Micato Africa specialist extraordinaire, Liz Wheeler has long been a member of the ultra-select Travel+Leisure A-List, the magazine’s roster of the 140 best destination experts in the world. At Micato, we’re happy (but not surprised!) to learn she’s been appointed to the A-List once again. Discover how our Africa oracle, Liz Wheeler, curates life-changing journeys for her guests – again and again.
As Director of Global Operations at Micato Safaris, Liz Wheeler headed Micato’s East Africa office for two decades. After living in Nairobi for more than 20 years Liz is now in the US, sharing an insider knowledge of all-things-safari that is unmatched.
“My ‘custom Africa’ experiences are the same ones I’ve enjoyed with my own friends and family over and over, because safari is not a one-time experience,” Liz explains. “Over 30 percent of our Micato guests are repeaters—simply because these destinations are ones people love to go back to again and again.”
While Liz knows her way around the most indulgent, sumptuous safari camps on the globe, she is equally adept at avoiding ‘luxury for luxury’s sake’. She has access to a fascinating quiver of immersive cultural experiences, such as a visiting a paleoanthropology camp in Kenya or joining fisherman at work on Lake Victoria.
“At Micato, we like to align ourselves with companies that have great conservation ethos. When I think of a few of my favourite camps, Great Plains Camps are fully on board with our way of thinking—all stunningly furnished and located in private conservancies which are extremely well managed and lightly visited. And in central Kenya and off the beaten track in Samburu, Elephant Bedroom used to be a simple hidden campsite where wildlife experts in the know would pitch their tents to study elephants. Several years ago, a permanent tented camp was built where, every day, the resident elephant herd transits through camp. Location, location, location: there I am, in my tent typing away and suddenly there’s a beautiful, giant elephant peering into my tent—talk about authentic wildlife interaction!”
“Another of my true happy places is lounging by the waterfall pool at the magnificently opulent Ol Jogi where massages are included so if you want a massage every hour of every day, that’s ok. And even amidst all that luxury, it’s one of Africa’s top rhino conversation areas so there are always spectacular viewings to be had.”
Liz is quick to flag her one must-do when in Nairobi: “A visit to AmericaShare —Micato’s non-profit arm providing an education to thousands of children — is the trip highlight for most of our guests. I’ve been working with AmericaShare since there was nothing but mud and, thanks to the Pinto Family’s dedication to education, I’ve seen the organisation grow from a basic scholarship program to an oasis in the middle of a shantytown. The original tin hut is now a state-of-the-art learning center and library that addresses the needs of hundreds of thriving children.”
“Even if you do not make it to see AmericaShare in Nairobi, by going on a trip with Micato you are giving one child a complete education, straight through their high school years. You see so many TV commercials about this but when you see it in the flesh—you really see how the stars have changed for these kids. And those Micato-AmericaShare educations are continuing today, pandemic or no pandemic.”
You’ll find Liz’s official A-List listing here.
Inspired to travel? We hope so. Why not, then, schedule a consultation and speak to Liz or one of her colleagues to start planning your Micato Safari.