How to Travel Adventurously in 2020

Written by Thomson Safaris

hot air balloon over serengeti

Want to fly high in the sky? Dive amongst the most colorful fish in the sea? Trek deep through the forests in search of mountain gorillas? Let us be your guide.

With the growing popularity of adventure travel, an itinerary consisting solely of beach lounging could become a thing of the past. Nowadays, adventurous travelers are craving more and more excitement in their itineraries – something truly unique that gets the blood pumping and senses jumping.

Hop in a Hot Air Balloon
Add On: Serengeti Balloon Safari

One such sensory experience? Hot air balloon rides. Serengeti Balloon Safaris brings Thomson’s guests on the ride of a lifetime, utter bliss floating through the clouds with unobstructed views of the Serengeti. From the balloon, you’ll see Tanzania and its wildlife in a whole new light – looking down upon the vast, beautiful landscapes.

Better yet? The early morning call time means spotting animals at their most active, while the sunrise envelopes the sky behind you – a photographer’s dream.

As one guest described, “I knew going on the hot air balloon in the Serengeti was going to be an amazing experience…In the air you feel more connected to Africa, all the while feeling so small.”

Experiencing the magic of Tanzania’s wildlife 500 feet up is truly an adventure like no other.

scuba diving in zanzibar

Scuba Dive in Zanzibar
Add On: Zanzibar Extension

When you think of Tanzania, you most likely aren’t thinking about tropical fish…but, think again! Located just 60 miles off Tanzania’s east coast, Zanzibar is an archipelago known for its beautiful beaches, spice-trade history and exotic marine life that inhabits the waters.

In addition to the allure of lively street markets, history-rich tours of Stone Town and world-class cuisine, Zanzibar is surrounded by the breath-taking Indian Ocean. Dive in for a snorkeling or scuba adventure you can’t have anywhere else. You’ll be gifted with a deep sea full of colorful marine life.

zanzibar reiff

Somewhere specific to check out? The Mnemba Atoll. Located just off of Zanzibar’s northeast coast, Mnemba Island is the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. This protected conservation area boasts 100-foot visibility in some underwater areas and hundreds of marine species, including the world’s largest fish, the whale shark.

As Thomson guests Peter and Kayla recalled, “The snorkeling in Zanzibar was spectacular. The water was warm and the colors of the fish and coral were so bright and exotic, it was like being on another planet. For us, the coolest thing was how big the tides were and being able to do a reef walk as far out as 1 km from the beach: Seeing fish, eels, crabs, sea urchins and other creatures who would be under several feet of wavy water four hours later.”

After a Kilimanjaro trek or wildlife safari, jump into an under-the-sea safari. Not only is the water crystal clear, the ocean temperature averages about 80 °F – so, dive right in.

gorilla trekking in rwanda

Spot Endangered Mountain Gorillas
Add On: Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Hike through the dense forests of the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi National Park to observe Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. Split almost evenly between Bwindi and the Virunga Volcanoes, spotting this endangered species is a memory you’ll hold onto for a lifetime.

bennett gorillas

Thomson staffer Hillary fulfilled a lifelong dream to see gorillas in the wild and it was nothing short of incredible. She didn’t just see one or two gorillas; she came within inches of an entire family! To happen upon these impressive creatures requires a level of physical fitness, as Hillary points out on the Thomson blog:

“The terrain is uneven and there is no trail. We were walking through thick foliage for most of the hike,” Hillary said. “It isn’t for the faint of heart, but my adrenaline was pumping the whole time, so the hike itself didn’t feel too bad.”

This thrilling adventure makes a lasting impression on all who experience it – as Andrew, another Thomson staffer and gorilla enthusiast, artfully puts it, “the world is changing and you never know what lies beyond the bend.”