Journey from the depths of Ngorongoro Crater and the vast plains of the Serengeti to exotic Zanzibar. You'll discover the breadth of Tanzania's riches, including abundant wildlife, varied cultures, and valued traditions.

Starting at: $8,697 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Wildlife at Ngorongoro Crater  The landscape of Ngorongoro Crater  Giraffes in the wild  Lion in Ngorongoro Crater  Herd of zebra  Flamingos at Ngorongoro Crater  Grey-crowned Cranes  Elephants on the Serengeti  A lone cheetah looks out over the savanna.  Credit: David Schachter  Leopards on safari  View of Zanzibar's Stone Town from the water  Cathedral and slave memorial in Zanzibar's Stone Town  The historic fort in Zanzibar's Stone Town  Traditionally decorative doorways in Zanzibar's Stone Town  Beautiful beach on Zanzibar  Fresh nutmeg at a spice plantation, Zanzibar  Sunset with traditional <i>dhou</i> on the water off Zanzibar's Stone Town

Tanzania Safari

The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Zanzibar

15 days from $8,697 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Journey from the depths of Ngorongoro Crater and the vast plains of the Serengeti to exotic Zanzibar. You'll discover the breadth of Tanzania's riches, including abundant wildlife, varied cultures, and valued traditions.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The enormous sweep of the grasslands and plain was amazing as was the symbiosis between such disparate creatures as the zebras and wildebeest. We watched a baboon jump on our land cruiser hood and proceed to unscrew an antenna. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

The African Tulip

Arusha, Tanzania

A 29-room boutique hotel located close to Arusha’s city center, The African Tulip features contemporary Tanzanian art and local craftwork. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, poolside bar, lounge, outdoor pool, laundry and dry cleaning service, and a gift shop. Safari-themed guest rooms are air-conditioned and have private bath with hair dryer, Wi-Fi Internet access (surcharge), in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Number of nights: 2

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Perched on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater itself, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge offers endless and unparalleled views from its clustered boulder-built buildings. Ethnic Maasai handcrafts – bright-beaded robes, intricate carvings, iron spears – decorate the lodge, and sensitivity to the environment marks all aspects of development here. The lodge offers a dining room and bar; traditional music, culture, and dance; guided walks; massage and beauty treatments; Internet access; laundry service; and a gift shop and boutique. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, private balcony, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Set high on the saddle of a tree-clad ridge with panoramic views over the vast Serengeti, the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge fuses traditional African architecture with contemporary amenities. Circular “rondavel” dwellings with thatched roofs and the winding paths of a traditional Maasai village mark the lodge that sits amidst groves of indigenous trees surrounded by streams and ponds. Amenities include an outdoor pool; two-tiered dining room dominated by a central barbecue area; traditional music and dance; massage and spa treatments; laundry service; Internet access; and safari boutique and gift shop. Guest rooms, in individual rondavel huts, feature private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, wildwood balconies, intricately carved furniture, mosquito nets, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Mbalageti Serengeti

Arusha, Tanzania

Located in the famed Western Corridor of the Serengeti, the Mbalageti Serengeti offers guests unparalleled access to the big game animals abundant in this area.  The lodge sits on the Mwamveni hill near the seasonal Mbalageti River, and was constructed using natural building materials and without harming any part of the natural environment.  Amenities of this deluxe lodge include a restaurant and outdoor bar, stone-ringed outdoor swimming pool, spa with massage tables and plunge pool, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in the Welcome Centre), and gift shop.  Guests stay in private, semi-tented chalets with a back wall of local rock, canvas sides, thatched roof, and wooden floor.  All chalets have private bath with hairdryer, mineral water, bathrobes, slippers, flashlight, umbrellas, walking-stick, whistle, binoculars (on request), in-room safe, and mosquito nets. 

