Day 1: Depart Home
Your adventure begins today as you enplane for Africa.
Day 2: Arrive Nairobi
Welcome to Nairobi, a city experiencing a Renaissance in art and culture. Your Safari Director meets you at the airport and whisks you to Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel.
Day 3: Nairobi
A presentation by Maasai Elder Simon Lenini Ole Kassi, a safari briefing and we're off to the recently renovated National Museum, a compelling collection of history, culture, wildlife and art exhibits and a superb introduction to this proud nation. The day continues to the former home of author Karen Blixen of Out of Africa fame, and a stop at Giraffe Centre to learn about endangered Rothschild giraffes during a private lecture. We'll feel officially welcomed to Africa over a delightful lunch or dinner at the home of Felix and Jane Pinto.
Day 4: Amboseli
This morning we wing our way over the scenic Athi Plains and into the bush country of Amboseli Park. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is home to the legendary Maasai tribesmen and is world-famous for its tremendous variety of big game. A spectacular game run is planned. We stay tonight at the idyllically rustic Tortilis Tented Camp. Kilimanjaro dominates the view from every direction...animals are seen browsing in the grasses and drinking at the waterhole directly outside. And, nestled comfortably under huge spreading acacia trees are the thatch-covered tents. The luxurious tents are spacious and each has a private veranda from which to enjoy the view, as well as an en suite bathroom with plenty of hot water. Of the fifteen tents, not one sees another; it is as if you were alone here in this peaceful Eden. Dinner at Tortilis is exceptionally good-fresh and delightful, with vegetables and herbs grown right at the camp. Truly special, you are sure to revel in the experience of sleeping under canvas and waking to the beauty of Amboseli.
Day 5: Amboseli
Amboseli is big game country: elephant, antelope, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe. Two game runs are planned today, both of which will introduce you to the intense beauty and drama that fill each day here. Predators stalk the herds of grazing animals, recreating the age-old drama of life and death under the African sun, in a lushly beautiful setting. We return to Tortilis for a steaming bath, cocktails and a sumptuous dinner. Very quickly we are ready for a deep evening slumber in the luxurious tents that enfold us like silken cocoons.
Day 6: Mount Kenya Safari Club
Today we fly via Nairobi to the luxurious Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. Sprawled on the slopes of majestic Mount Kenya, this historic private club was perhaps the first in Africa to offer travellers the ultimate in refined elegance and luxury. All of the amenities that we would expect from such an establishment are here including riding stables, golf, croquet, trout streams, tennis and a health club. While lounging at the pool, one may indulge the senses in an endless display of beauty, from the towering snow-capped mountain to the kaleidoscope of colours that surround you in a sea of gorgeous flowers. Over the years the club has been a second home to legions of internationally renowned members and guests. Sir Winston Churchill, the Duke of Manchester, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, numerous American presidents and Lord Mountbatten have enjoyed its pleasures alongside founding members William Holden, Clark Gable and John Wayne.
Fine dining, gracious hospitality and excellent service are sure to be highlights of our stay, in addition to a splendid room with a tremendous view. Micato travellers are afforded only the finest at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club thanks to its long-standing relationship with Micato and the original membership of Micato founders, Felix and Jane Pinto.
Day 7: Mount Kenya Safari Club
Today we enjoy a game drive to the secluded heart of Ol Pejeta Ranch and Rhino Reserve. Here at the reserve these magnificent beasts are given sanctuary from those who would take their lives in order to sell their horns. And here too, the Jane Goodall Institute runs the Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where you will truly enjoy meeting the primates face-to-face. The reserve provides a fascinating opportunity to study and learn about the rhinos, and to experience them up close. Ol Pejeta Ranch overlooks one of the busiest waterholes in the area...elephant, giraffe, waterbuck, gazelle and the big cats all come here to drink. It is fascinating to see the variety of plains game that risk receiving too much notice from a predator in order to enjoy the bounty of the waters! We return to the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club for another superb dinner and dreamladen evening's sleep.
Day 8: Maasai Mara
This morning we fly to Maasai Mara, winging our way over the scenic Great Rift Valley and the unspoiled savannah that the Mara shares with the legendary Serengeti. Below us lies the Africa of your dreams! A country of rolling grasslands, dense thickets and groves of acacia woodland, the Mara is home to an incredible variety of wildlife. Deep forest grows along the Mara River and its tributaries, where many hippos and crocodiles bask lazily in the sunlight. Here we find the largest population of lions in Africa, warily eyed by their neighbors, the stunning Coke's hartebeest, large herds of topi and the stately Cape buffalo. Black rhino are also to be found. Huge herds of elephant often block the roads. Glorious creatures are so bountiful that it is difficult to decide where to look first!
This is also the home of the Maasai people. The Maasai guarding his cattle is an enduring and proud figure across the plains of East Africa. Livestock represents status, wealth and livelihood to these ancient people. Here we will also enjoy a visit to a Maasai village, learning about their tribal social systems, customs and the place of the Maasai in today's Africa. Residents live in a "manyatta" or village, much as they have for centuries and we will have an opportunity to see the interior of these mud-hut homes, spotless and unadorned, contrasted with the Maasai themselves, bedecked with brilliantly coloured beads and cloths. The warmth and hospitality of the people once considered fierce warriors will touch your heart. As will your accommodations tonight at the utterly glorious Bateleur Camp or equally stunning Governor's Il Moran Camp.
