There are moments on safari when time may seem to stand still.
These are moments when you recall what it’s like to be amazed and what it means to be relaxed; what the thrill of discovery feels like, or the warmth of a hearty welcome.
In an instant, you are blissfully reminded: this is the journey of a lifetime. Each moment on a Micato safari is sublime. But there are some experiences that stand out…
Sleeping under Canvas
Nothing evokes the romance of safari like the over-the-top luxury of a tented camp
Your “room” for the night is lavish, impeccable, perfectly appointed and ideally designed. You look around in awe—this is a tent? At any of the camps we stay at, the word “tent” is a woefully inadequate description.
Set in the shade, these canvas sanctuaries recall safari’s salad days—rustic, romantic, and refined. They are classically luxurious, yet rooted to this wild and wondrous land.
The spacious rooms of native woods and stone are outfitted with four-poster beds, colourful Swahili fabrics, old chests, ethnic artifacts, Chesterfield sofas and Victorian antiques.
Outside there’s a private deck: a front-row seat for nature’s soothing beauty. Ensconced in elegance, surrounded by the wilds—adventurers of the past, like Hemingway, Roosevelt and Blixen, would be right at home.
Watching Africa Awaken
A breathtaking beginning to a new day…
You wake with a smile, stirred by the rich aroma of fresh-brewed coffee. A silver tray waits by the tent flap. Still rubbing sleep from your eyes, you step out into the new day, hot coffee in hand.
The sky is a vivid, cloudless blue. The sun is just emerging, and the dew on the tall savannah grass glimmers golden in the light.
In the branches above you, exotic birds sing their morning songs into the crisp, fresh air. In front of you a river moves steadily along, speckled by light. A few hippos laze in the water, chortling and splashing. The new sun warms your face.
You sigh contentedly, sit on your private deck and sip your coffee, waking up with Africa.
Your First Glimpse of a Lion
The thrilling jolt of discovery. It’s everything you’ve heard… and more.
As your vehicle rolls across the plains, you eagerly scan the horizon for movement. You’re playing the role of tracker, giddy at the possibilities that await you. Just then, your driver hits the brakes and points.
There, in the shade of a nearby bramble: Lions. The male is lounging languidly, his chin resting on a log—he is regal, even as he parts his deadly jaws to yawn.
The lioness sits beside him, the sleekness of her tawny frame not belying her muscular heft and menacing potential.
Unfazed by your presence, the lions simply lay there, mere feet away. Transfixed, you lift your camera to shoot the lioness. She looks straight at you: a quintessential safari moment frozen in time. These are your first lions… though definitely not your last.
Floating over Africa
An angel’s-eye view of a heavenly landscape
Mist covers the savannah like a blanket, gauzy grey sheets over the dewy green grass, made even more ethereal by the peaceful hush of dawn.
Your pilot lets the fires blaze into the rainbow-striped expanse of balloon above you, and suddenly you’re aloft. It’s an exhilarating feeling, dream-like, as you become feather-light and float above the world.
As you look out over the seemingly limitless horizon, the sun rises and spreads liquid gold across the landscape.
You glide effortlessly in silence, struck by the spectacle beneath you: a group of strolling giraffes, zebras galloping, and two wildebeest ramming their heads in a battle of wills—Africa’s timeless drama playing out just as it has for millennia.
Soaring Over Kenya’s Northern Frontier
Helicoptering to Humankind’s Birthplace
Vast is an understatement.
But, as we soar and dip in the air above the massive desert of the Northern Frontier, details come into exciting focus.
Spindly Lake Turkana, the Jade Sea, one of the great Rift Lakes that mark the beginnings of a new ocean…termite mounds twenty feet tall…a group of Turkana tribespeople, walking north, as their and our ancestors did a few hundred thousand years ago…giraffes, gazelles, ostriches going about their ancient routines…a horizon that seems to stretch beyond time and space.
An eye-popping geologic, biologic, and scenically stupendous excursion, easily arranged by Micato’s experts.
Wending the Waterways of the Okavango Delta
Reposeful, beautiful, absolutely dreamy
We set off from our Okavango camp’s lagoon-side dock, slipping into mokoro, a slim craft ideal for wending the channels of the Delta.
Our guide, who magically knows his way around this lush maze, works his pole expertly. He quietly alerts us to a big Nile crocodile motionless in the papyrus reeds. A little while later, an elephant bubbles out of the water in front of us; she’s polite, but as surprised as we are.
Birds zoom by overhead. Hippos grunt and yawn in a small lagoon. Comely red lechwes drink the Delta’s clean waters, and in the near distance we see a flock of impalas, finely tuned as Swiss watches, as they spring and gallop bewitchingly.
Like every single one of us at Micato, the Pintos are fervent fans of the Okavango. Have a look at Joy Phelan-Pinto’s blog post, Botswana with the Pinto Family, where she writes about the “absolutely dreamy” experience of the family’s “favourite form of transportation.”