Number of nights: 2

Breezes Beach Club Zanzibar

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The enormous sweep of the grasslands and plain was amazing as was the symbiosis between such disparate creatures as the zebras and wildebeest. We watched a baboon jump on our land cruiser hood and proceed to unscrew an antenna. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler
Reading List
Northern Tanzania Safari Guide: Including Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar (Bradt Travel Guides)
By: Philip Bruggs, Chris McIntyre
This thoroughly updated new edition of Bradt's Northern Tanzania Safari Guide remains the only full-length guidebook focused exclusively on the northern part of the country and Zanzibar. Tailored closely to the requirements of anyone going on a safari to northern Tanzania, followed by a few days on Zanzibar, it provides far more detailed coverage of the local safari circuit and other main attractions than other guides. As such, it offers complete and detailed lodge listings and also goes into greater detail about wildlife and where to see it. It is also the only guide to include detailed information on the many new private concessions that have opened up. Bradt's Northern Tanzania is written by Philip Briggs, the world's leading writer of guidebooks to Africa, and Chris McIntyre, CEO of specialist Africa tour operator Expert Africa. The guide reflects the growing trend away from large lodges towards small exclusive eco-friendly camps in remote parts of the Serengeti and other major reserves and this edition is more critically selective than previous editions, detailing the best on offer in all price brackets. Also new for this edition is a 48-page colour field guide, detailing all species a visitor can expect to find on a safari in the northern circuit, making this guide the most authoritative source available. Northern Tanzania is an essential travel companion for both first-time visitors and seasoned safari-goers. Northern Tanzania is dominated by Africa's finest safari circuit. Centred on the legendary Serengeti National Park and its world-famous wildebeest migration, this circuit also incorporates the Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara and Tarangire national parks. Geographically it is one of the most varied regions in Africa, with a palm-fringed Indian Ocean coastline complemented by the scenic wonders of the Great Rift Valley, Africa's largest lake, and several impressive volcanically formed mountains, most notably snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa and a popular goal for hikers. Lesser-known gems include the prehistoric rock art at Kondoa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the forested Arusha National Park and Amani Nature Reserve, and the spectacular Ol Doinyo Lengai – Africa's most active volcano. Tanzania is home to more than 100 ethnic groups, from the Arab-influenced Swahili of the coast to the traditionalist Maasai pastoralists and Hadza hunter-gatherers of the Rift Valley, yet it takes pride in a long history of post-independence tolerance, stability and safety. Northern Tanzania offers spectacular game-viewing all year round, and supports some of the world's largest surviving populations of lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest and gazelle. Serviced by a well-developed safari industry, the superlative reserves of northern Tanzania are complemented by a stopover on the legendary Spice Island of Zanzibar. With its atmospheric old town, idyllic beaches and offshore reefs teeming with marine life, it is every bit as evocative as its name.
The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
By: Richard D. Estes
Since its original publication in 1993, The Safari Companion has been the best field guide to observing and understanding the behavior of African mammals. An indispensable tool for naturalists traveling to Africa, this new edition has been revised to acknowledge the enthusiasm to those watching these magnificent animals at zoos and wildlife parks, and on film. The Safari Companion enables readers to recognize and interpret visible behavioral activities, such as courtship rituals, territorial marking, aggression, and care of young. Each account of over 80 species includes a behavioral table in which the unique actions of the hoofed mammals, carnivores, and primates are described for easy reference. In addition, useful maps show the major national boundaries, vegetation zones, and game parks relevant to the guide. The book includes an extensive glossary, as well as tips on wildlife photography, a list of organizations working to protect African wildlife, and advice on where and when to see the animals.
Green Hills of Africa
By: Ernest Hemingway
Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway His second major venture into nonfiction (after Death in the Afternoon), Green Hills of Africa is Ernest Hemingway’s lyrical journal of a month on safari in the great game country of East Africa, where he and his wife Pauline journeyed in December of 1933. Hemingway’s well-known interest in - and fascination with - big game hunting is magnificently captured in this evocative account of his trip. In examining the poetic grace of the chase, and the ferocity of the kill, Hemingway also looks inward, seeking to explain the lure of the hunt and the primal undercurrent that comes alive on the plains of Africa. Yet Green Hills of Africa is also an impassioned portrait of the glory of the African landscape, and of the beauty of a wilderness that was, even then, being threatened by the incursions of man. We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience.
New Map of Serengeti National Park
By: Maco Editions LLC.
Folded, hand-illustrated, tourist map of Serengeti National Park. The map shows Serengeti in the wet season on one side, and the dry season on the other. It also shows the different animal tracks that can be found within the parks borders, as well as different plants that live in the Serengeti. The map details the path of the migration for every month of the year, and describes why the animals move when they do. The map also contains an inset for the area of Lobo, and shows roads, kopjes, campsites, rivers, tracks, and lakes. Legend is in English.
Tanzania - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Quintin Winks
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken
The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912
By: Thomas Pakenham
