The Hemingway Wing Safari
Explore Old Africa in Style
A 14 Day Adventure
Such is Africa’s allure: that a bright fellow like Hemingway would lie in his tent, homesick before he’d even parted from a place that had come to seem more like home than home itself. We’re told these days to stick to the now, and the here, but Hemingway—like many of us lovers of Africa—knew that sometimes you can’t micromanage your passions. The Hemingway Wing Safari—a cherished favourite of Micato staff—is a tribute, not only to Africa’s tendency to grab hold of our hearts, but also to the old-fashioned and cozy safaris of Hemingway’s time, with three tented camps (a little more luxurious than in Ernest’s day, but he was never one to avoid intelligently offered luxury), good looks at East Africa’s most legendary game parks (and a couple of lesser-known gems), and five swooping flights that bring us into great intimacy with Africa’s landscapes.
Day 1 En route
We board our flight and enjoy the anticipation of Africa.
Days 2 & 3 Nairobi
We’ll be met by our Micato Safari Director and whisked away to a place Hemingway spent many Hemingwayesque hours, the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel. We’ll visit the Giraffe Centre and the illuminating National Museum, pay our respects at the newly renovated home of Karen Blixen (who, Hemingway said more than once, should have received the Nobel Prize for literature instead of him). And we’ll have a welcoming lunch or dinner at Lavington, the home of Micato’s founders, the renowned storytellers Felix and Jane Pinto.
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Days 4 & 5 Samburu National Reserve
We fly 200-plus miles north to the Samburu, in many ways the embodiment of the Africa we’ve been carrying around in our imagination since we were children (it was the home, for instance, of Elsa the lioness, of Born Free fame). Nurtured by the Ewaso Nyiro River, the Samburu is rugged, calmly inviting, and enveloped in the air of remote Old Africa, scented by acacia.
Our camp in the Samburu is a classic: Larsens Camp, set in the riverine forest of the Ewaso Nyiro, much frequented by friendly elephants, whose meanderings we can watch in comfort from the verandas of our airy, superbly designed tents. Game drives out of Larsens introduce us to the Samburu’s sometimes almost shocking plentitude of large (and cunningly small) mammals, who are just the headliners in a fabulous cast of very natural, very intriguing characters.
Days 6 & 7 The Maasai Mara
South by air to the Maasai Mara, the northern reaches of the Serengeti–Maasai Mara ecosystem, earth’s richest wildlife habitat. Our base for explorations in the fabled Mara is the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, recently voted among the Top 20 in Travel+Leisure’s consequential World’s Best Hotels list.
Surrounded on three sides by the life-giving Mara River, the Mara Safari Club is a masterpiece of appropriate and generously luxurious design. And it’s a great jumping-off place for extraordinary game drives in the mixed land- and waterscapes of the Mara. We’ll visit a traditional Maasai village as we wend our way through this natural wonderland, the kind of place that moved Hemingway to write, “I loved this country and I felt at home and where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.”
Days 8 & 9 The Serengeti
“How can one convey the power of Serengeti?” asked Cyril Connolly in The Evening Colonnade. “It is an immense, limitless lawn, under a marquee of sky. . . .The light is dazzling, the air delectable; kopjes rise out of the grass at far intervals, some wooded; the magic of the American prairie here blends with the other magic of the animals as they existed before man.”
The Serengeti sometimes does remind us of the American prairie, but in truth it can’t be compared with any other place on earth. Its kopje-dotted landscape, its vast and billowing skies, and especially its astounding wealth of wildlife make it one-of-a-gorgeous-kind. Flying via Nairobi and Arusha, we reach our base, Migration Camp, on the hippo-haven Grumeti River. Known for its superb tents (which, one traveller wrote, “have only one thing in common with normal tents: canvas”) and its dramatic setting in rocky outcrops, Migration Camp is revered for its tranquility (something of a Serengeti specialty).
Days 10 – 12 Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater
We make the short flight from the Serengeti to Lake Manyara, then drive to our base for the next three nights, the quietly spectacular Manor at Ngorongoro, whose Cape Dutch cottages (with full suites) are tranquilly set within a coffee plantation adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Manor, much admired for its cuisine and thoughtful service, offers a wealth of activities, from horsebacking, mountain biking and swimming, to estate walks and recreative spa lounging.
We’ll make the thrilling drive up to one of earth’s wonders, the great, green, animal-nurturing caldera of a once catastrophically cranky, now beneficently mellow volcano, the Ngorongoro. Winding up to the crater’s rim puts us at Vail and Aspen altitudes of well over 7,000 feet, and being up that high, figuratively and actually, we may recall Isak Dinesen’s words in Out of Africa, “The air of the African highlands went to my head like wine, I was all the time slightly drunk with it.” And then we zoom down to the Lost World’s lush and park-like floor (but which, make no mistake, is an animal, not a human, kingdom) for a day’s game viewing and a festive bush picnic.
And we’ll game drive and view-catch at Lake Manyara, which our guy Ernest Hemingway thought “the loveliest lake in Africa.” The lake is a birder’s heaven, (it’s frequented by migratory species), and the water from its Crater Highlands–supplied springs makes it a forested redoubt for all the most glamourous large mammals, including the famed Manyara tree-climbing lions. (It’s a little irreverent, but tree-lounging might be a better description.)
Days 13 & 14 Nairobi and homeward bound
We affectionately say goodbye to the great crater, lake, and deliciously homey Manor, and fly to Nairobi, where we’ll rest up in day rooms at the historic Norfolk or Boma Nairobi before our late evening flights.
