First-Time Tourists: Tanzania Staff Trip

Written by Thomson Safaris

The employees that run the ground operations in Tanzania are incredibly adept at anticipating, and meeting, travelers’ needs. Their hard work in the Arusha offices and in camps throughout the country transforms an already fantastic vacation into the trip-of-a-lifetime for many of our travelers.

But believe it or not, none of them had ever had the experience of being a tourist. Though Tanzania’s economy is strongly tied to tourism, it’s still rare for Tanzanians to take a vacation (and when they do, it’s usually spent at home with family). The country is still very poor; until recently, the concept of taking a vacation in the Western sense—visiting a place you hadn’t seen before, or which required some amount of travel to get to—just wasn’t one many Tanzanians understood.

That’s part of the reason we were so excited about the tented camping division’s recent staff getaway. Equipped with two Bedford trucks, several tents, and various other equipment, they recently headed off to the coast for a beach vacation.

(We asked why they hadn’t chosen to visit one of the nearby parks so many Westerners cross half a world to see; their response: “we spend all our LIVES in the park—we want to see the beach, instead!”)

The department headed off for what Rose (the manager of the tented camping division) described as “a historical tour that took us from the Arab colonial past through to independence.” During their trip, they visited Maziwe sand island, historic Pangani town, and “had wonderful time on the Ushongo beach!”

We’re thrilled not only that the staff had a chance to bond, but at the deeper implications of their trip; the mere fact that these staff members can become tourists themselves points to the rise of a legitimate middle class in Tanzania, an idea that would have been impossible not so long ago.

Check out some of their fun photos below!



Rose, Manager of the tented camping division, on the ferry to Ushongo beach


Bedford trucks carry the camping gear aboard the ferry


The crew getting excited to reach the beach


Staff members enjoyed live poetry in Pangani


Cultural visits were an exciting part of the trip, including to this ruin of a former post office


Headed over to Maziwe Island


From their camp on the beach, the group could see the sun rise over the Indian Ocean.