micato cheetahs east africa

The Micato Grand Safari,

Kenya and Tanzania

New York, NY to New York, NY

15 days

Combining the excitement of East Africa’s legendary savannahs and the romance of its most exclusive resorts, this is a quintessential safari experience that is unabashedly indulgent.

In the know:

For every safari sold, Micato sends an African child to school.

Day: 1

New York, NY, United States

The adventure begins today as we enplane for Africa.

Meals: None

Hotel: None

Add-Ons:  Pre-tour packages available.

Day: 2

Upon arrival in the Kenyan capital, we’ll be met by our Micato Safari Director and driven to the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel, where most – if not all – of those potentates and royals stayed, dined, and chummed around before setting out on safari.

Meals: None

Hotel: Fairmont The Norfolk

Day: 3

Today we’ll tour the occasionally spell-binding, always excellent National Museum, wend our way over to the Giraffe Centre for some inter-species camaraderie, and visit the former home of Karen Blixen, author – writing as Isak Dinesen – of Out of Africa, one of the most evocative books ever written about any earthly place. And we’ll head over to Lavington, the nearby home of Felix and Jane Pinto, Micato’s founding couple, for a hearty, familial, and story-flavoured lunch.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Fairmont The Norfolk

Day: 4

We fly south this morning over the Athi Plains to the natural wonderland of Amboseli National Park. Mount Kilimanjaro, the still-glaciated monarch of Africa, presides over Amboseli, thrusting three dizzying miles above the park’s grasslands. As Peter Matthiessen wrote in the The Tree Where Man Was Born, “A snow peak in the tropics draws the heart to a fine shimmering painful point of joy.”

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Tortilis Camp

Day: 5

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Tortilis Camp is our base for visits to Maasai villages and game drives in this almost incomparably rich animal kingdom. Our spacious, luxuriously furnished, tatch-covered tents nestle under the huge and reposeful Tortilis acacia trees from which the camp takes its name. Unwinding on our veranda, we might, like Isak Dinesen, watch a parade of elephants “pacing along as if they had an appointment at the end of the world.”

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Tortilis Camp

Day: 6

Mount Kenya, Kenya

For the past 50-odd years (ever since actor William Holden and some of his hunting buddies founded it), the Mount Kenya Safari Club – now part of the Fairmont collection – has been a magnet for just about every safariing nabob. Reflecting Jane and Felix Pinto’s original membership and Micato’s long and happy relationship with the club, we’re greeted with exceptional hospitality.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Day: 7

Mount Kenya, Kenya

Along with stunning views of Mount Kenya, the club offers tennis; trout fishing; croquet; horsebacking; walking in gardens bubbling with exuberant tropical flowers; visits to nearby game reserves; and some of the most satisfying dining in either hemisphere (the club straddles the equator and so occupies both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at a salutary 7,000 feet above sea level).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Day: 8

Maasai Mara, Kenya

This morning we’ll fly over the planetary rumple of the Great Rift Valley – it makes “the Grand Canyon look like a line scratched with a toothpick,” John Gunther wrote in Inside Africa – to the Maasai Mara, the northern sector of the bigger-than-Belgium Serengeti – Maasai Mara ecosystem, unquestionably the earth’s greatest haven for large mammals, more than 70 species of which go about their business in the oceanic Serengeti-Maasai Mara grasslands. Based from the splendid Bateleur Camp, we’ll game drive throughout the Mara, spend rewarding time with the local Maasai people, and make side trips to the Mara River and its tributaries for a gander at leviathan crocodiles and hippos. And we’ll have sundowners in the gentle evening warmth of Ms. Dinesen’s true world, breathing its clean and guileless air, watching Africa’s showy stars come out to dazzle, feeling like we might have dallied in these parts, 10,000 years ago.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Bateleur Camp

Day: 9

Maasai Mara, Kenya

On our second day in the Mara, we’ll sweep in a hot-air balloon above the siringet, or the “endless place,” as the Maasai call this great land (normally an additional cost, ballooning on the Micato Grand Safari is part of the luxe experience). And at flight’s end, we’ll savour a champagne breakfast; we’ll already be a little giddied by the plain’s beauty and our good fortune to be so welcome and at ease in its presence.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Bateleur Camp

Day: 10

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

We fly to the Serengeti via Nairobi and Arusha, Tanzania. Three million or more large mammals – elephants, cheetahs, gazelles by the gazillions, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes “floating across the plain” (thanks, Ms. Dinesen), lions, rhinos and going on 60 more species – inhabit the great grassland, its riverine forests, and bustling set-piece kopjes, rock islands that pop up from the plain.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Day: 11

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

We’ll spend our Serengeti nights in the Four Seasons Safari Lodge. The magnificently conceived lodge is set on a fine collection of kopjes, looking out at what seems to be a golden eternity, with sunrise skies “banded with rose and lemon and the colour of flamingo wings,” as Elspeth Huxley wrote. This is the kind of African place that Micato loves to introduce our guests to, places that seduce us into slowing down.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Day: 12

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Today, some of us may wish to visit the Olduvai Gorge, which – with a touch of poetic license – we honour as the jumping-off point for humankind’s incredibly rapid colonization of the earth. After paying our genealogic repsects at the consequential gorge, we make the lovely drive across the Crater Highlands and up to the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, perched on the rain-forested rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, one of our solar system’s greatest geographic ornaments.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Day: 13

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

In The Tree Where Man Was Born, Peter Matthiessen captured one of the crate’s enigmas: “How did the hippopotamus find its way up into the Crater Highlands, to blunder into the waters of Ngorongoro? Today one sees them there with wonder, encircled by steep walls.” Inded, meandering around the soflty lush caldera floor, we may feel like Professor George Edward Challenger and Lord John Roxton in Arthur Conan Doyle’s thriller The Lost World. True, we won’t see any Aardonyxes or Zupaysauri, but – as we often say – once you’ve really looked at a rhino, or contemplated the gigantic unlikeliness of an elephant, your old sadness at never having seen a dinosaur will be lightened.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Day: 14

After breakfast and a last look at the Edenic lands below, we’ll drive to Lake Manyara and hop on our flight to Nairobi, where we’ll have a day room at the Norfolk and get a bite to eat before being driven to the airport for our late flights back to the Northern Hemisphere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Fairmont The Norfolk

Day: 15

New York, NY, United States

Arriving home today, we are already nostalgic for our African adventure.

Meals: None

Hotel: None

Add-Ons: Post-tour packages available.

What’s Included:

Includes luxury accommodations, all meals, all gratuities including tips to guides and drivers, transfers, soft drinks, bottled water, and flights within Africa. And for every safari sold, Micato sends an African child to school.

What’s Not included:

International airfare is not included.

Conditions:

Offer subject to availability. Terms and conditions may apply. See your travel advisor for more details. Scheduled Departures: PAYMENTS – 20% deposit due at time of booking. Final payment due 90 days prior to departure. CANCELLATIONS- 90+ days prior to departure $500 per person, 89-60 days prior to departure 20% penalty, 59- 30 days prior to departure 50% penalty, 29 days or less 100% penalty. Bespoke Departures: PAYMENTS – 30% deposit upon confirmation of space. Final payment 120 days prior to departure. CANCELLATIONS – 120 days+ prior to departure 20% penalty, 149 – 120 days prior to departure 30% penalty, 119 -90 days prior to departure 50% penalty, 89 days or less prior to departure 100% penalty.