Tanzania Safari: A Family Adventure
Choreographed for families so that everyone has a great time, from children to parents to grandparents, explore the dusty tracks of the African wilderness on a fabulous family safari in search of the "Big Five" on the Serengeti.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
It was such a harmonious experience from beginning to end. I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who wants a bonding experience with their child or grandchild. I was expecting a lot, but this was twice as good.”
Our family safari in Tanzania was first-rate. We saw and learned so much and believe our grandsons had an experience they'll cherish always.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. My family had an opportunity to see a beautiful country and breathtaking animals in their natural habitat. We'll talk about these eleven days for a lifetime!”
Your people are incredible. The experience was wonderful… We felt very cared for by Thomson. Your outfit is a cut above the rest.”
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Imagine seeing—with your family—a hundred Thomson’s gazelles springing across a dirt road or majestic elephants leading their babies to a watering hole! Join us on our family safari and create memories to last a lifetime! Traveling in custom designed four-wheel drive Land Rover vehicles and accompanied by local guides, you’ll experience unbelievable wildlife viewing in Tanzania, the only place on earth where the “Big Five” all live in one place. Each day, head out to explore the back roads and dusty tracks of the African wilderness in search of new wildlife, landscapes, and experiences.
You’ll also travel off the beaten path to meet with local craftspeople and Maasai elders, and visit a local school where the kids can meet their pen pals. After a night in Arusha, spend five amazing days exploring the expansive Serengeti and an adjacent private nature refuge, looking for gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, and more. Stop at Olduvai Gorge for a tour before visiting the Crater to spot the “Big Five”—buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black-maned lion, and the endangered black rhinoceros. Plus, you’ll enjoy the perfect balance of luxury and sustainability at your private Nyumba camps (comfortable mobile-tented camps appointed with verandahs and private bathrooms) and at Gibb’s Farm, a historic working coffee estate, organic working farm, and luxury spa. Take your family on an exceptional vacation this year—a family safari—for the thrill of a lifetime! This is an exciting safari for families with children ages 8 and older.
Days 1 & 2 — Depart home and arrive in Tanzania
Upon arrival in Arusha, you and your family will be met and transferred to your lodge. Rest and relax after your long journey—the real adventure begins tomorrow! Mount Meru Game Lodge
Day 3 — Arusha to Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem
Rise and embrace the day! Fly to the tiny outpost of Wasso, and meet your guide, who will be your community liaison, wildlife expert, and Tanzania ambassador along this wonderful journey. Take a short drive to a private nature refuge deep in the eastern Serengeti eco-system.
Have lunch at camp and then spend the afternoon exploring the area by Land Rover in search of your favorite animals. Nicknamed Giraffic Park, this portion of the Serengeti ecosystem will give you a glimpse into the past. The vast expanses of wilderness, diversity of species, and the warm welcome you’ll receive from the local Maasai people will harken back to the days when Teddy Roosevelt first went on safari near this area.
Take a hike before sunset tonight, and then return to your Nyumba in time for dinner. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem
Start the day with a hot drink and a light snack before heading out for a pre-breakfast guided nature walk. This afternoon, visit a Maasai women’s cooperative to learn how these women have paired their own skills as artisans and homemakers with their desire to help their families, as well as their own communities.
Later in the day, a special visitor will join you in camp. Meet Nekaaki Kioki, respected Maasai elder, feisty grandmother, and fantastic storyteller. She knows hundreds of Maasai folktales and tells them in a truly dramatic fashion. Relax over dinner in the bush. Afterwards you may opt to go on a night drive through the bush. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem to Serengeti National Park
Visit a school, where children can meet their Tanzanian peers in an informal setting (children who have written ahead to a pen pal can meet him or her here). Exchange stories, talk about your favorite music, or teach a team sport—whatever feels fun and interesting to the group.