From the rear cover of this 738 page book: "A phenomenal achievement, clear, authoritative and compelling......Thomas Pakenham's fine book tells the story of this particular gold rush with admirable and judicious poise....Contains some of the best-known episodes of 19th-Century history as well as some of the most mythologized and colorful characters the world has ever seen.....Livingstone and Stanley, Brazza and Rhodes, Kitchener and Gordon, Lugard and Jameson.....Highly readable." and "Taking the entire continent as his canvas, Pakenham has painted a picture of heroism and horror. He writes both with compassion and with an effective combination of detachment and judgement. A splendid book."
The Tree Where Man Was Born (Penguin Classics)
By: Peter Matthiessen
A timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published. Peter Matthiessen exquisitely combines nature and travel writing to portray the sights, scenes, and people he observed firsthand in several trips over the course of a dozen years. From the daily lives of wild herdsmen and the drama of predator kills to the field biologists investigating wild creatures and the anthropologists seeking humanity's origins in the rift valley, The Tree Where Man Was Born is a classic of journalistic observation. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by groundbreaking British primatologist Jane Goodall.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar
By: Emily Ruete
"[A]n intriguing account of court life in an outpost of the Islamic empire in Africa." Journal of World History In 1844, Salamah bint Saïd was born into royalty of the sultanate of Zanzibar and Omar. She was the youngest out of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid’s thirty children and daughter of a Circassian concubine, and through her early years spent in a variety of great palaces she experienced vast wealth. This is the story of Saïd’s life, written after she had left Zanzibar and eloped with Rudolph Heinrich Ruete to Germany to begin life under her new name, Emily Ruete. From an early age she was witness to the intrigue and politics of the harem, even involving herself at the tender age of fifteen to the factional infighting and an attempted coup by her brother Barghash against another brother. But this is more than merely an interesting story of one Arabian princess’s life in East Africa, as Saïd provides a fascinating insight into the social and cultural history of Zanzibar. She writes on numerous topics from schooling to fashion, medical treatment to slavery, thus giving a vivid impression of when she lived. After she married Rudolph Ruete and converted to Christianity, they spent the rest of their lives in Hamburg. She wrote Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar in German in 1886. It was the first known autobiography of an Arabian woman. She died in 1924 in Germany at the age of 79. This edition was translated by Lionel Strachey and published in 1907. Strachey died in 1927.
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography
By: Tepilit Ole Saitoti
An autobiographical memoir revealing the traditional childhood, adolescence, and coming of age in Maasailond also documents the author's life on the plains of the Serengeti and his education and experiences as he journeyed to Europe and America
The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories
By: Ernest Hemingway
The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories contains ten of Hemingway's most acclaimed and popular works of short fiction. Selected from Winner Take Nothing, Men Without Women, and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories, this collection includes "The Killers," the first of Hemingway's mature stories to be accepted by an American periodical; the autobiographical "Fathers and Sons," which alludes, for the first time in Hemingway's career, to his father's suicide; "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," a "brilliant fusion of personal observation, heresay, and invention," wrote Hemingway's biographer, Carlos Baker; and the title story itself, of which Hemingway said: "I put all the true stuff in," with enough material, he boasted, to fill four novels. Beautiful in their simplicity, startling in their originality, and unsurpassed in their craftsmanship, the stories in this volume highlight one of America's master storytellers at the top of his form.
A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania (Princeton Field Guides)
By: Charles Foley, Lara Foley, Alex Lobora, Daniela De Luca, Maurus Msuha, Tim R.B. Davenport, Sarah M. Durant
Home to the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania offers some of the finest big game watching in the world, from elephants and rhinos to chimpanzees and lions. This field guide covers all the larger mammals of Tanzania, including marine mammals and some newly discovered species. Detailed accounts are provided for more than 135 species, along with color photos, color illustrations of marine mammals, and distribution maps. Accounts for land species give information on identification, subspecies, similar species, ecology, behavior, distribution, conservation status, and where best to see each species. The guide also features plates with side-by-side photographic comparisons of species that are easily confused, as well as first-time-ever species checklists for every national park.The definitive, most up-to-date field guide to the larger mammals of Tanzania, including marine mammalsFeatures detailed species accounts and numerous color photos throughoutProvides tips on where to see each speciesIncludes species checklists for every national park
Birds of the Serengeti: And Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Wildlife Explorer Guides)
By: Adam Scott Kennedy
Located in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti is one of the world's most famous wildlife regions. Birds of the Serengeti is a groundbreaking and essential photographic guide, featuring more than 270 bird species most likely to be encountered in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This easy-to-use guide includes 480 dazzling color photos, an attractive and handy layout, and informative and accessible text that discusses interesting behaviors and provides insights into species background. Rich in detail, this indispensable volume uses a habitat-based approach, making it simple for everyone―from the novice to the experienced birdwatcher―to locate diverse birds in this fascinating area of the world.Looks at more than 270 bird species most likely to be encountered in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Speke Gulf Features major plumage variations Habitat-based approachInformative and accessible text
