Our Travellers Tell Us…
It’s with humility that we share the following, though at the same time, we don’t mind telling you: Micato Safaris has made the Travel+Leisure World’s Best list every year since the survey launched 23 years ago, landing in the #1 spot an unprecedented nine times. Our 23 years on the list also gives us the distinction of being the only tour company in T+L’s Hall of Fame. And when prospective Micato travellers hear this, they naturally have a question:
What, exactly, did you do to deserve this recognition?
The best way we know how to answer that is to let our past travellers say it for us. Below is a sampling of comments from recent guests returning from Africa. In addition to these testimonials, we can also provide you with references.
For me, whether it’s Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, side trips to Zanzibar or Victoria Falls, or gorilla-tracking excursions to Rwanda, the “best” is always the same—Micato. The Pinto family, which launched Micato 47 years ago, from Africa, has unrivaled experience and an incredible network of personal connections at the highest levels. . . . In an industry built on subcontracting and lack of hands-on control, they are the rare safari outfitter that has all their own full-time, expert, and highly trained guides, local offices, including desks in the better hotels, a huge in-country support staff, and their own vehicles and drivers. . . . I know many of the best and most well-informed travel agents in the nation, and they pretty much unanimously swear by Micato. . . . There is no one else I would consider using to plan a trip to Africa.
— Larry Olmsted, Forbes
I’ve experienced the services of countless tour companies, but our Micato safari was the best experience I have ever had anywhere in the world! It was flawless. From the arrangements, documents, talking to your New York office, to the warm welcome everywhere in Africa, the hands-on approach of your family, lunch with your parents, our Safari Director, David, and the pampering we received. It was perfection.
— Barbara King, President, Great Getaways Travel
What an incredible experience! Thanks to Micato, my family and I enjoyed a trip we will never forget. We could not have asked for a friendlier, more knowledgeable team. It was truly the adventure of a lifetime.
— Cal Ripken
You expect first-class treatment from Micato and that’s exactly what you get. What makes Micato even more special is the attention to detail in the added touches, the welcoming dinners, the little gifts from Felix and Jane along the way, and the extra care taken with our children.
— Alex Trebek
Our African Splendour safari was our 50th anniversary “bucket list” trip and we wanted a great African experience. We were not disappointed! We can see why Micato has earned the award as the World’s Best Safari Outfitter in Travel & Leisure magazine nine times.
All of our Micato guides in Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Tanzania, and Kenya were extremely knowledgeable both about their local history and about the animals that we would see. The Micato drivers in all locations were excellent…we were met by Micato representatives at all airports and at all hotels and they took care of everything.
I don’t know what it’s like in Africa at other times of year, but for the trip we took in October-November it couldn’t have been more enjoyable and was worth the extra cost to have a truly bucket-list adventure. And we would highly recommend Micato Safaris if you are thinking of going to Africa and want the experience of a lifetime!
— Steve and Kaye Yost
Most memorable was the attention to detail, the personal service and thoughtful gifts from our hosts Felix and Jane Pinto. This is what wins awards as well as loyal clients. I can honestly say that this was the finest tour my husband and I have ever taken.
— Hannah Reinmuth, Virtuoso Travel Consultant
— Heidi Klum
I am looking for the perfect words to express the eternal gratitude Alexander and I will always have for this adventure of a lifetime. . . . My son danced exuberantly with the Maasai, and decided to become a Maasai warrior himself. . . . The chef at Amboseli told me that he hadn’t cooked with nuts for two days to keep my son safe. So incredibly moving to me . . . such warmth, such care. True kindness and knowledge and unbelievable good humor.
— Ami Rothschild
At one of the small bush airports we met a woman traveling with another company. She was in distress because a friend had advised her to travel with Micato, but she chose a different company. She was watching our little tribe of 6 travelers as we were getting ready for our next adventure. She spoke with us and asked if our guide was with us at all times; we replied, “Yes, every step of the way”! She had been dropped off and left outside the gate–she told us she had no ticket and no idea which plane to attempt to board. She was very regretful not to have chosen Micato.Thank you for your attention to details. Traveling such a long way to a huge unknown country was completely carefree because of your care for us. I can only send the best wishes to you along with special thanks for a job well done.
— Connie Rice
Micato has set a new standard of travel for us that others cannot quite match. I would add that no other place is as engaging for me now that I have been to Africa with your company.
— Suzanne Leonhard Yakimchick
Micato rules supreme in the world of safaris very simply because of their attention to detail and their ability to anticipate and coordinate the most fantastical adventures.
— Blair Underwood
I am hard pressed to think of any reason why one would not use Micato. Their vehicles are absolutely the finest and their guides are considered the best in the business, even by other operators. It is a company that does not use third parties, but has its own organization to answer every wish, provide special opportunities, and resolve any emergency.
