We pride ourselves on providing top of the line safari experiences that travelers will remember fondly for years to come. But for some visitors, a Tanzanian safari is more than just a dream vacation; it becomes a truly life-changing experience.
Michelle Doherty recently returned from her first safari in Tanzania, and just hours after arriving home, wrote us this letter, one which we’d like to share with all the dreamers out there:
Michelle (and giraffes) in the Eastern Serengeti
I’ve been home now for 24 hours from my safari. I’m looking at a map; seeing how far Africa is from the US is making me tear up. It’s been a long journey, but I have never felt so exhilarated by a trip, maybe not in my entire life, and I wanted to say THANK YOU. I have already stopped by the office to say so in person, and to pick up my 2015 catalog. I’m already planning my next adventure.
What did I love so much?
The animals of course, but also the vastness of space, and the diversity of natural beauty that I experienced every day. There was a special anticipation that came with every “Jambo, Jambo” and each fresh, crisp morning. Long Land Rover rides became an opportunity for periods of quiet reflection; I was surprised by how much pure joy and contentment I felt in those moments.
And Thomson Safaris made it all so easy. Every need, every whim, every little detail was taken care of. Now that I’m home, I’m figuring out how I can get back to Tanzania as quickly as possible; it’s a place where I feel most myself.
The culture of the Maasai was especially moving. They touched me in a way that I find hard to explain, but want to bring into my life at home; I want to find the same peace and contentment I found on the Serengeti here, every day. I’ll continue reflecting on my experiences, and a little rest will help me process everything, and bring some of those feelings into my day-to-day life, but I already know that the best way to find that experience again is to return to Africa, something I know now I will only do with Thomson.
My guides, Leonard Temba and John Urio, were OUTSTANDING. We managed to track down all of the Big Five, plus hundreds of other animals which I have spent a lifetime waiting to see. I will absolutely request one of them again when I travel next.
Michelle and her guides
Leonard had such a deep knowledge of the animals, especially the lions and their various prides. The context and history he shared with us added an amazing depth to the experience, and beyond that, he’s a really funny guy. John was somehow able to anticipate every need for each of us, sometimes even before we knew what we wanted. Together as a team, they were, simply put, A+++.
Now that I’m home, I would love to learn more about how I can help support Tanzania. I will absolutely be donating to Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC, Thomson’s partner nonprofit – ed.), but would also like to extend an offer to host Thomson employees when they travel to the US.
I know this is getting long, so just let me say how much I would love to talk about other ways that I might be useful from the US in supporting your mission in Tanzania. I know you have a wonderful staff covering it all, but I just wanted to make it clear that I am happy to be of help however I can.
I’m sending along a few of the 1,300 photos I took during my safari, including the ones I took of the amazing work that is being done on the medical dispensary and doctors’ housing.
Best Regards. I am forever grateful for the experience of a lifetime.