Dear Alumni and Friends,
Think planning a vacation to satisfy every member of your family is impossible? Think again, and consider Tanzania with the Traveling Irish.
The Perfect Family Safari was tailor-made with Notre Dame families in mind, giving everyone – kids, parents, and grandparents – something to be excited about. Flexible mealtimes, special activities, and cultural interactions are weaved into your safari for the chance to share new experiences and connect with one another like never before.
Your family will discover vast, beautiful landscapes from the endless Serengeti plains to the dramatic crater highlands of Ngorongoro. You never know what you might see: a lion stalking a herd of zebra; a leopard lazing in the branches of an acacia tree; a hundred Thomson gazelle springing across a dirt road; hippos wallowing in a pool; or vast herds of wildebeest charting a course to the horizon. You’ll also meet local villagers, school children, artisans, the Maasai and your Tanzanian guides – who share their thoughts, traditions, language and everyday lives with you. Space is limited so be sure to register early to secure your family’s spot on this unforgettable journey.
Although we can’t travel now, we look forward to helping your plan an opportunity of a lifetime in the future. Thomson Safaris have implemented extensive safety procedures to help reduce the transmission of the virus and have introduced flexible options for trip postponement to their guests.
For Notre Dame,
Christa LeeVan, Travel Program Director
The safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority and informs all our decisions. In today’s uncertain landscape, we understand that travelers are more careful when managing their plans and may have a few more questions. We are here to support you every step of the way.
We continue to monitor the local and global impacts of COVID-19 and are updating our policies and actions accordingly. Please continue to refer back to our website for ongoing updates.
- Enjoy morning and afternoon of bush walks and night wildlife drives at a 10,000-acre private nature refuge
- Stargaze the southern sky and listen for wildlife sounds each night at camp
- Gather for a fireside chat with a traditional storyteller and then visit an authentic Maasai boma
- Search for the Big Five during five full days of safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater
- Visit Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world
- Meet your Tanzanian pen pals during a school visit and then head out for a fun game of soccer
- Go mountain biking along the red-clay roads of the Ngorongoro Highlands
- Enjoy a luxurious end of trip sojourn at Gibb’s Farm, voted Best Safari Lodge in Africa by Travel + Leisure
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.
Central Serengeti Nyumba
Thomson's signature Serengeti Nyumba is the perfect balance of luxury, comfort and wilderness. Relax on your private verandah or thatch-roofed lounge tent set on the iconic plains of the Serengeti. In your extra time, stretch or meditate on the yoga platform at this camp.
Olduvai Gorge / Ngorongoro Crater
Visit one of the most important archeological sites in the world and then ascend to a classic bush camp perched high above Ngorongoro Crater. Enjoy a special Tanzanian dinner tonight.
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.
Ngorongoro Crater / Highlands
Explore Earth’s largest intact volcanic caldera, home to 30,000 animals including each of the Big Five. 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 three-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 The Arusha 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.
$6,990 Adult / $6,690 Teen / $5,990 Child
Per person, based on double occupancy and does not include international flights
Plus $380 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.
Recently named to Travel + Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best List in the category of Top Safari Outfitters, 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 36 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.
Due to Covid-19, we are taking reservations by phone or online only.
To reserve your spot by phone, call Andrew Doherty at 800.235.0426
A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person by credit card will be required.
Or fill out the form via the RESERVE NOW button at the top of this page, and Andrew will be in touch with you shortly.
Included On Safari
- Accommodations Based on Double Occupancy
- Meals as Noted in Itinerary, Inclusive of Restaurant Staff Tips
- All Park Fees
- Complete Preparation Materials Including Helpful Tips, Packing List, Trip Expectations, Tipping Guidelines, Etc.
- Access to a Personal Safari Trip Manager by Phone or Email, Five Days a Week
- Full Color Safari Journal
- Safari Briefings Throughout Your Trip
- Services of Professional Safari Guides and Drivers
- Services of Nyumba Camp Staff Including Chef and Waitstaff
- Land Transportation in a Customized, 4-Wheel Drive Safari Vehicle
- Unlimited Mileage in Safari Vehicles
- Guaranteed Window Seating in Safari Vehicles
- Scenic Internal Flight(s) as Noted in Itinerary
- Guided Walks with a Naturalist, when Available
- Village, School, and Cultural Visits as Noted in Itinerary
- Complimentary Bottled Drinking Water in Your Vehicle Throughout Your Safari
- Keep Fit Kit at Each Nyumba Camp
- Special Tanzanian Dinner at Ngorongoro Crater
- Airport Transfers for Delta/KLM Flights on Scheduled Arrival and Departure Days
- Baggage Handling
- Farewell Lunch
Not Included On Safari
- International Flight and Related Fees (Fuel, Baggage, Seat Assignments, etc.)
- Fees for Passport, Visa, or Immunizations
- Meals and Expenses en Route to Tanzania
- Cost of Hospitalization or Evacuation
- Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Soda
- Laundry, Phone, Internet, and Items of a Personal Nature
- Tips for Guides, Drivers, and Camp Staff
International airfare is not included. Thomson Safaris can make Business Class flight arrangements for you on Delta/KLM Airlines. We recommend travelers interested in coach/economy seats visit Delta Air Lines for more information.
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.
We strongly suggest purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance information will be sent to you by the Notre Dame Alumni Association with your confirmation letter, or you may visit our website at travelingirish.nd.edu and click on Travel Insurance to register.
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 Wineland-Thomson Adventures, Inc.’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 is also available to prospective travelers upon request.
The University of Notre Dame, through its Alumni Association, is pleased to provide this service of facilitating travel opportunities for its Alumni and Friends. We strive to work with the best partners to make available interesting and enriching travel options for the Notre Dame family. Please note that the University does not conduct tours, nor does it act as an agent for guests interested in tours. The Alumni Association acts as a facilitator with tour operators, with whom tour participants make arrangements for completing travel. We are pleased to act as a liaison with tour operators should you have any questions or concerns that may arise before, during, or after your tour. The Alumni Association encourages you to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the tour operator’s cancellation and refund policies, and also to investigate available services such as trip cancellation insurance. The University is not responsible for changes to trips or travel arrangements, nor for losses or additional expenses resulting from travel. The Alumni Association reserves the right to withdraw its affiliation with any individual tour should conditions warrant.