It is the cradle of humanity. There’s a little bit of Africa in all of us. And she’s calling us home.
From the legendary vistas of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, to the crystalline heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the deep green depths of her equatorial rainforests, “Africa’s landscapes are immensely varied,” says Dennis Pinto, “populated by animals in the thousands and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere.”
The managing director for Micato Safaris, Pinto is part of a 40-year family tradition of creating one-of-a-kind excursions across Africa’s storied landscapes. Named “World’s Best Tour Operator and Safari Outfitter” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for an eighth time, Micato began in 1966 in Kenya.
“My parents, Felix and Jane Pinto, began Micato Safaris because they wanted to share ‘their’ Kenya with travelers,” explains Pinto. “For us though, Micato is more than just a business; it’s a labor of love.”
As the world’s premier luxury (and nothing but luxury) safari coordinator, Micato partners with many of the most exclusive properties on the continent – the Serengeti Migration Camp, Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp, and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge among them – to craft a start-to-finish extravaganza of African splendor blended with unmatched service. Groups, limited to 12-14 guests, travel in air-conditioned Mercedes Viannos, leather-upholstered Land Rovers and chartered bush planes to minimize travel time between destinations. Micato even provides each guest with a 24/7 personal concierge to attend to any unforeseen needs, and, adds Pinto, “We employ tribesmen and women as local ambassadors who spend time with travelers, sharing insights about their traditions and day-to-day lives.
“We also have special connections to people who are shaping today’s Africa and can arrange special experiences for our guests depending on their interests,” Pinto continues. “We can arrange for a guest to go on an archeological dig with famed paleontologist Louise Leakey, or have a private audience with Dame Daphne Sheldrick, renowned for her work saving orphaned elephants. We spend significant one-on-one time with travelers, tailoring the perfect safari.”
And Micato isn’t above throwing in the odd perk, like the man who found out his Safari Director had arranged a surprise birthday party (favorite ice cream included), or the opera enthusiasts who found one of Cape Town’s leading opera talents at their table during a home-hosted dinner in the city.
This is how you become number one for the eighth time.
Operating in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique, Micato recommends visiting in Africa’s dry season, when the herds are most likely on the move: July – October for eastern Africa, April – October for southern regions. With it being the most popular season, and not just for Micato, it is recommended you book well in advance. However, notes Pinto, Africa and Micato provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences year-round.
Africa calls. Her adventures beckon. For as geographer George Kimble said, “The darkest thing about Africa is our ignorance of it.”
To book a Micato Safari, visit www.micato.com; or call 1-800-MICATO-1