Continue west to the Serengeti where you will explore for the next three days. As you travel further into the African wilds, look for giraffe, lion, ostrich, zebra and warthog. Late this afternoon you can settle into your Nyumba, throw a Frisbee, play some games or have a cool drink before joining folks in the dining area for your evening meal. Afterwards, gather round the campfire for some stargazing or stories with your guide before heading off to bed. Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Serengeti National Park
Spanning nearly 6,000 square miles, the Serengeti has even more to offer you today. Take a picnic lunch and your camera as you head out in your trusted Land Rovers. Roll down the windows, or stand up to take advantage of the customized roof hatch, feeling the fresh air rush past as you navigate the winding park roads in your pursuit of interesting wildlife sightings. With this perspective, you have unhindered views. The possibilities for what lies ahead are endless!
When you return to the Nyumba this evening, you can indulge in a few tasty snacks while watching the brilliant equatorial sun dip below the horizon. Head into the dining tent where the tempting aromas of homemade soup and fresh bread beckon you to dinner. Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Serengeti National Park
Families with advanced reservations will awaken early (approx. 4 a.m.) for the sunrise hot-air balloon ride, then meet up with the group after a bush breakfast. (Extra costs and advance reservations apply. Participants must be at least 4’ tall and seven years old.) Travelers who opt to skip the balloon ride will wake up to hot drinks and a hearty breakfast at camp. Then hit the trail in your trusty safari vehicle for wildlife viewing with your guides. You’ll meet up with ballooners later this morning.
Continue wildlife viewing in the heart of the park today, stopping for a picnic lunch. Enjoy more exploration of this remarkable place, with stunning landscapes, jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets, and amazing wildlife.
Return to camp with time to relax after a busy day. Under your dining tent, hot soup, fresh bread, main courses, and a scrumptious dessert await. Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater
On the way to the Ngorongoro Crater, stop at Shifting Sands, a crescent-shaped mound of sand, called a barkan, that has been wandering for thousands of years, moving at an average 225 feet per year over flat plains. After, visit Olduvai Gorge to view some of the incredible finds of Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey before moving onward to our camp, which sits atop the eastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. At this camp, you’ll have a special opportunity to try some traditional Tanzanian dishes. Local cuisine here is known for its fresh, flavorful ingredients, diverse culinary influences, and masterful use of spices. (Please note that this does not include game meat.) Your expert camp chef will share some tasty treats with you tonight! Ngorongoro Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Ngorongoro Crater
Spend the full day today exploring the Crater floor. The area is famous around the world and very small in its scale, so you will see other safari goers. Don’t let that distract you from the beauty of the place or from the fact that this remains one of the only places on earth where you may see all of the "Big Five" at once: lion, leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros.
After a picnic lunch, your journey continues throughout this tremendous landscape. Animals move to and fro in search of pasture, water, or prey. You will have ample opportunities to see numerous giraffe, zebra, warthog, jackal, hippo, hyena, and more. Continue to Gibb’s Farm, a historic coffee estate and eco-lodge. Countless activities await, including naturalist-led hikes, tours of the organic farms and gardens, spa treatments, or spending an afternoon with the artists-in-residence. Tonight relax by a Tembo Fire, an open-air sitting area nestled at the foot of the organic gardens. The tradition of the nightly campfire began as a purely practical measure to ensure that elephants – or “tembo” in Swahili – are not tempted to feast in the organic gardens at night. Gibb’s Farm (Note: Dec 19 departure will continue their stay at Ngorongoro Nyumba this evening and will not experience the "Tembo Fire".) (B,L,D)
Day 10 — Ngorongoro Highlands
Today go on an hour and a half bike ride throughout the Ngorongoro Highlands and into quaint Tloma village. Savor lunch at Gibb’s Farm, where nearly every ingredient comes fresh from the estate’s organic farm. In the afternoon, enjoy one of two unique farm-to-table learning experiences. Learn how to make bread in the kitchen or engage in vegetable harvesting in the garden. At tonight's farewell dinner, you’ll have the opportunity to taste-test your work! Gibb’s Farm (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Ngorongoro Highlands to Arusha
After breakfast, drive back to Arusha for a bit of shopping and a farewell lunch at River House with your new safari friends. Day rooms are provided for your family to take an afternoon swim, rest, repack, and have a snack before your early evening transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you’ll check in for your departing flight to Amsterdam. Day Room: Mt. Meru Hotel (B,L,Snack)
Day 12 — Arrive U.S.
Connect in Amsterdam and arrive back in the U.S.