Through all of these experiences I’m thankful to have my fiancé Celine and our son, Reid, by my side.
Said Hillary Kambelenje | Co-Owner/Guide
I’m Said Hillary Kambelenje a native Tanzanian. I was born in Bukoba and raised in a small town called Biharamulo in the Kagera region. My mother was from the Hangaza Tribe from western Tanzania and my father is from the Yao Tribe from the south of the country. My wife and I have two children. My son, Samir is the eldest and our daughter Suraya was born a little over 2 years later. In school, I did acrobatics, and now, I enjoy soccer, baseball and listening to all types of music. I also like to meet new people and learn about their culture and customs as well as traveling. I took my earlier studies in Biharamulo Primary School. In the 80’s my family moved to Dar es salaam where I finished my primary education (grade 7) at Ukonga Primary School. I attended Dar es salaam Technical College from 1990 to 1992. I moved to Arusha where I took more studies in store keeping at Arusha Commercial College while at the same time practicing at the local garage to become a mechanic. My first visit to Arusha National Park forever changed my direction in life. I decided to become safari guide and study wildlife and nature in general. I wanted to always be surrounded by the unspoiled natural world and to guide and teach others so they might appreciate nature as much as I do. In 1998 I enrolled at Mount Meru Wildlife College. Upon graduation, I began to freelance as a fully trained, English speaking safari guide/driver until I could find a permanent position with a safari company based in Arusha. I am now also the primary guide/driver for TAT. I truly love what I do. I am so fortunate to be able to work in an “office” unlike any other in the world; the National Parks, Conservation areas and Wildlife Reserves of Tanzania. This affords me the opportunity to share this and teach people of the wonders of Tanzania, the incomparable wildlife, the breath-taking landscapes and the history and culture of the 120 different tribes that live here together peacefully. In 2006 Kimble and Ryan came to Tanzania. I was their safari guide. We became friends and in 2017 I visited them in Louisiana. Based on our many conversations over the years and our shared love of Tanzania, we decided to embark on this adventure together. Tanzania Adventure Tours was born. Through our non-profit, Enrich Tanzania, we are proud and pleased to give something back to the people of this beautiful and fascinating country that is my home.
Kimble Barker | Co-Owner
I am Kimble Barker; born and raised in Hammond, Louisiana. I received my education from the local schools and attended Southeastern Louisiana University. I spent the majority of my working life as an officer of the Hammond Police Department. I retired in 2009 at the rank of Captain with 31 years of service. I have been married to the same wonderful woman, Sherry, since 1978. We have two sons; Lance, the eldest and Ryan. I enjoy woodworking, travel and watching my grandson Reid when he is not in school and his mom and dad are busy earning a living. My 2006 trip to Tanzania with my son Ryan, significantly changed my perspective regarding the world outside the United States. For the first time I realized that although we may have superficial dissimilarities, most of the world has more commonalities than important differences. Whether it’s the United States, Tanzania or China, to simply be allowed to live free as we see fit and provide for our families is all most people want. In 2017 I was busy enjoying my retirement when Ryan and Said asked if I wanted to be a part of a new safari business. We discussed the details and after a little thought I signed on. The venture has been very exciting and rewarding. Through Tanzania Adventure Tours and Enrich Tanzania we are able to contribute positively to local communities in Tanzania.
Karla Schurman | Director of sales
My name is Karla Schurman and I have lived in Wisconsin all of my life. I have been happily married for 38 years, and together we have two daughters and two granddaughters. After getting married I earned my Associates degree in Travel and Tourism from Stratton College. I really enjoyed working in the field of booking leisure and business travel for my clients. After we had our second child, I choose to be a fulltime stay at home mom, which is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs I have ever had. When our daughters started school, I joined my husband’s wholesale business and we worked side by side until the end of 2018 when I felt that a change was needed. Having kept in touch with Said (my wonderful guide) from my safari trip to Tanzania in 2014, he told me about the new business venture he was developing with Ryan and Kimble Barker. Something sparked within me and I knew that I had to be a part of it in some say. Something within kept pulling me back in the direction of travel and suddenly the chance was placed in front of me.
My husband and I have travel extensively over the years, but Tanzania registered within my soul. While I was in Tanzania I felt so at peace, something about it felt like home. Once a place has a part of you, you carry it with you always. I joined Kiva, and started offering loans to the people of Tanzania allowing them to become entrepreneurs and self-sustaining, and now through “Enrich Tanzania” I know that we can make an even bigger difference.