Dear Alumni and Friends,

Think planning a vacation to satisfy every member of your family is impossible? Think again, and consider Tanzania with Notre Dame Alumni & Friends.

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.


Name here.

Leah Massarati

Trip Leader

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Frequently Asked Questions

Trip Price

It’s free! That’s right, it’s on us. Have a great time knowing you’re not spending a dime. Talk about a sweet experience made even sweeter. That’s us. Thomson Safaris, we’re awesome.

Why Tanzania

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.

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.

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.

But the Serengeti is only one of Tanzania’s wonders. Snow-crowned Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, looms over the northern border. The Ngorongoro Crater, an intact volcanic caldera formed millions of years ago, houses a self-contained ecosystem that is home to the highest concentration of wildlife on the planet. You can also visit Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys unearthed archeological discoveries that changed our understanding of human evolution.

Warmth, generosity, and wonder are truly the heart and soul of this remarkable corner of the world.

What to Expect

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.

Activity Level

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.

Sustainable Travel

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.

Experienced Guides

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!




Transportation while on safari

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


Accommodations have been chosen for their unique African feel, stunning settings, and ideal proximity to attractions. All lodges are comfortable and have electricity and private bathrooms. Your camps, which were custom-designed by Thomson, are called Nyumbas (Swahili for “home”). They are eco-friendly mobile camps set on private sites which allow direct access to wildlife. The large walk-in tents come with real beds dressed in deluxe linens. 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. The camp chef prepares fresh gourmet meals from local ingredients, and restricted diets are easily accommodated with advance notice.

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy morning and afternoon 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

Your Itinerary

June 26 -27:
En route from U.S. / Arrive Arusha
Karibu! Upon arrival your guide will escort you to your lodge.
Overnight: Rivertrees Country Inn

June 28-29:
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.
Overnight: Eastern Serengeti Nyumba

June 30-July 2:
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.
Overnight: Central Serengeti Nyumba

July 3:
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.
Overnight: Ngorongoro Nyumba

July 4-5:
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.
Overnight: Gibb’s Farm

JulY 6-7:
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

The finer points

Included / Not Included

• Accommodations (based on double occupancy)
• All National Park fees
• Meals as noted in itinerary, inclusive of restaurant staff tips
• Beer, wine, spirits, and soda at welcome and farewell dinners
• Complete preparation materials including helpful tips, packing list, trip expectations, tipping guidelines, etc.
• Access to a personal safari consultant by phone or email, five days a week
• Full-color, 120-page Safari Journal
• Safari briefings throughout the trip
• Services of guides, drivers, Nyumba staff including chef and wait staff
• Land transportation in customized, 4-wheel drive safari vehicles with unlimited mileage
• Guaranteed window seating in vehicles
• Village, school, and cultural visits as noted in itinerary
• Scenic internal flight as noted in itinerary
• Complimentary bottled drinking water and snacks throughout your safari
• Airport transfers for Delta/KLM flights on scheduled arrival and departure days
• Baggage handling

Not Included
• International round-trip flight to Tanzania
• Gratuities for guides, drivers, and camp staff (approximately $290-$410 per traveler)
• Airline-imposed fuel surcharges, upgraded seat assignment and excess baggage fees
• Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania
• Fees for passport, visa, or immunizations
• Trip cancellation/delay/baggage loss insurance
• Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
• Beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks, laundry, phone, internet, and items of a personal nature
• Optional balloon safari

How To Book

To reserve a space, fill out the attached form and mail to: Iowa State University Alumni Association, ISU Alumni Center, 429 Alumni Lane, Ames, IA 50011-1403, with your non-refundable deposit of $1000.
Or email your form to [email protected] or fax it to (515) 294-9402. We cannot confirm reservations without a deposit. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure and is payable by check, wire transfer or bank check. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment.


International airfare is not included. Thomson Safaris can make Business Class flight arrangements for you on Delta/KLM Airlines. For travelers interested in coach seats, Thomson will put you in touch with their flight provider or you can book you own airfare directly with Delta/KLM. You are welcome to contact Thomson Safaris with any questions on flights.


It is highly recommended that you consider purchasing trip insurance which offers comprehensive coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation, illness or accident as well as damage or loss of luggage. Information will be promptly sent to you following registration and payment of deposit.


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.

Cancellations, Refunds, Terms and Conditions

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.