Meet the Founder

I first visited Tanzania in 2008. Immediately, the country captured my heart and my soul. The warmth of the Tanzanians, the thundering herds of the Great Migration, and the splendor of Kilimanjaro quite simply took my breath away. I returned to Tanzania in 2009; and, spent the next two years trying to capture a way in which I could bring and deliver the beauty I envisioned to others.

Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking

As a life-long global traveler and travel industry professional, I have seen magnificent lands. I have embraced other customs and traditions. I have admired wildlife and vast landscapes. But, I have never truly experienced the raw passion and unequivocal love for an experience, a country, a conglomeration of people, like I did, and still do, with Tanzania.

In short, Barking Zebra was created out of an intense passion for a beautiful land. This intensity is solidified in every fiber of the company’s undertakings. The result is the remarkable delivery of not just an adventure, or some superb itinerary, but the result is the passionate guidance, service and assistance in creating: an adventure of a lifetime; memories to cherish forever; a dream come true; and, that sense of wonderment that I did, and still do, experience every time I step foot on the soil of Tanzania.

Safari in Ruaha National Park

Ria Francakova


My emotional connection to this amazing land is unmatched. But, my emotion is coupled with a sincere dedication to those travelers ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. This is why I return to Tanzania at least every year for an approximate three to five month span. I train staff and our Kilimanjaro crew. I inspect new properties in the country’s national parks. I form new contacts. I utilize my addiction to this land to formulate and create new safari itineraries. All this is done for you…for your safety, your chance to behold true beauty, and your ability to experience something simply extraordinary.