“All I wanted to do now was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would like, listening, homesick for it already.”
Green Hills of Africa
Camps & Lodges
Fairmont Norfolk Hotel
The essence of luxury since 1904, the Norfolk is the legendary hotel from which many safaris have embarked. The spirit of past adventurers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway linger romantically in the air here.
Larsens Tented Camp
Tranquil and luxurious, this camp enjoys uninterrupted views of the Uaso Nyiro River from the private verandas of every spacious and stylish guest tent. An evocative lounge and bar tent sets the mood—kitted out with explorer Eric Larsen’s original cabin trunks and pith helmets.
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Masai Mara, Kenya
Brilliantly renovated, the Mara Safari Club is a jewel in the Mara. Magnificent tents feature lush appointments, four-poster beds and private verandas overlooking hippos bobbing and snorting in the river. The main lodge is Africa at its most elegant with stunning artwork and dramatic architecture.
Serengeti Migration Camp
Set on a kopje overlooking the Serengeti hills, this camp is a haven of sumptuous indulgence. Spacious tents are superbly secluded and blend into their natural environment above the Grumeti River. Richly furnished throughout, the camp exudes a decadence reminiscent of the Africa of yore.
The Manor Ngorongoro
Set within a 1500-acre Arabica coffee estate adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, The Manor at Ngorongoro is a marvelous retreat whose luxe cottages -- intelligently-situated throughout the property for maximum privacy -- are all kitted out with contemporary decor and open fireplaces.
Dates & RatesLand Arrangements, per person
Departs Tuesday, returns Monday
|May||November||Balance of Year|
To and from Home | Every date is a guaranteed departure
Sep. 20 – Oct. 03
Sep. 27 – Oct. 10
Oct. 04 – Oct. 17
Oct. 18 – Oct. 31
Oct. 25 – Nov. 07
Nov. 01 – Nov. 14
Nov. 15 – Nov. 28
Nov. 22 – Dec. 05
Nov. 29 – Dec. 12
Dec. 13 – Dec. 26
Dec. 20 – Jan. 02
Dec. 27 – Jan. 09
To and from Home | New rates and dates may apply
Jan. 10 – Jan. 23
Jan. 17 – Jan. 30
Jan. 24 – Feb. 06
Jan. 31 – Feb. 13
Feb. 07 – Feb. 20
Feb. 14 – Feb. 27
Feb. 21 – Mar. 05
Feb. 28 – Mar. 13
Mar. 07 – Mar. 20
Mar. 14 – Mar. 27
May 16 – May 29
May 30 – Jun. 12
Jun. 06 – Jun. 19
Jun. 13 – Jun. 26
Jun. 20 – Jul. 03
Jun. 27 – Jul. 10
Jul. 04 – Jul. 17
Jul. 11 – Jul. 24
Jul. 18 – Jul. 31
Jul. 25 – Aug. 07
Aug. 01 – Aug. 14
Aug. 08 – Aug. 21
Aug. 22 – Sep. 04
Aug. 29 – Sep. 11
Sep. 05 – Sep. 18
Sep. 12 – Sep. 25
Sep. 19 – Oct. 02
Sep. 26 – Oct. 09
Oct. 03 – Oct. 16
Oct. 10 – Oct. 23
Oct. 17 – Oct. 30
Oct. 24 – Nov. 06
Oct. 31 – Nov. 13
Nov. 14 – Nov. 27
Nov. 21 – Dec. 04
Nov. 28 – Dec. 11
Dec. 05 – Dec. 18
Dec. 12 – Dec. 25
Dec. 19 – Jan. 01
Dec. 26 – Jan. 08
Make it Private
The Hemingway Wing Safari can be transformed into a fully private trip for a family or a group of friends. You’ll have your own Tour Director and your pick of departure dates. Contact our experts or your travel advisor to find out how to make this tour a private journey.
Options & Extensions
While you’re in the area, you might be interested in these fine extensions. Our travel specialists can work them into your itinerary.
An angel's eye view of a heavenly landscape
It is an effortless feeling usually reserved for dreams… natural, feather-light, exhilarating. There, looking out over a stunning landscape, from your peerless perch, in the calming silence of the African dawn… it’s hard to imagine it getting any better. And then, the star of the show—quite literally, in fact—pokes out from under its terrestrial cloak.
An Opportunity to Change a Life
Every Micato traveller is given the opportunity to change the course of a life. We invite guests to spend an extra day in Nairobi and visit one of our AmericaShare projects in the slums, learn of the challenges, meet the orphaned and vulnerable children and be inspirited to help.
A Rare and Breathtaking Experience
The soft mists prevail here as they did when Dian Fossey wrote her legendary book Gorillas in the Mist. And the creatures that drew Dr. Fossey are the same ones which beckon to us: rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Cosmopolitan and captivating
A beautiful mix of natural and man-made pleasures, Cape Town is Africa’s treasure for good reason. This perfect post-safari sojourn yields a winning blend of top city sights, sophisticated dining, luscious winelands, and more.
Exploring the Isles of Spices
Zanzibar. It’s perfumed air caresses travellers with scents of the spices that have grown in abundance throughout the island since time began. Exotic and enchanting, this Indian Ocean isle allures travellers with a personality and pace all its own—just a short hop from mainland Tanzania, but a world away. The name alone conjures a romantic daydream. Meandering streets are lined with whitewashed houses and reminders of Swahili influence; the air is redolent of the spices grown here for centuries. From the lush Jozani Forest to bustling Stone Town, Zanzibar is an island paradise ripe for exploration.