Top 3 Luxury Travel Destinations in AfricaApril 19, 2022
There is no finer way of wilding it than from a five-star safari camp. These salubrious tents form the ideal vantage – the only true safari vantage – from which to experience Africa’s timeless beauty. And, hold up…when we say “tent” here at Micato, we mean discreet butlers and copper bathtubs, four-poster beds a la Hemingway and wifi, air con and bluetooth in the manner of Bezos. We’ve curated a tiny taste of the destinations you’ll want to pin on your map post-haste – plus a few of the ways Micato makes them best of the best.
For sheer exclusivity, Great Plains camps are indulgent, intimate – and universally rank among Micato guests’ most treasured.
This is conservation chic at its apogee: when Great Plains founders Beverly and Dereck Joubert first started offering their photographic safaris, it was a means of subsidizing their passion for conservation rather than commercial enterprise, and the sophistication quotient ramped up quickly. Starched linens, polished silver, no plastic in sight – even the Champagne bottles – of which there are a good few – are crushed on site to make sand for village building. Among the latest of nearly a dozen Great Plains camps, Selinda is the second largest private game concession in Botswana and reserved for the delight of just 10 guests. Opened in 2019, each piece of furniture and every remarkable artifact – from Zanzibar doors to a firepit fashioned from a ship’s bulbous bow – was collected on the couple’s travels.
During game drives on only the first perfect day of many, we encountered many lions, a loping leopard, two lounging cheetahs, and multiple memories of elephants, towers of giraffes and antelope in their hundreds. One of a long list of GP treats – and one of many reasons we love to send our guests here – use of long lens camera and the SD card of memories to take home are included. Among the advantages of game viewing here: you are in a private concession rather than in a national park so guides are permitted to drive off-road for special visions such as big cats or – shhh – a romantic G+T sundowner just as the River Liante is blanketed in another enchanting sunset.
The definitive safari staple and home of Micato Safaris and Pinto Family founders, Kenya offers not only superbly indulgent private camps – but the possibility of enjoying entire wildlife-rich conservancies all to yourself.
By way of example, it’s difficult to find a more raffish, more-is-more lodge than the one built by the famous fine art-collecting Wildenstein Family. Set deep within a massive Masai Mara private game reserve pulsing with all manner of wonderful wildlife, Ol Jogi is offered solely for exclusive use. Sleeping 14 in seven wonderfully unique villas, Micato guests lack for nothing including a waterfall-adorned pool, multiple fireplaces, a French chef and full staff. There are game drives and bush walks led by your personal, ever affable Micato Safari Director, horse riding, magical candlelit dinners laid with sparkling silver and crystal, as well as much to learn about anti-poaching and conservation efforts at their state-of-the-art wildlife rescue centre (there’s even a K-9 anti-poaching unit). The magnificently opulent grounds and wellness arrangements are symbolic of its heart’s-desires-included ethos: all massages are included every hour of every day. 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.
Verdant vineyards, vibrant Cape Town, the romance of its achingly beautiful safari plains – Micato’s ever-opulent arrangements guarantee a level of sophistication to delight the most discerning.
South Africa’s natural beauty always inspires and this is especially true of Cape Town—a sparkling peninsula city surrounded by blue water on three sides. Justifiably crowned the culinary capital of South Africa, this exuberantly fertile region has also earned a reputation for wine… and then some. A sunny Cape day is well spent on toastings, tastings, lunching and cultural tours and – when Micato turns its well-connected hand to fixing the finest itineraries – estates such as the splendid Delaire Graff ensure a world-class art collection displayed both indoors and out. Indeed, making your home-from-home at the exclusive-use Delaire Graff’s Owner’s Villa provides artistically inspired, heartily hospitable surroundings orchestrated by the diamond merchant, vintner, and philanthropist Laurence Graff himself.
From here, it’s a scenic and soul-lifting flight towards Cheetah Plains, built by a similarly discerning connoisseur of art, architecture and, most importantly, of Africa. Owner Japie van Niekerk created three secluded Plains Houses with a sharp eye for private, imaginative luxury on his own private reserve within the renowned, quintessentially African Sabi Sand Game Reserve. This hallowed corner of Sabi Sand Game Reserve is aglow with the pure patina of Africa polished to a stylish, contemporary gleam. With whispered origins of South Africa’s oldest private game reserve and a noble nod to the genesis of sustainable wildlife tourism, Cheetah Plains occupies a prideful place in our safari-loving hearts. This vast park is revered for prime Big Five viewing and game drives here make for a soul-feeding experience much talked over before and after – by the pool, around the fire, at the splendidly laid dining table of this opulent lodge. A bold revisioning of the traditional safari set-up to be sure, Micato has chosen Cheetah Plains as a shining beacon to the eco-luxe safari set.
To start planning your safari to one or more of these top luxury destinations for 2022 or beyond, contact a Micato Safaris Specialist.