Riley’s Favorite Safari Stories, Told with Photos

Written by Thomson Safaris

Anyone who’s been on safari in Tanzania knows that words are simply not enough when recounting a person’s experience. In order to give others a real glimpse into what it’s like, Thomson staffer Riley provided photos depicting some of his favorite memories of his trip – Thomson’s Ultimate Safari, a 15-day adventure that brings guests through the Serengeti, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park.

Like many of our guests, he returned home with a refreshed perspective, countless memories, and thousands of photos of his safari. Here’s just a small fraction of his beautiful shots and the stories that go along with them.


Appreciating the beauty of the green season

“It was the beginning of the green season when I was in Tanzania. It was March, and the grass was lush and the colors of the landscape were vibrant shades of blue and green. The sights were fascinating and overwhelming in the best way. I felt so small in comparison.”

lions resting during Tanzania's green seasonLions resting in the lush grass in the Serengeti.

elephant as seen during Tanzania's green seasonEvery elephant sighting was more exciting than the last.


Spotting the first group of giraffe

“It was the morning of our first day in the Eastern Serengeti and our guide was briefing the group on the day ahead of us. We were all sitting in chairs facing him, and his back was to the plains. As he was talking, we couldn’t help but notice the giraffes sporadically lifting their long necks over the towering trees in front of us. One by one, they would spring up, looking for food and checking to see what we were doing. It was the perfect way to begin our first day on safari.”

giraffes as seen during Tanzania's green seasonWe spotted giraffes before we even started our adventure on Day 1! 


Getting pranked by the local children

“One of my favorite memories of safari actually had nothing to do with the wildlife. I loved visiting the Maasai bomas and meeting all of the children who lived there. They were very polite and respectfully greeted us before pulling a classic prank when we least expected it. It was a funny reminder that kids are kids in every part of the world.”

local children in TanzaniaThe children we met were playful and polite. I’ll never forget my time with them.

Being taken care of by the staff at Gibb’s

“There was one morning at Gibb’s when I wasn’t feeling very well, and one of the staff members could tell. I told him a few of my symptoms and within minutes, he had grabbed a ladder, climbed into a tree, and ripped off some leaves, noting that he swore by this herbal remedy. He put the leaves in a mug, poured in some boiling hot water, and advised me to let it steep before drinking. Within an hour, I felt much better, and I’m still so appreciative that he took it upon himself to help me that day.”

herbal tea at gibb's farmEach staff member was incredibly attentive and helpful when I needed them most. 


Watching the rain bring everything to life

“One evening after our wildlife viewing drive, it started to lightly rain – and it was very much appreciated. We all grabbed seats outside under a covering, looked out at the world in front of us, and sipped on some of the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s amazing to see how the animals immediately come to life at the first drop of rain, and that sight definitely added a fun new element to my trip.”

ngorongoro crater clouds after a rain stormAfter the rain, the grass in the crater was more vibrant, the wildlife was more active, and all of the colors just seemed brighter.

Tanzanian sunsetEveryone in my group would make it a point to watch the sky each evening. There’s nothing like a Tanzanian sunset.