Walking in the Wilderness
Not only seeing wildlife… but walking in their world.
There is something about a walk in the wild.
Sensations are plentiful: the solid sound of your feet landing on the eternal African earth, the tickle of the savannah grass against your fingers, and the feeling of the rough grooves left in a tree by an elephant’s tusk. You are not only seeing wild animals, but actually trekking through their world.
Led by your knowledgeable guide, who knows what you’ll see? You may spot a mother giraffe and her calf loping along in unison, or zebras grazing in the morning sunshine. The silence is complete… it’s as if you are walking in a cathedral, its vault the blue firmament above, its altar the panorama of primeval beauty all around.
Biking in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands
Glorious scenery, great wines, excellent exercise
Bicyclists know that one of the most delightful ways to get intimate with a place is by wending around it on two wheels.
And there are few places more dynamic for biking than dynamic Cape Town or more intimacy-inviting than the Cape Winelands, which combine great restaurants, world-class wine-tasting, and green and gold scenery—this is hard to say for us lovers of Napa and Sonoma and Bordeaux—that make the Cape Winelands simply the world’s most gorgeous.
We’ve got the full support and advance planning of our Micato team, whether charting a course through Cape Town and its environs or setting off from the lovely old towns of Franschoek or Stellenbosch, heading to a particularly inviting lunch spot, a famous winery, or just carefreely out and about, tasting life on the leisurely roll.
Meeting a Village Elder
Connect with an ancient culture…
Tribal life is an inextricable part of the story of Africa. In the modern world, a connection to the proud past is more important than ever.
As part of most Micato safaris, you are introduced to a village elder, the keeper of tribal traditions. Appearing quietly regal in his local garb, he speaks to you about the tribe’s history and their hopes for the future.
He tells fascinating tales of rituals that have lasted for centuries, including the initiation of young boys into warriorhood. You listen eagerly, and are encouraged to ask questions and challenge assumptions.
This is a rare opportunity to understand a vastly different culture, and to connect first-hand with a timeless tradition
A perfect end to a remarkable day in an incomparable land
You approach the bluff overlooking the rippling golden plains, and find a scene from your dreams, sophistication in the wild. Chairs are set up around a glowing campfire. Soft music emanates from a phonograph. Smiling waiters stand behind a full bar.
Cocktails are served, toasts are made, and stories are told against the backdrop of the stunning savannah sunset.
In the fading light of an impossibly wide and luminous sky, you survey the extraordinary panorama before you and sigh contentedly. A tray of hors d’oeuvres appears at your elbow, and another cocktail is poured…
As the bronze heat of the African day gives way to the cool of the evening, you realize that this truly is the Africa of your imagination, and a safari experience beyond compare.
Sleeping under the Stars
The enchantment of a starry-sky lullaby…
The only sound is the gentle rippling of the river below. Under moonlight, the broad landscape unfolds before you, capped with a dome of stars. You curl up, warm in your Star Bed.
The Star Bed is a handcrafted, raised platform, partially covered with a thatched roof. The platform is situated in complete seclusion, providing an experience that is thrillingly unique.
When you’re ready to retire, your four-poster bed is wheeled onto the open deck and swathed in gossamer mosquito netting. This is pure open-air elegance, an immersive and unmatched African experience.
You lie down beneath a ceiling of equatorial night sky, and the layers upon layers of stars glitter above you as you slide into dreams.
At Home in a Legendary Land
Travelling not just with a company… but in the company of a real family
When you arrive in East Africa, you’ll be invited for a welcome dinner at the home of Felix and Jane Pinto—founders of Micato. If you are going to South Africa don’t fret, our Africa connections run deep, and you’ll be asked to dine at the home of our family friends.
You’re greeted and welcomed as old friends. Cocktails are served, and pleasant conversation fills the air. Candlelight flickers over the linen-covered tables, and a familial warmth suffuses the room.
Then, the feast begins. The flavours of each dish dance on your palate, a delightful introduction to the culinary excellence that awaits you on safari.
Over the course of the meal, stories are told, laughs are plentiful, and friendships are kindled. Micato Safaris is a family-run company, and we think of you as part of the clan—you leave dinner feeling like you have a home in this strange new land. This is African hospitality at its finest.
Sending a Child to School
Your Safari. Their Education
For every safari sold, Micato sends a child to school… a child who would otherwise stay home due to extreme poverty. One for one: it’s as simple as that.
In Africa, education is the only way to break the cycle of devastation and deprivation. Yet for many children, school is only a dream. We’re working on changing that. By travelling with Micato, you will be giving a child the gift of an education.
You’ll see their smiles first-hand, if you have a chance to visit Nairobi’s Mukuru slum. The joy of these children, suddenly seeing before them a brighter future than they ever dreamed possible, is contagious. These smiles will light your days, even after you’ve returned home.
Seldom do we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in need, but by going on safari with Micato, you are doing just that—and we couldn’t be more overjoyed.