- Small Group
- Land Based Adventures
- 12 Capacity
- 15 Days
- Price from
Summary : Enjoy traveling with the tour operator named "World's Best" by readers of Travel+Leisure magazine for an unprecedented eight years in a row. The absolute ultimate in luxury travel, the Grand Safari offers the excitement and glamour of the African bush together with a romantic itinerary featuring the most exclusive and luxurious resorts in all of Africa. Even the extravagance of the Hot-Air Balloon Safari is included. And an unprecendented seven flights makes travel between reserves a seamless joy. For those who have seen the world and stayed at the finest venues in the most elegant cities on the planet, this experience will be of equally extreme splendor!
Activities : Birding, Culture
$999,999,999 to $0
Your Micato adventure begins today as you enplane for Europe.
Welcome to Nairobi, the City in the Sun. An awaiting Safari Director accompanies you to the elegant Norfolk Hotel.
A presentation by Maasai Elder Rakita, a Safari Briefing and you're off to the newly modernized 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. Dinner tonight is a lovely affair at the home of Felix and Jane Pinto.
This morning you wing your 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 worldfamous for its tremendous variety of big game. A spectacular game run is planned. You stay tonight at the Tortilis Tented Camp. Rustic style and supreme comfort are the hallmarks of Tortilis. 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 tortilis 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 where hot water abounds. 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—so very 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.
Amboseli is big game country: elephant, antelope, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe. Two game runs are planned today, both 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 setting so lushly beautiful. You return to Tortilis for a steaming bath, cocktails and a sumptuous dinner. Very quickly you are ready for a deep evening slumber in the luxurious tents.
Today you fly via Nairobi to the charming Mount Kenya Safari Club where the original owner's cottage or cozy river suite awaits you. 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 you would expect from such an establishment are here, including riding stables, golf, trout streams, tennis and sauna. 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 which 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, numerous American presidents and Lord Mountbatten have enjoyed its pleasures alongside founding members William Holden, Clark Gable and John Wayne. Fine dining and gracious hospitality are sure to be highlights of your stay. The Micato traveller is afforded the finest in luxury accommodations and preferred service at the Mount Kenya Safari Club thanks to a long-standing professional relationship and the original club membership of Micato's founders, Felix and Jane Pinto.
Today you 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 offers 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! You return to the Mount Kenya Safari Club for another superb dinner and dream-laden evening's sleep.
This morning you fly to Maasai Mara, winging your way over the scenic Great Rift Valley and the unspoiled savannah that the Mara shares with the legendary Serengeti. Below you 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 you find the largest population of lions in Africa, carefully watched by their neighbors, the stunning Coke's hartebeest, large herds of topi and the stately African buffalo. Black rhino are also to be found. Huge herds of elephant often block the roads. Glorious creatures are everywhere—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 you will also thoroughly enjoy a visit to a Maasai village, learning about their tribal social systems, customs and the place of the Maasai in today's Africa. The residents live in their manyatta, or village, much as they have for centuries and you will have an opportunity to see the interior of these mud-hut homes, spotless and unadorned, contrasted with the Maasai themselves, bedecked with brilliantly colored beads and cloths. The bright smiles and warmth of the tribe once considered among the fiercest warriors on earth will surely win your heart. As will your accommodations tonight at the utterly glorious Bateleur Camp or equally stunning Governor's Il Moran Camp.
Today you see the Mara not only from the ground, but from the air, as you take an early morning Hot-Air Balloon Safari. On other safaris this thrilling experience is offered at an additional expense…on The Grand Safari it is your pleasure to invite you on this amazing journey as the 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 your 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 you deep in the bush. Soon the natural world is a dark velvet cape all around you 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, you experience a rare peace and beauty, and find yourself as one with the land and her inhabitants.
This morning you fly to the Serengeti via Nairobi and Arusha. Her vast rolling plains spread out before you…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 you the opportunity to view every variety of habitation, from the dry south where the grasslands stretch out in a sultry dance with the breeze to the park's center, a green oasis of open woodlands and thicket. Streams are lined by dense, brilliantly green forests. Weathered domes of granite and gneiss are a favorite 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 African water buffalo abound. 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. You have delightful accommodations at either Kirawira Tented Camp or Grumeti River Camp—Kirawira, a reincarnation of Victorian-era elegance standing high on the bluff, and Grumeti, a vibrant and avant-garde interpretation of African chic along a river's edge.
You awaken to the sounds of Africa and begin your day with a Bush Walk, affording an intimate and profoundly personal bond to the world of the wild. Your expert naturalist is hard at work, pointing out each individual miracle of the land that you are now a part of.
An extensive afternoon game run explores the depths of the deep Serengeti. Everywhere there are animals, 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. Animals in the trees, on the wing, camouflaged in the bush, in rivers and in streams. The adventure of a lifetime.
The Ngorongoro Crater is your next destination, including a call at Olduvai Gorge, where for more than fifty years the Leakey family has been uncovering fossils of your 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 you will stand on the very ground where these early humans walked and lived! Your accommodations tonight are at the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater Lodge—be prepared to be overwhelmed! Cocktails, a sumptuous meal and a wonderful evening in your exotic lodge concludes a most remarkable day in Africa.
Ngorongoro Crater—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, you will never see its likes again. You spend a memorable morning ensconced in the crater, exploring its breadth and depth.
And tonight, as you delight in another luscious meal at this exceptional lodge, you 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.
Breakfast and one last look at Ngorongoro Crater before you head to Lake Manyara for your flight to Nairobi. You check into the Norfolk Hotel and enjoy a few hours of relaxation by the pool or perhaps revisit a favorite shop or two. After dinner you proceed to the airport.
Arrive in Europe and continue to homebound flights.
First-class hotel accommodations based on twin-bedded rooms with private bath or showers; three meals daily based on evening arrives on Day 2; transport and handling of two pieces of luggage per person per airline regulations (Guests are urged to travel with only one medium-sized suitcase. On certain flights within Africa, strict luggage restrictions apply; details are provided in tour documentation. Luggage and personal effects are at the owner's risk throughout the tour.); hotel taxes as imposed by city and state governments, entrance fees to National Parks and Game Reserves, and airport taxes for intra-country flights; internal airfare (Nairobi / Amboseli; Mt. Kenya / Maasai Mara / Serengeti / Manyara; Manyara / Nairobi).
International airfare; cost of obtaining passports, visa, travel insurance; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, communication (calls, faxes, emails, etc.); international airport departure tax (to be paid in US dollars or acceptable foreign currencies); deviations from the tour; gratuities to safari directors; tour leaders, drivers, rangers and trackers are at your discretion.
Sample Airfare from New York:
Economy Class from $1,200
Business Class from $5,100