Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the best safari countries in Africa. Host to the world’s largest population of lions, legendary sites like the Serengeti, Olduvai Gorge and Ngorongoro Crater, and a year-round migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebras, Tanzania is a premier destination for adventurous travelers across the globe.
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- Enjoy bush walks, night drives, stargazing and Maasai culture at Thomson’s Private Nature Refuge
- Experience world-class wildlife viewing in the heart of the Serengeti
- Learn about our earliest hominid ancestors at Olduvai Gorge
- Descend onto the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, home to each of the Big Five
- Stay in Thomson Safaris’ signature Nyumba tented camps as well as classic, handpicked safari lodges
En route from the U.S. / Arrive Arusha
Karibu! Upon arrival your guide will escort you to your lodge.
Rivertrees Country Inn
Set beside the rushing waters of the Usa River on the outskirts of Arusha, Rivertrees Country Inn has colonial charm and simple but elegant style with modern-day amenities and fantastic cuisine.
Eastern Serengeti Private Reserve
Enjoy 10,000 acres of pristine wilderness and resident wildlife. You will have the area to yourselves in one of the only places in Tanzania where travelers can enjoy bush walks, night drives and Maasai culture.
Eastern Serengeti Nyumba
Wake up to the sweeping views of the eastern Serengeti ecosystem’s remote savanna. After a day of adventure, you’ll appreciate the comforts of the camp—and a hot shower in your en suite bathroom. Enjoy a hearty dinner prepared fresh from local ingredients, and discuss the day’s excitement with your fellow travelers and attentive staff.
Serengeti National Park
Spend three spectacular days exploring the central Serengeti plains for lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant and cape buffalo, just to name a few. At night, marvel at spectacular star-filled skies.
Southern Serengeti Nyumba
Thomson's signature Serengeti Nyumba is the perfect balance of luxury, comfort and wilderness. Relax on your private verandah or gather in the lounge tent set on the iconic plains of the Serengeti.
Olduvai Gorge / Ngorongoro Crater
Visit one of the most important archeological sites in the world and then explore Earth’s largest intact volcanic caldera, home to 30,000 animals including each of the Big Five.
This Nyumba is located at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater where it is poised for optimal access to the crater floor where you will experience exceptional wildlife viewing. The air here has a heavenly fresh scent, though the high elevation makes for potentially chilly nights; it will be important to bring warm clothes, per your packing list.
Treat yourself to luxury accommodations, gourmet, organic cuisine and optional spa services at the award-winning Gibb’s Farm.
Fresh food, fresh air, and fresh perspectives abound at Gibb’s Farm (a five-time Travel + Leisure Top Safari Lodge in Africa). After full days of exploration, relax in your eco-friendly cottage, set amidst the farm’s lush gardens. Enjoy an outdoor shower, in-room spa treatment, farm-to-table dining, and learning about local culture from the attentive staff.
Ngorongoro Highlands / Arusha / Depart
Transfer back to Arusha and enjoy a farewell lunch with your new friends. Fly overnight and arrive home the following day.
Day Room at Mount Meru Hotel
At sunrise, you have the option to take a hot air balloon over the breathtaking Serengeti savannah. After landing, enjoy a festive toast and a full English breakfast in the bush before rejoining the group on a wildlife-viewing drive. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. Height and weight restrictions apply.
Per person, based on double occupancy and does not include international flights
Plus $500 Tanzania Value Added Tax, per person
$800 Single supplement (if applicable)
$599 Optional Hot Air Balloon Excursion, per person
Must be reserved in advance
Visiting Tanzania will feel like stepping into your wildest dream. You’ll stalk with lions, roam with elephants, strut with flamingos, feel dwarfed by a 2,000-foot-deep crater, and sleep under the stars. You’ll discover unbridled beauty at World Heritage Sites, practice tracking skills in remote wild lands, and experience peacefulness and connection to the Earth like never before.
Having set aside one-third of its land for the purpose of conservation, it is no wonder Tanzania boasts the highest concentrations of wildlife in the world. Protected since 1921, the Serengeti is almost as large as the US state of Connecticut, and features landscapes ranging from grassland plains and savanna to riverine forests and woodlands as well as the largest migration of mammals on earth, including 1.5 million wildebeest.