Day 9: Maasai Mara
Today we see the Mara not only from the ground, but from the air, as we take an early morning hot-air balloon safari. On other safaris this thrilling experience is offered at an additional expense...on The Micato Grand Safari it is our pleasure to invite you on this amazing journey as our guest. You will drift serenely over the great herds as birds of prey swoop past. Elephants and giraffe cast a curious glance your way. The beauty of the wilderness as seen from the early morning African sky is an unparalleled experience. Upon our descent, a sumptuous champagne breakfast is served on the plains that you just so recently observed from your perch high above.
This afternoon an extensive game run is planned. The sheer enormity of the Maasai Mara offers endless opportunities for excitement, including one of the most glorious evening events of the safari-sundowners on the Mara Escarpment, where cocktails await us deep in the bush. Soon the natural world is a dark velvet cape all around us with only the firelight and the stars in the ancient African sky to light the night. As the warmth of the African day gives way to the cool of evening, we experience a rare peace and beauty, and find ourselves at one with the land and her inhabitants.
Day 10: Serengeti National Park
This morning we fly to the Serengeti via Nairobi and Arusha. Her vast rolling plains spread out before us...the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world offers up views of over three million large animals-elephant, zebra, gazelle, rhino, cheetah and more.
Within this huge park a complex ecosystem gives us the opportunity to view every variety of habitation, from the dry south where the grasslands sway in a sultry dance with the breeze to the park's centre, a green oasis of open woodlands and thicket. Streams are lined by dense, brilliantly green forests. Weathered domes of granite and gneiss are a favourite retreat of the big cats, a place to rest and to watch the surrounding vegetation for both danger and for prey. Giraffe browse in small groups among the trees. Bohor reedbuck and waterbuck restrict their travels to the vegetation near the rivers and streams. Great numbers of ostrich, Grant's gazelle, topi, hartebeest, impala and Cape buffalo abound, all watching out for the abundant lion, cheetah, wild dog and hyena!
Leopards are seen resting in the trees. No matter what your expectations, you will not fail to be astounded by life in the Serengeti. We have delightful accommodations at either Serengeti Pioneer Camp or Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp—Pioneer, the embodiment of Africa’s opulent golden age amid the grassy plains, and Grumeti, a vibrant and avant-garde interpretation of African chic along a river’s edge.
Day 11: Serengeti National Park
We awaken to the sounds of Africa and begin our day with a bush walk, affording an intimate and profoundly personal bond to the world of the wild. Our expert naturalist is hard at work, pointing out each individual miracle of the land that we are now a part of. An extensive afternoon game run explores the depths of the deep Serengeti. Everywhere there are animals, including monkeys and, yes, birds...but look closely and you will thrill to the huge jungle cats-lion, leopard and cheetah-just watching the world go by. And go by it does: rhino, gazelle, antelope and massive elephants by the hundreds. There are animals in the trees, on the wing, camouflaged in the bush, in rivers and in streams...
Day 12: Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is our next destination, including a call at Olduvai Gorge, where for more than fifty years the Leakey family has been uncovering fossils of our human ancestors and of animal life, laboriously peeling away the layers of mystery attached to the history of the continent. Under the direction of Louis and Mary Leakey, material was unearthed dating back over two million years. The remains of prehistoric elephants, giant-horned sheep and enormous ostriches have also been found in this Stone Age site. During the last century, the very early human remains of the Nutcracker Man, or Zinjanthropus bosei, were located. In 1969, Dr. Mary Leakey uncovered the first ever intact skull of Homo habilis, dating from 1.75 million years ago. And we will stand on the very ground where these early humans walked and lived! Our accommodations tonight are at the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater Lodge-be prepared to be overwhelmed! Cocktails, a sumptuous meal and a wonderful evening in our exotic lodge conclude a most remarkable day in Africa.
Day 13: Ngorongoro Crater
We spend the day in one of the natural wonders of the world. A spectacular game haunt, the 102-square-mile crater is a perfect caldera, one of the largest on earth. Millions of years ago a smoldering volcano collapsed, creating the crater and a home for thousands of animals amidst its many types of vegetation grown and nourished over the centuries. Over 30,000 animals live here: prides of lion, elephant, leopard, cheetah and giraffe, gazelle by the thousands and multitudes of wildebeest. Uniquely beautiful, we will never see its likes again. We spend a memorable morning ensconced in the crater, exploring its breadth and depth. And tonight, as we delight in another luscious meal at this exceptional lodge, we are once again stunned by the beauty of the orange sunset that hovers in the wild African sky, signaling the end to yet another unforgettable day on safari.
Day 14: Depart Nairobi
Breakfast and one last look at Ngorongoro Crater before we head to Lake Manyara for our flight to Nairobi. We check into Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel and enjoy a few hours of relaxation by the pool or perhaps revisit a favourite shop or two. After dinner we proceed to the airport knowing that this has been a journey to remember for the rest of our lives.
Day 15: Arrive Home
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.