There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.
— Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), in a letter to her mother Ingeborg Dinesen
Three Great Reasons to Visit Africa
There are many, many more, of course, but here are a few especially compelling reasons to visit the second largest continent.
Animals We Only Thought We Knew
Number one–it almost goes without saying: the animals. No other place on the planet remotely compares to Africa’s wildlife extravaganza. First-time visitors are invariably amazed by the abundance of big charismatic beasts and their lesser-known but fascinating supporting casts. It’s not especially unusual to see three or four or even all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, cape buffalo, elephant, and rhino) on a drive to a lodge or camp after a flight over Africa’s eloquent landscapes (such lyrical flights over such gorgeous scenery are yet another great reason to go on safari).
But huge numbers aren’t the whole story. Since our earliest days most of us have been enveloped in African animal motifs: from the plush toys in our cribs, to countless books, games, movies, endless documentaries, and captivating videos. But when we see them in their homeland, smell them, watch them up close and at leisure, we realize we didn’t know these animals nearly as well as we thought. We suddenly notice a giraffe’s massive nobility, we see how almost extraterrestrially interesting a galumphing hippo is, we’re struck by a lion’s lazily breathtaking litheness, and we realize as if for the first time how grand and beautiful and unusual these animals truly are.
Second, something we at Micato know very well: People come to Africa to see the animals but they leave in love with the people. This is a common experience not particularly easy to write about. But few visitors are untouched by the bedrock hospitality and big, cheerful hearts of the African people. Every Micato safari, whether it’s a custom-designed Bespoke Safari, or a guaranteed departure, small-group Classic Safari, is accompanied from beginning to end by an intensively trained Safari Director, who we expect to represent not only Micato, but the best of the African spirit. We are an Africa-born company, and everything we do is based on our desire to represent Africa and its people in their deserved good light.
A Soothing Respite
Reason number three: serenity. You probably don’t have to be reminded just how busy and tangled modern life can be. In most of Africa–especially and spectacularly on safari–life operates at a different pace. After flying to the continent, sightseeing in bustling Nairobi or Johannesburg or Cape Town, you fly to a lodge or camp in the bush, and suddenly you’re embraced by a deep quiet, a stressless serenity that lulls and comforts and ends up healthily intoxicating you. (Micato carefully picks our lodges and camps with comfort, beauty, and this enriching calm foremost in mind). Elspeth Huxley, one of Africa’s greatest celebrators, put it well in The Flame Trees of Thika:
To depart on a safari is not only a physical act, it is also a gesture. you leave behind the worries, the strains, the irritations of life among people under pressure, and enter the world of creatures who are pressed into no moulds, but have only to be themselves; bonds loosen, anxiety fades, the mind closes against the world you left behind like a folding sea anemone.