Immerse yourself in the landscapes of Tanzania. Search for wildlife - lion, elephant, cheetah, giraffe and rhino in the Serengeti. Discover Ngorongoro Crater, home to rhinoceros, hippo, flamingo, ostrich and the black-maned lion. Retreat to your tented camps offering superior comfort. Finish with a 2-night stay at the award-winning Gibbs Farm.
Upon arrival your guide will escort you to your lodge. Arusha Hotel
Fly from Arusha to the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem, enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Natron and the Maasai "mountain of god", Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is an active volcano. Upon arrival at the airstrip, meet your guide and transfer to Eastern Serengeti Nyumba for lunch, enjoying wildlife viewing en route. In the refuge’s 10,000 acres of pristine wilderness, wildlife numbers have nearly tripled in just a few years, one of the tangible results of conservation efforts in the area. Giraffe, eland, dik dik, ostrich, leopard and even wild dog can be seen in this unique wildlife haven, dubbed "Giraffic Park" by one enthusiastic guest. After lunch, enjoy more wildlife viewing. In the late afternoon, stretch your legs on a brief but scenic walk accompanied by your guide and a local wildlife scout. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner and the full Tanzanian hospitality that comes with it. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Head out on a light hike in the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem this morning. Being out on the plains on foot at this time of day is magical. Afterwards, visit a Community Development Project, including a school, teachers' housing, and medical dispensary to learn how tourism can impact the community in positive ways through collaboration and understanding. Following a delicious home-cooked lunch with amazing views at camp, learn about the semi-nomadic culture of the Maasai by visiting a boma, which is a settlement of circular mud-and-dung Maasai homes. Many Maasai still roam the plains of northern Tanzania with their herds of cattle, maintaining their traditions while adapting to new ways of life. Learn more about their extraordinary culture as you tour the boma and take in the scenes of village life. After dinner, take to the plains and wilds after dark for a night drive in the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem. Night drives offer thrills and possible sightings of nocturnal creatures, such as spring hares, aardvarks, and porcupines. More than anything, the night drive offers an adventure few travelers in Tanzania have the chance to experience. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Today drive west toward the Serengeti through a landscape riddled with craggy hills and thickly wooded gullies to enter the Serengeti along its northeast border. En route, pay a visit to the Enjipai Women’s Group, which was formed by a small group of entrepreneurial Maasai women. Now numbering over 100 members, they paired their skills as artisans and homemakers with their desire to help their families and the community in general. Spend an afternoon wildlife viewing in the Serengeti. The big cats often spend these hours lying drowsily about the plains and up in the trees while many antelope and other animals continue to graze. Northern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Go on a wildlife viewing drive in the Serengeti for a full day. Your expert guide will point out wildlife that few others could hope to spot, whether a leopard well-concealed in the trees or a lion deep in the savannah grasses. Search the banks of the famed Mara River for hippopotamus, crocodile and a myriad of birds. With a little luck, you could even witness a river crossing! There is no telling exactly when these highly dramatic movements will occur, but all safari-goers are sure to see plenty of wildebeest and zebra while in Tanzania. Northern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Today drive deep into the heart of the central Serengeti, which is famous for its large number of lion, leopard, cheetah and a vast array of herbivores. After lunch at the new camp, spend time with a women’s weaving co-op that sells excellent sisal baskets and crafts. Weaving skills are passed down through the generations, and the quality of even the most humble objects, such as bowls or brooms, is remarkable. Around dusk, go on a late afternoon walk around camp and enjoy the sunset. You may see signs of wildlife in the area by identifying spoor, searching for broken branches, and finding animal tracks in the sandy soil. Central Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