You’ll feel safe and comfortable every step of your journey. Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and stable countries on the African continent, predominantly free from the political upheaval that has plagued so many other African countries; it’s often referred to as “Africa’s Switzerland.” With a rich cultural tapestry comprising more than 120 distinct ethnic groups, Tanzania learned long ago that there is greater strength in tolerance and unity than in divisiveness.
Warmth, generosity, and wonder are truly the heart and soul of this remarkable corner of the world.
There is virtually no bad time to visit Tanzania. Rains in November and April motivate the perpetual movement of animals in search of water (also known as The Great Migration). The climate is typically dry, sunny, and warm. In northern Tanzania, expect temperatures with daytime highs in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s in the evenings and early mornings. Temperatures will be cooler at higher elevations.
Thomson Safaris was one of the first safari operators in Tanzania to insist on local, Tanzanian guides. All your guides have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the field. More than just leaders, spotters, and wildlife experts, they are true ambassadors for Tanzania. In addition to superior wildlife spotting skills, your team of guides offers local insight that can’t be found in guidebooks. They can’t wait to share their country’s treasures with you!
In the spacious, walk-in tents – exclusively designed for Thomson Safaris – you will find all the comforts you need out in the bush: artfully crafted furnishings, cozy bedding with fine linens and solar-powered, eco-friendly lighting.
En suite bathrooms include water basins, showers, and self-contained, pump-flush toilets. Due to ecological and conservation issues, none of the camps have fixed plumbing, and they utilize the abundant sunshine to provide solar-powered LED lighting.
Always comfortable, but never obtrusive or excessive, these camps are the perfect way to experience Tanzania in elegance and style.
You’ve gone halfway around the world to be on safari; you don’t want to waste a single minute stuck in the mud or unable to cross the river. Luckily, you’ll be traveling in specially customized vehicles. These reliable, rugged vehicles are tough enough for river crossings, wild terrain, dirt roads, and anything that comes your way!
Benefits of your customized safari vehicle:
- While the vehicle is built to accommodate 8 passengers, an average of 5-6 guests per vehicle means room to move and guaranteed window seats for everyone
- Better views because the seats have been lowered
- Protection from the sun due to the pop-up roof
- The ability to stand up and get 360° views when the roof is “popped up”
- Easy battery recharging via multiple US-style outlets in each vehicle
- Worry-free river crossings with a custom snorkel that keeps the engine going
- Complimentary snacks and bottled water are provided throughout the safari
- No mileage restrictions – you’ll go wherever the wildlife is
This tour involves exposure to the outdoors, full days of touring, and some walking, often along uneven terrain. This is not an overly active safari, but you should be in good physical condition in order to enjoy it to the fullest. Early mornings offer the best opportunities for wildlife viewing and drives may last up to five hours. Roads can be bumpy, dusty, and occasionally muddy. Since your comfort is a priority, these drives are minimized with wildlife viewing and/or cultural stops along the way.
Activity Level 3
These trips feature long touring days with travel via motor coach, ship, zodiac, all-terrain vehicle, or train. Travelers are required to board transportation without assistance as well as stand and walk over uneven terrain for extended periods of time. Some tours may include optional higher-intensity activities and travel at higher altitudes with steep ascents and descents. Outings last four to six hours most days. Suitable for travelers who are able to comfortably walk four to six miles, or 6,900 – 9,200 steps, each day
Named to Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best List in the category of Top Safari Outfitters five times, Thomson Safaris was selected as the tour operator for this trip because of their extensive expertise in northern Tanzania and award-winning reputation in the adventure travel business.
Working exclusively in Tanzania for over 40 years, they are leaders in ethical, sustainable, and responsible tourism. Below are some of the many ways Thomson Safaris continues to give back.
- The Tanzania operations—which are also owned by Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland, providing a seamless experience for travelers—hire locally and provide excellent benefits, job security, and training.
- Environmental conscientiousness is a priority: mobile camps utilize solar lighting and water-conserving technologies, Thomson’s U.S. headquarters has 110 solar panels, providing 1/3 of its power, and the Tanzania office maintains an organic garden.
- To minimize the impact on Tanzanian landscapes and wildlife, Thomson Safaris insists on adherence to Leave No Trace ethics at all its camps and on its Mt. Kilimanjaro treks.
