August 5, 2012
We had the time of our lives! What an unbelievable trip! I’m not happy to be home, and that NEVER happens. I feel I established a special connection to Tanzania and its beautiful people – they fascinate me. I want to go back!
I made good friends with the staff during my safari. The guides are Godsends; they always spoke to us with kindness and enthusiasm, even if we were asking the same questions a hundred times. They were very professional, knowledgeable and funny too!
I am such a picky person but Thomson has impressed me incredibly. Thomson is the only way to go.
Highlights of Tanzania Safari, June 2012
June 27, 2012
Tanzania is absolutely the most amazing place I have ever been and this was the most amazing trip I have ever taken. I am so excited to share my experience with all my family, friends, and even those I don’t know. Asante sana, Thomson Safaris, and to all your nyumba crews, your Kilimanjaro guides and porters, and your safari guides – job well done! It was above and beyond anything I expected!
Casmir is an amazing guide, and will always be a great friend. He does not miss a beat! I would recommend Thomson Safaris to everyone, and request Casmir as a safari guide.
I have thousands of photos from my trip. I bought beautiful beaded work and other treasures, but nothing touched my heart or brings a bigger smile to my face as when I reminisce or tell my friends about the beautiful, kind and caring people of Tanzania. I did leave a part of my heart behind…and I am so looking forward to coming back.
Kilimanjaro Western Approach Route & Safari, February 2012
Read more about Deb’s adventures in Tanzania in two Wisconsin news publications:
May 17, 2012
Thank you for putting together such an ideal itinerary for me, and for making sure I got Kumbi; as you know from my letter, he was outstanding!
I enjoyed every location I visited, but my favorite was Kogakuria. I fell in love with the tall grasslands, sprinkled with the occasional tree, and the rolling hills. In the hour or two just after sunrise, the low light turned the whole landscape into a golden dream. Oddly, given that I went to Tanzania to experience the wildlife, my most magical moment was in an area with no visible animals at all, at the border between the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara. Since the migration hadn’t reached there yet, there weren’t any large animals to stand out above the tall grass. The land seemed to stretch out forever, and I felt connected to all of it in a way I’ve experienced in only a handful of places. This particular location made me realize why people refer to a “sea” of grass, and I loved watching the wind roll through it in waves, and listening to the leaves rustle against one another.
Of course the wildlife viewing in the area was also outstanding; it was in a nearby valley that I got to approach within a few yards of a cheetah (my favorite “dream come true” moment), and watch lions feeding on a zebra (my favorite “National Geographic” moment). The feeding lions included a young cub who was practicing his choke hold and wrestling with the zebra’s head; it was incredibly funny in a grisly sort of way, because the zebra’s head probably weighed as much as the cub, and a couple of times the cub flip-flopped completely over the zebra’s neck.
Thanks again for helping to make this wonderful journey happen. A significant factor in my decision to go with Thomson was how easy it was to talk with you, not just because you always seemed to be available, but also because you were so knowledgeable, and eager to help.
Private Thomson Safari, July 2011
May 8, 2012
I want to share a few comments about the wonderful adventures my wife and I have experienced on multiple Africa Through the Lens safaris led by Randy and Kathy Hanna. Finding the right words to capture the essence of an experience of this nature is nearly impossible, but without a doubt these photo safaris were life-altering events for us in a very positive manner. We approached these safaris with very high expectations, yet Randy and Kathy, along with the wonderful support staff from Thomson Safaris, managed to exceed those expectations in every way.
As amateur photographers, having immediate access to an experienced professional photographer, while in the middle of some of the best photographic opportunities in the world, was invaluable. Randy freely shared his expertise, doing so in a manner that benefited everyone to include the novice photographer. In the end, Randy ensured everyone (photographers and non-photographers alike) walked away with a wonderful experience and “once in a lifetime” photos.
While photography was a big part of these safaris, the experience involved so much more. The opportunity to meet the people of Tanzania, see the landscape, and get the “red dust of Africa” on our boots, changed us forever.
I have been on three Africa Through the Lens safaris with Randy and have a fourth scheduled, so I guess you can say I’ve been bitten by the “African Bug”. Anyone looking for a life-altering experience with an emphasis on photography cannot go wrong with a Thomson Safari Africa Through the Lens adventure led by Randy and Kathy Hanna.
Steve & Lori K.
Africa Through the Lens Safari
Steve and Lori are planning their 4th Africa Through the Lens Safari with Randy Hanna.
Read Steve’s blog entry about their visit to a Tanzanian village on their most recent safari.
April 28, 2012
Wow!! Spectacularly wild!! What a natural experience!! Being a former Federal park ranger, interpreter and naturalist, I find it very difficult to describe to anyone back home what I witnessed and experience over the past two weeks. My interpretative and photographic attempt of what had transpired in front of my eyes would be completely unfair and unjust to the curious and interested listener. A wildlife biologist friend simply put it, you have to be there. There is no other way to experience it. You can sit on your couch and watch countless episodes of Nature or National Geographic specials, trying your best to grasp the African experience as a whole, but it would be to no avail. By being there, all your senses run rampantly wild, gathering the panoramic data that passes only a few feet from you. Whether it be amidst a herd of stampeding wildebeest and zebras or the battalion of olive baboons approaching the land rover from behind, only to split into two single ranks as they past alongside the viewer, you are there and momentarily become one with nature. What a thrill!!
So many good memories to cherish and the highlights were plenty…the hikes, sitting in the middle of stampedes. However, most of the credit goes to the guides. They definitely made the safari special. They were extremely friendly, jolly and very knowledgeable about the species, the landscape, plants and the future of the Great Serengeti. I had my two reference books at hand to follow up on their sightings and sure enough their species description were right on. Particularly the birds. I am an avid birder back home and the guides were outstanding in identifying the countless species of birds. Great job guides!! Particularly Derek. Perhaps Thomson should consider an “interpreter exchange program” between rangers in the US Park Service and the Thomson Guides. Boy, would the US Park Service benefit from these kind, gentle, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, hard working guides. They made the safari fun. Several of us were able to pry into their private lives and walked away knowing that we developed very special friendships.
Thomson Safaris is a top-notch organization with an exceptional safari itinerary, great folks and a great concern for the African wildlife and people. The safari was very well organized, great guides, great folks, great food, great accommodations, a great mix of cultural and natural experience. It was well planned from the first email to the drop off at the airport. We were kept up to date with our travel arrangements and the provided travel guide moved things along smoothly. I can see way Thomson Safaris was National Geographic recipient of the Best Adventure Outfitter on Earth. My hat is off to Thomson for putting together a fantastic and extremely well panned safari. What a blast!!
Signature Thomson Safari, February 2012
April 3, 2012
I went on a safari to Kenya and Tanzania some 42 years ago in 1970. I remember it well because of the WOW factor I experienced back then. As this Thomson safari approached, I wondered if I would have a “been there, done that” reaction when I got there. Not at all. Thomson provided a WOW factor that, if anything, surpassed the one of 42 years ago.
We will certainly recommend Thomson to anyone we talk to about safaris. The Thomson experience was awesome. Thanks for a wonderful trip.
Signature Thomson Safari, February 2012
See some of Bernie’s favorite safari snapshots below!