Written on: November 17, 2014
I visited in February 2008
We joined a college alumni tour with Thomson Safaris in February 2008, and it was a lifetime highlight. I just cannot praise Thomson Safaris highly enough! Our group of 15-16 traveled in three safari vans, each with a driver/guide, and stayed in luxury tents in the bush.
We traveled separately and arrived a few days before the formal tour, so as to recover from jet lag on our own time. Thomson arranged placement in a private safari camp that offered bush walks and night drives that wouldn't be available later on the formal tour.
We saw all the "charismatic megafauna" Tanzania has to offer: lion prides, leopards in trees eating recent kills, herds of giraffe, elephant families, baboon tribes that delighted in mugging and showing off for us, monkeys, wildebeest, little dik diks, a river full of hippos (including a vicious fight that left blood in the water), cheetahs, buffalo, zebras by the hundreds... And I would need a whole extra review for the birds!
The staff and the Tanzanian people in general were exceptionally warm and welcoming. Our guides were multilingual and were experts in the terrain and how to find the animals. They organized all sorts of special expeditions: visits to a school, a farm, and Masai tribes, and a hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti at dawn.
The food was great; the accommodations were very comfortable (real beds, camp toilets, hot showers); and you can't beat a pop-top safari van that allows you to stand up while driving through the Serengeti. Our lead guide was terrific about briefing us before each meal -- OK to eat all the food here; don't eat the salad at this one; skip the drinking water at the next place.
And Thomson gets an A+ for problem-solving. When we arrived in the wee hours of the morning, my bag made it but my husband's didn't. No problem! We just told the airline, "We're with Thomson Safaris; they'll find us." Sure enough, his bag arrived 24 hours later and found us way out in the bush at our safari camp.
To this day, over six years later, the wallpaper on my laptop is a my husband's photo of baby baboons mugging for the camera in Tanzania. I know you don't want reviews that are all 5 out of 5, but I can't think of a single thing that could have been improved. It was the trip of a lifetime, and Thomson Safaris made it as smooth as a trip across town.
I went on a 14-day safari with Thomson Safaris in September 2011. The trip was wonderful from start to finish. I went by myself and signed up for a group trip. There were 3 Land Rovers and 3 guides for the 11-person group. All the guides were outstanding; they were extremely knowledgeable and informative and could answer any questions we had. By far the most memor...