- Owners Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland have helped to set up sustainable local businesses, support local schools and women’s empowerment initiatives, and fund a 10,000-acre conservation project east of the Serengeti through their many partner philanthropy organizations.
- Thomson Safaris also works with the organization Green Living Project in an effort to educate individuals and communities on diverse sustainable practices around the world.
- In 1996, a group of Thomson guests were touched by Tanzania’s limited educational resources and, along with Thomson owner, Judi Wineland, founded the nonprofit organization Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC). The heart of its mission is to partner with Tanzanian communities on sustainable development projects. In addition to funding, building, and donating much-needed supplies to local schools, FoTZC provides funding for healthcare, clean water and women’s empowerment initiatives.
International airfare is not included in the trip price. The trip begins and ends at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Guests are welcome and encouraged to call Thomson Safaris for questions and guidance. Please do not purchase airline tickets until you have received clearance from Cal Discoveries that the tour has reached the minimum group size.
The safety of guests and staff is always Thomson’s number one priority and informs all decisions. Travelers have become more careful when managing their plans and may have a few more questions, Thomson is here to support them every step of the way.
Thomson continues to monitor the local and global impacts of COVID-19 and are updating policies and actions accordingly. Review the Standard Operating Procedures for more details.
Single accommodations are limited, subject to availability, and cannot be guaranteed. Should you wish to share a room, we will attempt to find a roommate for you at your request. If we are unable to provide a roommate by the final invoice date, the single accommodation fee will be assessed.
OUR SAFARI INCLUDES
- Meals and complimentary bottled water, accommodations based on double occupancy, and park fees as listed in the itinerary
- Tanzanian-born professional safari guides who will be your companions, your teachers, and at your service throughout the trip
- Safari briefings throughout the safari
- Services at the lodges and Thomson Nyumbas (camps)
- Village, school and cultural visits
- Comfortable wildlife viewing in specially equipped 4WD Land Rover Defenders with pop-up roofs and video camera charging sockets. Each traveler is guaranteed a window seat
- Scenic internal flight from Arusha to Wasso
- Welcome Packet
- Farewell Lunch
- Beer, wine, spirits and soda included at welcome and farewell dinners
OUR SAFARI DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International flights and airport departure tax, unless airfare is arranged by Thomson Safaris, our operator for this trip
- Fuel surcharge
- Gratuities for guides and camp staff
- Activities not included as part of the itinerary
- Trip insurance
- Passport, visa, and immunization fees
- Personal items such as laundry, fax/phone/email charges, souvenirs, alcoholic beverages unless otherwise noted.
Cancellation and Refunds
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing to Thomson Safaris (either by mail or e-mail). At the time we receive your cancellation, the following per person cancellation penalties apply:
Up to 91 days before departure: $1,000 Deposit
90-61 days before departure: 50% of the package price
60-46 days before departure: 65% of the package price
45 days or less before departure: 100% of the package price
Terms and Conditions
A detailed liability statement, concerning, among other things, limitations of WinelandThomson Adventures Incorporated (WTA) and Cal Discoveries Travel’s liability for loss of property, injury, illness or death, will be provided to passengers upon enrollment, along with an information form to sign and return to Thomson Safaris shortly after enrolling on the trip. Each of these forms will be included in a welcome packet sent to passengers after booking.
The California Seller of Travel (CST) Identification number: 2081806-40
Thank you for your support
The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) is a self-funded nonprofit organization that relies on donations to provide programs and services that support students, alumni, and the University. To make a gift, please visit alumni.berkeley.edu/donate. Thank you for choosing CAA as the recipient of your generosity.
CAA MEMBERSHIP POLICY
One traveler per room, whether an alumni or friend, must be a current Cal Alumni Association member at the time of departure to participate in Cal Discoveries Travel offerings. Payment of $60 for seniors 65 years and over and $75 for others establishes a regular or affiliate membership with all other Association benefits. Memberships are for individuals only, and are non-refundable and non-transferable. A traveling pair and their children under 21 years of age may travel on one membership. Please make dues payable to CAA by separate check, or, if you prefer, provide a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express number with expiration date for payment. You can also enroll online at alumni.berkeley.edu/join.