The Thomson team
The end of the year is a time to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished. The Thomson Safaris staff took some time looking back at the greatest moments we’ve experienced as a team, and we realized just how eventful 2016 has been for us. As we count down to the New Year, we’ll also count down our top 10 moments of 2016.
10. The birth of the Advisory Boards
Earlier this year, Thomson Safaris started an Advisory Board of past travelers who help us make future guests’ safari and Kilimanjaro experiences even better. Our first members are approaching their 1-year anniversary, and we’re so proud to have them on the team! Meet the members of the safari and Kili Advisory Boards.
9. Hesitant trekkers who summited Kili
One of the greatest parts of organizing Kilimanjaro treks is witnessing our guests push themselves to their full potential. Two of our most hesitant guests come to mind – a man whose trekking anxiety was so intense that he talked to every member of our service team before his trip, and a self-proclaimed city girl who never spent even one night outdoors. Both of them made it to Uhuru Peak and achieved what they thought was impossible. Hongera, friends!
Nicole Cicogna on Mount Kilimanjaro
8. Our new and improved Thomson Treks website
Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, and it deserves a website that measures up. We completely redesigned our original Thomson Treks website and packed it with helpful information for your climb. There’s even some captivating video footage on the homepage.
7. Gibb’s Farm Named One of the 50 Best Hotels in the World
Gibb’s Farm is included on many of our safaris, and it’s been honored yet again with a prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice award. Ranking No. 2 in Africa on the World’s 50 Best Hotels list, the estate is being internationally recognized for its fourth consecutive year! Read the press release here.
Cottage room at Gibb’s Farm
6. The three goats that were donated to FoTZC
You read that right! Our sister nonprofit organization, Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC), received a donation of three goats to use for milk and other vital nutrients. Women of Sukenya gifted the animals to the organization as a thank you for all of its continued support. The surrounding communities will benefit immensely from this amazing gift!
5. Record number of staff in Tanzania in one year
Upon joining the team at Thomson Safaris, staff are trained on everything from Tanzanian geography to international travel requirements. As the final part of training, they often visit Tanzania to broaden their understanding of the guest experience (we know, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!). In 2016 alone, we’ve sent seven staff members on safari in Tanzania, and some even went on to climb Kili!
Thomson staffer Hillary trekking through Tanzania’s Maasailand
4. Guests who continue to travel with us
Some of our guests simply can’t get enough of Tanzania – and who could blame them? One of our favorite longtime friends has already gone on safari with us eleven times, and that number is continually growing. The best part of a Tanzanian safari is that no matter how many times you’ve been, it’s always a different experience.
3. Making the list of the top 100 women-led businesses in Massachusetts
We made it! The Boston Globe Magazine and The Commonwealth Institute honored 100 of the most impressive businesses in Massachusetts being headed by women (in our case, president and co-founder Judi Wineland). We’re honored to be recognized for the third consecutive year. Read the press release here.
Judi Wineland with Maasai women
2. Two board members’ record-setting donations to FoTZC
It’s been a record-setting year for FoTZC. Many of our guests are inspired to donate to FoTZC upon returning from their trip, but two board members took it to a whole new level. The donors each presented the organization with checks for $50,000 – our largest donations from single donors yet!
1. Thomson Safaris’ 35th anniversary
This is a special year for us at Thomson Safaris, as we’re celebrating 35 years of service. In honor of our milestone anniversary, we put together a visual presentation of the top 35 reasons to visit Tanzania. Missed it the first time? See it here!