You have the opportunity to balloon across the plains during one of your mornings in the Serengeti (advance reservations required). A pre-dawn wake-up call leaves you time to drive to the balloon launch site in order to catch the most dramatic light. Then take to the skies just as the sun rises, and glide over the plains and acacia treetops, taking in spectacular views of the Seronera River Valley and the surrounding plains. After your descent, enjoy a magnificent champagne breakfast right in the midst of the Serengeti wilderness. Continue your exploration of the Serengeti’s pristine landscapes with your guide's uncanny wildlife spotting instincts leading the way. Expansive plains, rolling hills, dramatic granite outcrops and riverine valleys are home to an endless variety of fascinating creatures, from the lowly dung beetle to the impressive elephant. Central Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Spend another morning exploring the rich ecosystem of the Serengeti before bidding farewell to the flat grass plains of the Serengeti and take a short fight to the Ngorongoro Highlands for two days of eco-luxury at Travel & Leisure’s Best Safari Lodge in Africa. Known for its red soil and lush landscapes, the Ngorongoro Highlands sprawl over hills and valleys. Everywhere you look will unveil a new view, a new beauty, and a new adventure. Arriving at the Manyara Airstrip, transfer to Gibb’s Farm for lunch, where nearly every ingredient comes fresh from the estate's organic farm. With delicacies to suit every palate, this is sure to be a memorable meal. After lunch, take a guided tour of Gibb’s garden, a sloping 10 acres of vegetables and fruit gardens, growing everything from artichoke to zucchini and providing most of the ingredients for the delicious organic meals enjoyed by guests. Learn about other sustainable practices at Gibb’s as your tour passes through a pig and dairy farm where you can even try your hands at milking a cow. You can also walk through the famed coffee bean fields that gave the farm its start over 80 years ago. Gibb’s Farm sponsors East African artists, from botanical illustrators to Makonde carvers, who live at the farm and develop their work. In fact, it is their sculptures, paintings, and artwork that adorn the many luxury cottages and facilities at Gibb’s. Meet with one of the artists and learn more about his or her work, inspiration and techniques. Gibb’s Farm (B,L,D)
Visit the floor of Ngorongoro Crater today, where you are likely to find an abundance of wildlife. With luck, you might even see rhinoceros and big cats, such as lion and cheetah. The diversity of species often inspires awe, from baboons and elephants in the Lerai Forest to wildebeest and mountain reedbuck over the crater’s grassy floor. To maximize your wildlife viewing time on the crater floor, enjoy your picnic lunch near a hippo pool. This evening, relax at the 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. It soon became a popular place to sit and relax at the end of the day. Now, with a comfortable seating area and full bar, the Tembo Fire makes a wonderful place for conversation, story- telling or star-gazing. Enjoy your farewell dinner in Tanzania, giving you time to reflect on the many sights, adventures, and experiences that you will remember for years and years to come. Gibb’s Farm (B,L,D)
Following breakfast at Gibb's Farm, transfer to Arusha. Stop at the Cultural Heritage Center, with its abundance of wooden carvings, artifacts, apparel, and crafts. The center also has Tanzanite and other gemstones for sale. While the center caters mostly to tourists, they also have wonderful cultural displays and a separate wing that displays some of the finest African art in Tanzania. Enjoy a special farewell lunch in Arusha as you prepare for your departure. Visit the adjoining Shanga workshop where physically challenged artisans create remarkable jewelry, learn glass- blowing, and sell their work. Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departing flight. Those not continuing to Rwanda fly home tonight, arriving the following day. Day Room at The Arusha Hotel (B,L)
Cost and Details
$7,890 per person, double occupancy
Tanzania Value Added Tax: $320
Single Room Supplement: $800
Included in Tour Price
Nine nights of accommodations in tented camps and lodges; Airport transfers for Delta/KLM flights on scheduled arrival and departure days; All meals during the itinerary; Unlimited spring water; Beer, wine and spirits at welcome/farewell dinners; All park fees; Cultural visits, bush walks and a night drive; Services of professional Tanzanian guides and support staff; Transportation in custom Land Rover Defenders with guaranteed window seats; Unlimited mileage in Safari vehicles; Complimentary bottled drinking water in your vehicle throughout the trip; Scenic internal flights to and from the Serengeti; Baggage handling; Tips for restaurant staff; Complete trip preparation materials; Full color Safari journal
Not Included in Tour Price
International airfare and associated fees; Gratuities for guides, drivers and camp staff; Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania; Fees for passport, visa or immunizations; Costs for trip insurance, medical care or evacuation; Laundry, phone and items of a personal nature; Beer, wine and spirits, except where noted; Cost of hospitalization or evacuation.