The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Jonathan Kingdon
This is an essential guide for anyone with an interest in wildlife who visits Africa--from the tourist on safari to the more experienced naturalist. Compact and beautifully illustrated, it is ideal for use in the field, while its coverage is the most comprehensive for any book of its size. First pocket guide to cover every species of terrestrial African mammal Adapted from the highly acclaimed Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals Fully illustrated with the author's superb color artwork Easy-to-read distribution maps Concise text and clear layout for quick, easy reference Practical format makes it ideal for use in the field
Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family
By: Cynthia J. Moss
Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers."One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the elephants!'"—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times"Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously structured account." —Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal"Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." —Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, New York Times Book Review"A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some moral as well as zoological lessons." —Chicago Tribune
Wildlife of Southern Africa (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Martin B. Withers, David Hosking
Highly portable, concise, and informative, this is the essential guide for identifying Southern Africa's most visible wildlife. Featuring full-color photos of more than 400 species of birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, and insects, Wildlife of Southern Africa provides a spectacular sense of what travelers can see in the major game reserves and national parks of South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and southern Mozambique. Each species in this guide is accompanied by at least one full-color photograph plus a full textual description. Tips on wildlife photography as well as information on how to make the most of a safari are also included. This is a must-have guide for anyone planning or dreaming about a visit to this fascinating part of the world.Highly portable and informative guide to the wildlife of Southern Africa Hundreds of full-color photos detail more than 400 species At least one full-color photograph and full textual description for each species Tips on wildlife photography and making the most of a safari
Wildlife of the World (Dk Smithsonian)
By: DK Publishing
Wildlife of the World takes you on a journey through some of the most scenic and rich animal habitats — from the Amazon rain forests to the Himalayas, the Sahara to the South Pole — meeting the most important animals in each ecosystem along the way.In Wildlife of the World truly spectacular portrait-style photography brings you "face-to-face" with individual animals in up-close and engrossing profiles on how the animals interact with their environments, mate, survive, and even play.From the shaggy musk ox foraging in the Canadian high arctic to the angered Scottish wildcat prowling the Highlands to the rock-climbing gelada monkey of Ethiopia, each animal featured in Wildlife of the World plays a key role in its environment. An additional eighty-page illustrated reference section on the animal kingdom explains the animal groups and profiles additional species.Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
Natural History (Smithsonian)
By: DK
A landmark in reference publishing and overseen and authenticated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, Natural History presents an unrivaled visual survey of Earth's natural history. Giving a clear overview of the classification of our natural world-over 6,000 species-Natural History looks at every kingdom of life, from bacteria, minerals, and rocks to fossils to plants and animals. Featuring a remarkable array of specially commissioned photographs, Natural History looks at thousands of specimens and species displayed in visual galleries that take the reader on an incredible journey from the most fundamental building blocks of the world's landscapes, through the simplest of life forms, to plants, fungi, and animals.
Cats of Africa
By: Paul Bosman, Anthony Hall-Martin
Cats of Africa celebrates the power and grandeur of the three large cats, but it also offers fascinating introductions to their smaller relatives. Here we discover that the diminutive sand cat has feet covered with long hair on the undersides for better grip on loose, hot sand. We marvel at the enigmatic African golden cat of the rainforests, the caracal, the serval, the African wild cat, the swamp cat, and the secretive, reputedly ferocious black-footed cat, the smallest of all.Bringing together Paul Bosman's eloquent paintings and drawings and the extensive scientific knowledge of Anthony Hall-Martin, Cats of Africa depicts the cats' fascinating daily lives while advocating the conservation and proper management of the complex ecosystems that support them. For each species, the book provides a distribution map and biological data—including habitat, size, diet, reproduction, behavior, and conservation status. With a glossary of terms, an extensive index, and an international list of interest groups, this volume will serve as an indispensable reference to anyone with an interest in Africa's cats—from armchair game viewers to students of natural history and professional conservationists.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad (for air inclusive guests)
  • All on-tour transportation including flights within the itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed.  Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.
In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days (180 for Alaska) of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a wait list by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.  

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown.  Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, the tour operator  will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  . For participants using air, only post tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.