— Priscilla Alexander, Editor at Large, Luxury Travel Advisor
It was an incredible experience, one we hope to repeat (in S.Africa this time). Your staff, accommodations, food, gifts, personalized service & your beautiful animals far surpassed our expectations. We would not consider coming back with any other company.
Absolutely the best! Also appreciate your involvement w/environmental issues and helping better the education and lives of the African people.
— Drew and Dolores Claes
Everything was perfect. We felt like royalty! No wonder Micato has won so many prizes. We will recommend you to all our friends.
You have the best staff and they love their bosses!
— Eloisa Ferro Morales
. . . my wife forgot a bag with her medication. Your staff person actually went to drug stores in Nairobi and found the medicine.. . going the extra step big time. We were alone since our group left the night before and the Pintos invited us to breakfast. They are fabulous people. Every single person associated with your company did similar things.
We saw the Migration and a river crossing. Micato’s guides stayed while all the other companies left – what a bonus! You are truly professionals.
— Charles Macaluso
Wonderfully, inspiring materials that helped me get even more excited about the safari. “Tent” will never have the same meaning again. Like living in a dream.
The drivers were stupendous. Our driver in Tanzania was an incredible tracker with insights and intuition that clearly comes from years of experience.
Micato is truly an exceptional company with exceptional people … exceptional attention to detail. The level of customer service from Micato staff is unparalleled. Micato staff are instantly warm and friendly; connecting with everyone they meet like old friends reuniting.
— Rayna Schroeder
Our Micato safari experience was exceptional and provided memories we will cherish for a lifetime.
— John Scully
Our safari with Micato was truly the highlight of our life to date.
— Lavonne Bomeli
Exceeded expectations! Most interested in the Migration and were very satisfied. Lewela was nothing but OUTSTANDING. Lunch with the Pintos was the highlight of our day. The experience we wanted! Bush flights were great —excellent aircraft and very skilled pilots!
— Mike and Jill Zundel
The team Micato had at the hotel were great! Lewela made the entire trip a great one! Knowledgeable, helpful, and made everything special. Always a smile on every face and really concerned that we were getting everything we needed.
The Pintos were so kind and gracious.
Your customer service staff added so much, pre-trip.
— Frances Baxley Kirkpatrick
We had high expectations and Micato never faltered in providing the trip of a lifetime.
. . . a superb experience with nothing short of first class treatment by your incredible staff.
. . . it was evident our comfort and security was in very good hands.
Your entire team are fully engaged and very passionate about their work.
— Carol & Kevin Eagle
You’re doing such a wonderful thing in providing children with their education.
— Janice Lee Haugen
5-star experience: I am so happy that my wife and I made the decision to travel with Micato. My health condition was not a consequence of the trip…it could have happened any where. But…the way I was treated and taken care of…I really credit with being absolutely instrumental in the happy outcome. Forever grateful to the Pintos and Micato staff. Absolutely wonderful, and I fully believe saved my life.
— Thomas Mustoe, M.D.
I cannot compliment the entire Micato staff enough, from the behind the scenes people in New York to each & every person we encountered on safari. Our guide and driver always went above and beyond.
— Marianne Pittenger
It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I promise we will be back on another Micato trip soon.
— Alan and Devra Shapiro
I would like to say thanks to all Micato family. I went with my wife in our Honeymoon, in July 2014 to Tanzania, and you guys made it unforgettable. Special thanks to all the people that made it possible, our director tour guide Nuru ( what a great person with excellent attitude and always making surprises that made our trip more special and making the experience unique) our drivers Anthony in Nairobi, Frederick in Tarangire and Lake Manyara, and Ernest in Serengeti, they were so great and always with a big smile in their faces.
Also special thanks to everyone that help us in the airports, and made us surprises in the hotels rooms. Finally, Thanks to Jane in Nairobi, she help us out with everything that we need it, making this trip easier from all the aspect. I am grateful to have the opportunity of experience that trip in the hands of Micato Safari, which in our opinion is simply the Best safari tour operator ever. Thank you very much.
— Manuel Navarro & Gaby
The best trip plan we made was to do our trip with you.
— Marilyn Trevor Simper
One of our group purchased the wrong size pants in Nairobi, and Micato returned the pants, found the right size, and had them delivered to the bush the next day. Your service surpassed all definitions of “excellence,” from stunning sunset appetizers and fine wines in the bush, and all the hundreds of little touches that none of the other safari companies provide.
— Zora Lazic
We have just boarded our final flight home to Boston, and the sadness is setting in. Michael and I cannot tell you how wonderful and near perfect this trip has been in every aspect…Each and every member of your staff is outstanding and should be congratulated often for the lengths they go to, to bring the spirit of Africa to everyone.