Rwanda: Gorilla Trek
Cost: $5,190 per person
Single Supplement: $600
Minimum total group of two guests required to run the extension
Included in extension cost
All Park Fees; Accommodations Based on Double Occupancy; International Flight from Kilimanjaro Airport to Kigali, Rwanda; Airport Transfers as Noted in Itinerary; Meals as Noted in Itinerary; Transfers as Noted in Itinerary; Land Transportation in Comfortable, Customized 4x4 Vehicles; Services of The Far Horizon Guides Throughout; Services of Virunga Volcanoes National Park Guides; Kigali City Tour and Visit to the Genocide Museum; 1 Gorilla Tracking Permit per Person
Not Included in extension cost
Tips for Hotel Staff, Guides, and Drivers; Baggage Handling; Cost of Hospitalization or Evacuation; Fees for Passport, Visas, Immunizations, and Insurance; Laundry, Phone, Internet, and Items of a Personal Nature Unless Otherwise Noted; Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Soda
Terms and Conditions
At the time of booking, a non-refundable, non-transferable $1000 deposit is needed to reserve a space on the Tanzania safari. A non-refundable, nontransferable $1500 deposit is needed to reserve a space on the optional Rwanda extension. The deposit can be made by credit card. In the event you need to cancel your trip, cancellation fees will be assessed as outlined below. Trip extensions or extra services require an additional deposit.
At 90 days before departure, the balance of your invoice will be due at the Thomson Safaris Watertown, MA office in a cash form: check, money order, EFT or wire transfer, net of bank fees. Please include your name and/or booking number as the transaction reference. As a courtesy, we may accept credit cards for some payments with a convenience fee of $300 per person.
When booking a trip within 90 days of travel, full payment is required within two business days of your booking date. At the time of booking, cancellation fees are effective immediately. If payment is not received by the due date, Thomson Safaris will cancel any land or air reservations booked on your behalf, without refund of your deposit.
Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
Notification of cancellation must be made in writing to Thomson Safaris (email accepted). The following fees will apply if you cancel:
- 91 days or more before departure: $1000 (or $2500 if including the optional Rwanda extension) deposit is non-refundable
- 90 to 61 days before departure: 50% of the package price is non-refundable
- 60 to 46 days before departure: 65% of the package price is non-refundable
- 45 days or less before departure: 100 % of the package price is non-refundable
Please note that no partial refunds will be given for unused meals, hotel rooms, airport transfers etc., for any reason whatsoever. Thomson Safaris reserves the right to increase the tour price due to unforeseeable cost increases in, for example: internal airfare, currency fluctuations, fuel charges, government fees, taxes, park fees, etc. DOT requirements apply to any interstate or international flights booked on your behalf. Thomson Safaris reserves the right to alter the tour without notice, and accommodations are subject to change. Thomson Safaris is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for travel (e.g. air tickets, visa fees, gear, etc.) or for any necessary additional travel arrangements before or after the group travel date.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be your only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed at the Ripcord website.
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Thomson Safaris, as tour operator, is strictly limited. Thomson Safaris purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Thomson Safaris are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.
Health and Medical Issues
We request that you be in good health to participate on this tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Thomson Safaris and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.
Limitations of Liability:
In order to join the program, participants must complete a Participant Waiver provided by the CWC and agree to these terms: CWC and Thomson Safaris its Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. CWC and Thomson Safaris shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CWC/Thomson Safaris for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC/Thomson Safaris shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40