We’re beginning to feel buoyant again! Of course, like everyone else, we’re cautious in our optimism, but there’s been a tangible shift these last couple of weeks. The sun is shining, the dark of winter is behind us and we are finally feeling lighter.
A lot of good news is going around: the CDC said air travel is safe with precautions, and more and more people are being vaccinated. Travelers are coming back – we just had a group of eighteen return from safari, and let’s not forget all the successful Kilimanjaro summits that have happened over the last two months!
We – the staff here in Watertown, Massachusetts, and all the people in Tanzania who provide and support safari travel – are all fueled by the knowledge that our guests are having meaningful and truly exceptional experiences once again.
Forty years ago, when Thomson Safaris was founded by Judi Wineland and Rick Thomson, they never imagined the world we all faced over the last year. Long before the phrase “responsible tourism” was coined, Judi and Rick imagined offering purpose-driven safaris that would give back to the people and places that make Tanzania so special. From eco-friendly camps to our partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation, to working with Focus on Tanzanian Communities, we were practicing responsible tourism just by following our passion.
As I reflect on our forty years, what strikes me is that despite how much has changed, all of the most important things remain the same.
The essence of our safari and Kilimanjaro experiences remain as powerful as ever. Our deep commitment to quality, the friendliness and dedication of our staff, the knowledge and care of your guides, and our care and respect of the people and land of Tanzania – these things have not changed at all. They are the heart and the soul of who we are.
During the past year, we implemented standard operating procedures based on the recommendations of the CDC, and these have quickly become our new normal. Preparing a camp for visitors takes a little more time now, but what a small price to pay for the additional peace of mind. The safety of staff and guests has always been – must always be – a foremost priority.
As we continue to navigate life’s changes and prepare for the next forty years, we promise to never lose track of what’s really important.
Can’t wait to see you out there soon!
President of Wineland-Thomson