— Sharon Fake, Director of Operations, Travel Experts
To be totally honest, we were a tad nervous about investing so much money on our trip when we started … but by the end of the trip, we ALL were saying how it was all SO worth it. Micato made us feel as though we were their only customers and that anything we needed would be taken care of — that was how focused their support and service for us was!
— Lillian Chang, on behalf of a family of ten from California, Taiwan, and Japan
This tour was the most expensive travel adventure we had ever considered, and as we embarked we wondered if the cost would prove to be worth it. Let me assure you that we now not only believe it was worth every penny, but for the dollars spent, consider it a great travel value.
— Alan Kaufman
The amazing thing was that your staff acted as though we were the only people in the world and that all their efforts were on our behalf. We were pampered. They were unbelievably caring and helpful. As we moved from place to place, we realized that everyone with Micato is caring and helpful. We were entertained, instructed, educated, and advanced along the way by the nicest group of guides and drivers that we could ever imagine.
— Bill and Lee Shewry
It is a challenge to determine where to begin in our praise of Micato. . . . We are seasoned travelers, taking an average three to four significant trips annually. I can say without reservation that we have never had a single travel experience that we haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. However, having said that, we can also state unequivocally that our Stanley Wing Safari with Micato transcends any journey that we have ever taken.
— Gary and Linda Kaplan
All our lives we’ve seen these animals in captivity or on a screen. Now we see them in wilderness, propelled by the force of their evolution; at last they’re able to tell us what they are, who they are.
— Mary Marenka Poxon, in a letter to her sister, Eileen Borzencki
It certainly was a new experience to receive so much attention from a company owner. The personal touch of Jane Pinto and her sister Dulu was very much appreciated. And our driver Frederick was so warm and amiable that we thought we were traveling with a friend. We were especially moved by the enthusiasm and dedication of Roba, our Safari Director. It was beyond a vacation or even a dream.
— Roger, Julia and David True
Words are not adequate to describe the genuine attention to detail, down to the small gifts on the bed at night. Awaiting us on Valentine’s Day was a pack of heart-shaped homemade cookies. That’s class!
— Leo P. Lavellee
When I first thought about taking our groups to Africa, I was told by people I respect that I should deal only with Micato Safaris. I was told not only that you were the best, but also that you were unique in your ability to transfer the warmth of your operation to everyone you touch . . . and I must say that even my very high expectations were exceeded in every way!
— Barry Wolpa
Thank you again for all the unexpected wonderful gifts and surprises we received on our safari. We have proof now that Santa Claus’ headquarters is in Nairobi, not the North Pole.
— Shelly and Jim Fraser
To say that I am impressed with your company and operation is a vast understatement. I had lofty expectations for our safari and Micato surpassed those—in a big way. In my mind it would be a travesty for you not to win the Travel+Leisure award for the next ten.
— Paige D. Koerbel, Regional Vice President, Renaissance Hotels
Whatever was promised in the brochure was far surpassed in our actual experiences. There is no way we can sufficiently praise our Safari Director and drivers—far and away the most knowledgeable, intelligent, and caring we have ever encountered.
— Fran and Paul Heller
We were continually delighted by the little extras that you provided. I’ve never been on a packaged trip like this where literally everything—beyond what your brochure promoted—was covered. What an absolute pleasure.
— Scott J. Mermel
The entire trip rated a “10” in every respect. Micato’s people are able, knowledgeable and sociable. John was the ideal Safari Director, and he related perfectly with each member of our family, from age 9 to 74!
— Nancy and Rusty Sharp
Micato set the stage for what we thought would be spectacular, and you exceeded our expectations…we never as a family never felt more surrounded by excitement and adventure, and have to say your choice of The Norfolk, Lewa Downs, Mara Plains, and Klein’s Camp really afforded such variety and real in-the-bush every moment…Karen, Molly, Will and I beam every day and know that so much of it is the seamless plan that catapulted us right into the bush with great owners/host and drivers at each camp…we saw the ‘big 5’ in a day and a half, and with addition of camel/horseback/hot-air ballooning, just spirited on our way every day…so thank you so much..and love to Felix and Jane.
Also hoping that Dennis got our note on how SAFE we felt the entire trip! We never had a worry about safety or health…family vacations always go that much better when there are no concerns there. We credit MICATO for all of that!!
— Karen Bell & family
Thank you for the welcome home … ‘wonderful‘ doesn’t do justice to the safari. It surpassed all of our hopes and dreams. Art and I have been asked many times to name a favorite place among our travels, and we’ve never had a clear answer.
We have never had a bad trip; every place has something to recommend it, whether it be the hospitality of the people, history, or scenery. Now we have our answer: Kenya. The question isn’t if we will be back, it’s when.
