AN INTERVIEW WITH A MICATO INSIDER ABOUT AN INCREDIBLE LUXURY SAFARI
We’re packing our bags and playing Toto’s Out of Africa on our iPod (on repeat), to prepare ourselves for the ultimate safari through Tanzania and Kenya. Just think, a hot air balloon safari for two over the African plains, experienced nature guides to provide us with insight about the wildlife, and accommodations steeped in utter luxury. It’s an excursion that’s long crowned our to-be-travelled list. And lucky for us, we had the opportunity to sit down with a Micato insider to answer our outstanding questions.
Rue La La: We could use some packing know-how. We’re envisioning all-out safari khakis, is that what people actually wear?
Micato: Most travelers do, indeed, wear safari gear while in the bush. Khaki, olive, tans, and browns increase your chances of good game viewing (particularly on a walking safari), while offering the added advantage of concealing dirt and dust. Not to mention that all of those pockets on safari shirts, vests and jackets are infinitely useful! Here’s another tip to keep in mind: Bright colors, particularly red, can frighten animals. (It is said that lions fear red because it is the color worn by the Maasai, who hunt lions as a part of their coming-of-age rituals.)
Rue La La: What should we expect in terms of lodging?
Micato: While on safari, our guests encounter a variety of delightful accommodations from deluxe hotels in Nairobi to charming lodges and tented camps in the bush. The luxury of the camps, in particular, is always a wonderful surprise. Built on permanent foundations with en-suite bathrooms, they feature the full array of furniture (even four-poster beds on occasion), and are beautifully decorated with traditional designs and indigenous fabrics.
Rue La La: The hot air balloon safari for two makes us think of Around the World in 80 Days. What is it like to view the African landscape from above?
Micato: It’s an experience like no other. You ascend in the early morning when the air is crisp and clear and conditions are ideal for ballooning. As dawn breaks over the horizon, you will have a unique vantage point from which to observe the wildlife below. Upon your descent, you will celebrate with a sumptuous champagne breakfast served on the plains over which you were just floating.
Rue La La: Is there a type of traveler that this trip is geared towards?
Micato: Anyone with a sense of adventure, a taste for breathtaking scenery, awesome wildlife, and the perfect amount of luxury!
Rue La La: And it’s something a philanthropist will love as well. Could you tell us a bit about your non-profit, AmericaShare?
Micato: Over 20 years ago, Micato founded AmericaShare, a foundation dedicated to helping populations affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nairobi, Kenya. Through education, community outreach, and economic empowerment programs, AmericaShare provides disadvantaged children and women with access to basic services in order to facilitate sustainable change. The majority of our guests spend a few hours in an impoverished area of Nairobi where AmericaShare is working to better lives. This is a unique chance to witness everyday life in Africa and see firsthand how a poor community is improving itself against daunting odds. Seeing the bright smiles and indomitable spirit of these people is inspiring — in fact, many Micato guests mark the AmericaShare visit as the highlight of their safari.
Rue La La: Can you give us a better idea of some of the people that we will be meeting along the way?
Micato: Guests in East Africa visit the home of Micato founders Jane and Felix Pinto. This is a unique opportunity to get to know locals in a relaxed setting, and to learn more about the culture and traditions in a warm and welcoming environment. It is our belief that global friendships and understanding start at home!
Our Micato Safaris – Kenya & Tanzania Boutique opens Friday, May 12 at 11AM ET.