Behind the Scenes at Thomson’s Arusha Headquarters

Written by Thomson Safaris

judi wineland at the thomson safaris arusha office

Join Thomson co-founder Judi Wineland as she takes you on a behind-the-scenes look at Thomson’s Arusha headquarters, home of the extensive operations that make the safari magic happen!

Welcome to Arusha Headquarters

Fifteen years ago, Arusha Headquarters started out as a single house. As Thomson grew, bedrooms became offices, the living room became the reservations center and the yard filled with vehicles, shipping containers and staff. It was time to create a purpose-built operations base. Enter Arusha Headquarters.

Built and designed by a local architect, Arusha HQ is a beautiful campus that blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.


Reservations Office

Reservations is a bustling department, tasked with booking and keeping track of all accommodation requirements in Thomson camps at hotels. In addition, they arrange all domestic flight needs for group travel, plus payments of park fees.


Tailor Workshop

Nasibu is a tailor fundi, the Swahili word for expert, and the manager of the tailor workshop. He and his team repair tents, vehicle seating, uniforms, curtains, aprons, table cloths,  camera bean bags and camp director chairs. A few wedding gowns have even been created and repaired there over the years.


Vehicles Workshop

At the vehicles workshop, the manager and his team handle all repairs, including minor servicing with oil, filter changes, major engine overhauls, transmissions fixes and axle alignments. No job is too big for the team that also does electrical work, body repairs and painting!

After every safari the guide completes a job card and informs the workshop of any issues that need attending to before the next safari.  Every guide is also a driver, assigned to a vehicle which functions as their office when out on safari. They look after the safari vehicle as their own.


Freddy’s Canteen and Kitchen

Arusha office staff are fed lunch every day and dine together in the canteen, where Freddy whips up delicious meals! Freddy was a safari cook for many years, but asthma and safari cooking became an issue for him. So, he transferred to managing the staff canteen, where he has been a much-loved team member ever since!

You may have noticed the volleyball net, dartboards and lounge chairs in the background of the video. The Thomson staff are very competitive and have formed a robust community around sporting events! They play casual volleyball and soccer, but also compete with other company teams in annual sporting events.