Families on Safari

Memories are created that reverberate merrily unto the generations

We can’t even begin to be objective about the glowing worth and pure fun of family safaris.

After all, Micato was born on the joyous safaris Nairobi residents Felix and Jane Pinto took their three kids on as soon as they were old enough to hop on a van and head into the bush…and the rest is history, as they say, not only of the company Felix and Jane started in their retirement, but also of a family firmly bonded by the shared experience of Africa’s endlessly cascading enchantments.

Though we can say, as a matter of objective fact, that in addition to being a family-owned and family-operated company— named the World’s Best Safari Operator by Travel + Leisure magazine an unprecedented nine times—Micato is a steadfastly family-oriented company. It’s in our marrow and in our hearts.

Our family safaris set the template for all of Micato’s safaris and journeys to India, our ancestral homeland. We loved the planning, we had immeasurable fun, and we learned that care and mutual support were the keys to successful trips. I think that familial care is what inspires such affection and loyalty from our guests.Managing Director Dennis Pinto

Even the most smoothly functional families feel the atomizing stresses of the modern world, for reasons we’re all too familiar with. And our 50-plus years of orchestrating safaris teach us that very few journeys are as delightfully destressing and family-bonding as a safari in Africa.

Because: E-mesmerizers are put on hold, and the digital world evaporates and the real world presents itself guilelessly, gorgeously.

“Sitting around a camp fire, listening to the lions far out in the darkness was like returning to the true world again—where I probably once lived 10,000 years ago,” as Isak Dinesen wrote to her mother.

Because family is the bedrock of African life, and visiting families are treated with tender respect.

“My son danced exuberantly with the Maasai,” remembers our guest Ami Rothschild, “The chef at Amboseli told me he hadn’t cooked with nuts for two days to keep my son safe. Such warmth, such care. True kindness and unbelievable good humor.”

Because the youngest and oldest of us have seen reflections of Africa’s marvelous animals all our lives, from beloved plush toys to cartoons to documentaries and films, and here we see them by the free-roaming thousands, in the warm flesh, and we’re enraptured.

Jack has always been a people person,” Patti Buffolano writes of her “ultimate mother-son bonding experience” with her son Jack, who’s “always a little comme ci, comme ça about animals…I hoped a safari would change that, and boy, did I get my wish! The phrase ‘You know Xbox One is the world’s most powerful gaming console’ was replaced by ‘Mom, I love the animals so much. I don’t understand why anyone would hurt them. We have to help them.’

And, because each family is unique, here’s a story which we think illustrates the individualized care we delight in providing our guests:

A few years ago we arranged an East African safari for a couple from Illinois. As their departure date approached they confided that, as excited as they were to realize an old travel dream, they were a bit sad that they wouldn’t be able to mark their wedding anniversary, as they had faithfully for many years, with ice cream sundaes, a ritual that began with their first date.

On their anniversary day they were gamedriving in the Serengeti, while in Nairobi we arranged for the capital city’s finest purveyor of ice cream treats to create a couple of sundaes with all the fixings. We picked up the sundaes, put them in a cooler with dry ice, sped them to the domestic airport, put them on a waiting plane, and flew them to the airport nearest their lodge, where we loaded the precious cargo in a 4WD and sped into the golden plains of the Serengeti, where we caught up with our unsuspecting guests’ safari vehicle, rolled down our window, and handed the couple their anniversary sundaes.

Families of two or twenty, Micato happily hews to our family-honoring heritage…and joins in the fun.

Incredible Family Safari Experiences

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