Families on Safari
Safari takes you way out of your world. You know the one.
The world with the profoundly ridiculous demands and schedules, persistent email notifications and overwrought alerts that create a never-ending and often false sense of urgency.
Safari by design lets you push all of that aside so that you and your family can be truly together.
Virtuoso editorial director Elaine Srnka summed it up nicely in a recent issue of Virtuoso Life, where she talks extensively about her Micato family safari:
“We quickly bonded with the knowledgeable driver-guides, who wowed us with their expertise as they adroitly dispensed factual tidbits that we’d repeat to each other later over meals: “Can you believe that elephants eat 18 to 20 hours a day?” or “Did you know giraffes can sleep standing up?” or “George told me zebras have better eyesight than wildebeests, who have a better sense of hearing than zebras, and that’s why they travel together!” Listening to my teenagers excitedly recount what they saw or learned was a heartwarming departure from the usual one-word answers they offer at home (“How was school?” “Fine.”). As one guide pointed out, “There is no Wi-Fi in the bush, but you will find a better kind of connection.” ~Elaine Srnka, Virtuoso Life
By the way, beyond the deepest wilderness, among our many inclusions Micato does make free Wi-Fi available nearly everywhere, including your safari vehicle, but, spoiler alert, parents, also known traditionally as They Who Often Pay for The Safari, have been known to tell their children that the Wi-Fi is on the fritz or doesn’t exist.
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.
Space for Real Conversations
There’s something about safaris that creates space for real conversations. And when we say conversation, sometimes all we mean is that moment when you and your teen daughter – you know, the one who barely talks to you — happen to turn and look at each other at the same time. And for a split second, you see a look in her eyes — could it be a measure of gratitude? — and know that words may not be necessary or welcome at that moment. Because when you’re looking together at a baby elephant blocking the road, her long-lashed soulful baby elephant eyes looking back at the two of you, there’s really nothing you need to say. You and your daughter have this moment together and it’s forever.
“We took a safari with the kids when they were 12 and 13, and then we did it recently with our kids at 23 and 24 years old. Both those times you would think is when kids are pulling away from you, and a trip like this pulls them in to say these are the experiences that our family has.” ~ Barbara Albert, AmericaShare Supporter
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.”
Family Is The Foundation of Everything
There’s a centuries-old Kenyan adage, Jamii ndiyo msingi wa kila kitu that means “family is the foundation of everything.” Which inspires us to suggest…
…you only have so many vacations to spend as a family… so why not make this one the one to remember? Elaine goes on to say:
“As all parents wistfully know, the opportunities to gather everyone together dwindle with each passing school year, so the decision to book such a big-ticket, bucket-list trip was both practical and poignant. The prospect that this could be one of our last vacations as a family before the kids venture out on their own imbued it with additional meaning.”