A Thank You Note to our Amazing Nomad Tanzania Safari Guides

Dear Philip, Ian, Nathan, and Silvanus,

Where do I begin?  I guess I will start with this: Asante, Asante, Asante (Thank You in Swahili) for treating us to an adventure of a lifetime.  We are so grateful for everything you did for us, all the things we knew you were doing and the many, many things behind the scenes that we didn’t even know you were doing.  Orchestrating this safari must have been a massive undertaking of logistics and the outcome was perfection.

Thank you for always getting us to the right place at the right time.  And for making sure the kids always had popcorn, bitter lemon and fanta.  Thank you for knowing the answer to every single question and for so warmly and enthusiastically sharing your country during the day and your riveting safari stories in the evening.  Your love of your country is genuine and contagious and it was a privilege to experience it through your sharp and observant eyes.  It is thanks to your keen eyes we got to see four out of the big five animals that are on everyone’s list.

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img_6757-e1498697051398.jpgThank you for careening the car over some tricky spots to ensure that we were perfectly positioned to admire, observe and capture photos of our favorite animals. Thank you for letting us sit quietly amongst a herd of elephants for 40 minutes; you never once rushed us or hurried us along.  Thank you for delighting us with outdoor breakfasts and picnic lunches and surprise outdoor cocktails in the evening, perfectly perched to toast the incredible African sunsets.

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Thank you for taking our kids all day, so the adults could enjoy our safaris at a more adult pace and then happily reunite with the family at the end of the day.  Thank you for cleaning out our safari vehicle each night and refolding the colorful Masai blankets on our chairs, so the car was fresh and ready to go each morning.  Thank you for taking us on paths that were less travelled and for making us feel like we had certain corners of Tanzania all to ourselves. Thank you for organizing our early wake ups.  The in person wake up hellos with fresh coffee or hot cocoa just outside our tents each morning was delightful.  I will really miss that.  Really, really, really miss that.

Thank you for sacrificing time away from your families so we could get closer ours.  And thank you for ensuring that the conceptual trip of a lifetime was in fact a trip of a lifetime.  You have made memories for us that we will cherish forever and you are woven into every aspect of those memories.

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Until we meet again.  Asante!

All of us

Some words on Nomad Tanzania…   The African travel agency Pulse Africa  highly recommended we choose Nomad Tanzania for our private safari in Tanzania.  From our computers back in the states it was hard to understand the critical importance of this decision, but we are so happy we listened to their recommendation.  By choosing Nomad Tanzania we got exactly what we hoped for: small, intimate camps that leave an almost invisible footprint on the landscape.  The company has a total of 14 exclusive camps in off the beaten path, wild locations throughout Tanzania.  By going private we got the freedom to decide where we wanted to go and when.  We had guides who are kings of the jungle from a guide perspective.  They had 12, 14, 15, and 20 years of guiding experience amongst them.

The company has 42 guides and 200 staff and they like to promote from within.  One of our guides started as a cook and another as a carpenter.  The Nomad guide receives 6 weeks of training to start.  The training includes: first aid, geology,  adaptive human behavior training,  photography classes, mechanics, rifle training, birds, animal behavior, and courses on animal tracking.  Different tutors are brought in from South Africa to teach the lessons.  They have a company from Washington state instruct the guides on back country medicine for on the spot triage.  So much training!  And they continue their education at the end of each season with another 2 weeks of guide training each year.

Nomad Tanzania really hammers home the phrase “you are welcome” with the staff.  Our thank you’s were often pre-empted by johnny on the spot “you are welcomes”.   We enjoyed trying to beat them to the punch on their “you’re welcomes”, but with little success.  The guides are a critical component of the safari experience.   Keep this in mind as you plan your safari.  I am not much of a crier, but I got teary each time we had to say goodbye to our guides.  They were superb.

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