Newlyweds seeking romance, relaxation and adventure can find it all in Tanzania–just ask Carolyn! She’s a Thomson staffer who recently set out with her husband Jay on a Tanzania honeymoon safari. Their trip exceeded expectations, cemented a stronger bond between them and kicked off their marriage with an adventurous spark.
“We were spoiled rotten,” Carolyn said. “Our honeymoon was romantic, exciting, serene–it was everything.”
Let’s break down some of the perks that made her honeymoon safari–and her Zanzibar extension–unforgettable.
Special Moments in the Serengeti
Landing at the Eastern Serengeti airstrip
Before Tanzania, Carolyn and Jay considered honeymooning in Hawaii or the Caribbean–familiar honeymoon destinations with familiar expectations. She was worried about committing to Tanzania because she didn’t want to miss out on the magic that make those places special.
But Carolyn said her doubts disappeared the moment she stepped off the plane in the eastern Serengeti. It was the height of the green season, when the grasses were tall and sunlight bathed the plains.
Carolyn and Jay’s tent overlooking the Eastern Serengeti plains
“Everything was so alive, and lush, and green,” Carolyn said. “It’s like everything was in vivid mode on your phone’s camera. But that was just the regular mode!”
Honeymoon safaris harmoniously blend the comforts of a traditional honeymoon with the adventure of safari. Carolyn and Jay spent the first days of their trip on wildlife hikes and drives in the eastern Serengeti’s open grasslands. They spotted some 20 giraffes wandering right by them–and after one morning of hiking, they returned to camp to find a tranquil outdoor breakfast set up just for them.
It was the first opportunity of their honeymoon to take a deep breath, look around and realize their dream getaway had begun.
Sharing Safari Excitement
Carolyn and Jay in a hot-air balloon over the Serengeti
Carolyn had been on a Tanzania safari before as part of her Thomson training. She was well-versed in safari expectations. Jay was not. In fact, he had no idea what he would see. “Will I see a lion?” he asked. Because of his inexperience, Carolyn said it was so fun to share the safari experience with him.
“I got to see him get excited over his very first lion, and the next, and the next,” Carolyn said. “Seeing his eyes light up, seeing his jaw drop, that was unforgettable.”
Spotting warthogs, cheetahs, lions, giraffes, zebras–and babies of every kind–helped Carolyn and Jay bond over new, shared experiences.
“He’s heard me talk about how great safari is for five-plus years,” Carolyn said. “He was finally like, ‘I understand it now. The wildlife is incredible! The staff is magnificent! All the guides are so welcoming! They’ll do anything for you!”
Carolyn and Jay returned from wildlife drives on multiple occasions to find that the Thomson staff had set up candlelit dinners at camp, just for them.
“The food the staff cooks is amazing, and it made it that much more special to have a magical, picturesque setup underneath the stars,” Carolyn said.
Glam Times at Gibb’s
The Thomson team lavished Carolyn and Jay with bottles of champagne, special sundowners and other surprises we’ll keep secret for now (so we don’t spoil the surprise!). No place indulged them quite like Gibb’s Farm, an eco-lodge cradled on the slopes of Ngorongoro Crater. After a day spotting lions, rhinos and more, Carolyn and Jay arrived at Gibb’s and received a complimentary spa treatment from Thomson.
Jay fell in love with their cottage–a private, terraced retreat nestled in the jungle foliage. He came inside after taking his first outdoor shower and said, “That was probably the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life.”
Carolyn and Jay’s cottage room at Gibb’s Farm
The Gibb’s staff spoiled Carolyn and Jay with desserts, champagne, songs and more. Among the memorabilia was a special honeymoon gift from Gibb’s itself: beautiful, hand-made bracelets. Carved from the seeds of a tree on the property, these keepsakes came from the tree outside the “Wedding” cottage where Margaret Gibb was married in the mid-20th century. Now, Carolyn displays them in her home.
“They’re so much more than a souvenir, but a tangible piece of history and tradition we get to share with anyone who visits,” she said.
Zen in Zanzibar
Capping off an adventurous safari, Carolyn and Jay extended their honeymoon to Zanzibar: a tropical spice island off the Tanzanian coast, a paradise known for its sugar-white beaches and sapphire waters. Its vibrant cultural scene, balmy breezes and stunning vistas provided the relaxing beach vacation Carolyn and Jay had been wanting.
“The waters in Zanzibar are absurdly blue,” Carolyn said. “We got to swim with dolphins, we went snorkeling. Jay was in his happy place, having dug his feet in the sand, a cocktail in his hand.”
As reluctant as she was to leave, Carolyn was happy–her honeymoon was everything she had hoped for.
“Thomson showed us so much love from start to finish,” she said. “I learned just how thrilled they are to do whatever they can, no matter who you are, no matter what you’re celebrating.”