— Karen Sprinzl
Dear Mr. Pinto,
Our sincere thanks for the wonderful safari we recently took to Tanzania. Ms. Diana Meehan in New York was extraordinary, from helping us initially plan the safari, to making many last-minute changes. She did all of this over Easter weekend – and never once complained….
All of our ground team in Kenya and Tanzania were top-notch. I have read that everyone thinks their driver and guide is the best in all of Africa – and I too join in that opinion. Babu and Emanuel, and our guide Wilbard, became like family to us….
Micato readily deserves it great rating as the best safari company in the world. I only hope others will listen and use your company…. We plan on using you and your team again in the future. Our sincerest thanks to you and your wonderful team.
— Bob H.
Dear Micato Safaris,
My family just returned from our African safari and it was truly the most memorable trip of our lives! The best decision [we] made was selecting Micato Safaris to guide us….
Micato’s expertise and attention to details were extraordinary, ensuring the success of our safari. Micato’s planning information packages were particularly helpful of each of us in planning for the trip….
Our guide, Patrick, did an extraordinary job in managing all the details of our trip. We relied upon him completely and his attention to every detail made the trip appear effortless. We didn’t have to worry about anything….
Thank you for making our safari such a wonderful, memorable experience.
— Jim and Belinda M.
Our African safari was the trip and experience of a lifetime…. From lodging to meals there was not one thing that could have been better….. Our guides Rhino and Rodger were beyond the best, so knowledgeable and interesting. Our personalities just clicked. We all cried when it was time to leave…. Micato sure knows how to select only the best….
Africa has captured our hearts and Micato is the reason why!
— Garry and Anita B.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
My grandson and this writer had the pleasure of being your guests for the African Splendour safari. Your use of the word “splendour” in characterizing this safari is indeed appropriate. Each and every segment and moment of the safari were adventuresome and handled with a superb degree of expertise exhibited by your staff that I, having traveled the world, have never before experienced. The knowledge of history, culture, politics, shopping, lodging, and the culinary arts which your country directors commanded was nothing short of astounding….
You have my sincere appreciation for a job extremely well done and for which you deserve each and every accolade. Thank you for a wonderful safari which we will never forget! There is no doubt that Micato is the best that the world has to offer!
— Alfred L
We just returned from the trip of a lifetime and are still searching for words to express our joy and amazement. When we first planned this trip, we did extensive research. It became quite obvious through media and friends that Micato Safaris was the right choice….
We could not believe as we got closer to our travel dates that despite only two of us on the safari, the trip was not cancelled. We could not imagine that Micato would do all the planning, executing, etc. for only two people. Again for us, this reinforced what a special company this is….
We were pampered, protected and every need met until we boarded the flight back home. We literally cannot think of a single thing we could suggest to make the entire trip better….
In closing, we would like to share a phrase we learn in Swahili:
Moyo wangu umerizika
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this beautiful and life-changing vacation.
— Cris M and Randy
Dear Jane and Felix,
From the moment we were met at the airport, to the moment we left for our return flight to JFK, we were surrounded by the most caring, well informed totally organized group of people….
Traveling with active five year olds could have been a real challenge for most people, but [Micato Safari Director] Lewela treated the twins as his own, and could often be seen with one of them on his shoulders. Nothing was impossible for this man… he is an incredible human being!
And special thanks to you for being such gracious hosts to our family…. We all feel that at least once in a lifetime, everyone should travel to Africa with Micato Safaris – What a better world this would be!
— Faye and Jim P.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Pinto,
I can’t thank you enough for all you did to make our trip to Africa so special and memorable.
Every detail was considered… Everything ran like clockwork—it was perfect!… Micato is, indeed, the “world’s best tour operator and safari outfitter,” and none of us will ever forget this amazing experience. Your professionalism and attention to detail is commendable, and we deeply appreciated everything you did to make this trip so special for us. Thank you!
— Nancy G.
Dear Mr. Pinto,
Recently, we returned home from our “trip of a lifetime.” The trip was first class all the way… Nazeem in Cape Town, Sean in Johannesburg and Heather in Livingstone were not only extremely professional, but high in character and resourcefulness….
As in any organization, it is the caliber of people working within that determine the success of the venture. You are indeed fortunate to have Nazeem, Sean and Heather.
— Barry and Kay A.
We are writing to thank Micato for the incredible safari that we took with your company in Tanzania earlier this morning… Everything from the program plan to the accommodations to the drivers was just perfect… It was truly the trip of a lifetime, and well exceeded our expectations. We had so much fun!
We would especially like to recognize the efforts of our guide, Charles, for making our trip so memorable. His knowledge of the animals and culture was extraordinary and his enthusiasm for the subjects was remarkable….. We consider ourselves honored to be able to be in his care during our trip.
Thank you again for a fantastic vacation.
— Bob M. and Sandy S.
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