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SOURCING THE PERFECT CUP WITH MICATO:
A COFFEE CONOISSEUR'S TOUR OF KENYA AND TANZANIA
NEW YORK, NY (July 7, 2011) – For the food and beverage enthusiast, coffee can stir passions as powerfully as fine wine. Introduced to East Africa in the late 1800s, Arabica beans are highly prized for their body, richness, and acidity, and demand for Kenyan coffee is so strong that it is the country’s third largest cash crop. This Micato Safaris tour gives bean aficionados the unique opportunity to observe life and production on the modern coffee plantation, explore a selection of coffee varietals, and (of course!) enjoy a hearty helping of not-to-be-missed safari adventure.
The 11-day journey includes:
Day 1— Arrive in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, and share the classic elegance experienced by Ernest Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt at century-old The Norfolk Hotel, a Fairmont property. A welcome gift from The Norfolk’s Tatu Restaurant includes Kenya Gold coffee liqueur, mocha chocolates, and a sampling of Tatu’s Estate coffee beans.
Guests receive an introduction to modern Kenyan history and farm life at the Karen Blixen Museum, the farmhouse where the author lived from 1914 to 1931. Six hundred acres of Blixen’s property were used for growing coffee beans in the early 20th century; crops that famously failed, as recounted in the blockbuster film “Out of Africa”.
An afternoon visit to local fair-trade coffee purveyor Dormans features a discussion with a buyer from the Kenyan Coffee Exchange, and of course, a tasting of one of Dormans’ famous AA roasts. The evening concludes with a multi-course Kenyan Estate Coffee Tasting menu at Tatu.
Day 2— A drive north borders the mountainous Aberdare National Park and leads to Solio Lodge, where six breathtaking bungalows offer an intimate view of the Solio Reserve, home to buffalo, lions, leopards and the endangered black and white rhino.
Before arriving in Solio, travelers make a stop in Nyeri at the Nyeri Coffee Estate to witness the workings of a 30-acre coffee plantation. The neighboring Nyeri Hill Farm has been owned and run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri since the 1890s and its premises boast the Italian Memorial Church, a resting place for many prisoners held in Kenya during World War II.
Days 3-4— The extinct volcano of Mt. Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, and coffee and pineapple plantations fill the gap between its slopes and Nairobi.
Eastwards towards Nanyuki is the Mount Kenya Safari Club, another exclusive Fairmont property and home for the next two nights. Originally a retreat owned by legendary movie star William Holden, the estate’s 100 acres of gardens boast horseback riding, bird walks, and an on-site animal orphanage.
One afternoon features a picnic lunch at nearby TK Coffee Estate, while back at the Safari Club, the Fairmont’s on-site specialty coffee vendor discusses the grading and sorting of green coffee beans, as well as roasting techniques. A barman from the Duma’s Corner lounge gives a hands-on demonstration on creating aromatic coffee cocktails.
Days 5-6— Having absorbed the essence of Kenyan coffee from bean to cup, guests fly west over the Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve to experience the beauty of the African savannah. At the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, guests stay in one of 50 private tents with four-poster beds and private baths. Verandas overlook the Mara River, home to hippos and crocodiles.
This spectacular wildlife sanctuary also attracts migratory animals living on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Here, a game run may encounter zebra, giraffes, elephants, and the large predator cats, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Activities include a visit to a Maasai village, hot-air ballooning, bush walks, and a stunning sundown cocktail hour in the bush.
Days 7-8— The gentle slope of Mt. Meru awaits in Tanzania as guests fly to Arusha via Nairobi. Set on Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation, the 30 spacious, split-level rooms of the Arusha Coffee Lodge offer private decks overlooking berry-filled coffee bushes. While relaxing at this sanctuary, enjoy a tour of the grounds and the freshest cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
Days 9-10— It is a short drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, bordering the Serengeti. Nestled into the area’s forested slopes, the rustic oasis of Gibbs Farm has 20 unique cottages, a spa and a working farm and coffee plantation. The centerpiece of the Conservation area is the 100-square-mile volcanic caldera of Ngorongoro Crater. Created two to three million years ago, the crater is home to nearly every species of East African wildlife, including a dense concentration of lions and leopards. A morning drive into the crater provides excellent opportunities to view elephants, black rhinos, and flamingos, along with herds of zebra, gazelles, and wildebeest.
Day 11— Upon departure, guests receive a special take-home amenity -- a gift basket filled with a selection of rare Kenyan coffees, guaranteed to brew up memories of this spectacular trip for the remainder of the year!
Micato Safaris' Coffee Connoisseur’s Tour of Kenya and Tanzania is priced at $15,700 per person, based on double occupancy. (Rate excludes international airfare.) For more information, visit www.micato.com or call 1-800-MICATO-1.
About Micato Safaris
Micato Safaris is a luxury safari operator—offering adventures in East Africa, Southern Africa and India—that’s been setting the industry standard for luxury and service for more than three decades. Travellers have recognized Micato’s unsurpassed service by naming the company the #1 World’s Best Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter” a seven eight times in Travel + Leisure’s prestigious annual survey. Micato’s accolades from industry peers include the Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Award. For nearly a quarter century, Micato’s nonprofit arm, AmericaShare, has been supporting orphaned and vulnerable children and adults affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Micato furthered its philanthropic outreach in 2010 when the company introduced its revolutionary One for One Commitment, which places one impoverished child in school for every safari sold.