Advisor Adventures

Giraffe in African sunset

A Bucket List Safari in Kenya and Tanzania

Martin Travel Advisor Kara Duncan recently took a trip of a lifetime: a two-week safari in Kenya and Tanzania. She traveled with Micato Safaris, a family-run company that has been in operation since 1966. Founders and second-generation Kenyans Jane and Felix Pinto, along with their adult children, are the heart of the company. Micato offers all-inclusive luxury safaris in eight African countries. One of the highlights of Kara’s safari trip was having lunch with the Pintos at their home in Kenya, something every Micato traveler to Kenya gets to experience.

We asked Kara to share her experiences on the safari.

Group on safari in green truck

What was your itinerary?

We spent the first night in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and then went to the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, a five-star hotel in the northwestern corner of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It has 38 luxuriously furnished tents. Each has a wooden floor, four-poster bed, bathroom and private deck. Our accommodations were right along the river, so we could hear the hippos grunting at night. We went on twice-daily game drives from there.

Then, we flew to the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, a luxury resort in Nanyuki. It’s on the equator and has a 1950s architectural design with a country-club feel. One highlight there was going on a morning horseback ride. During the ride, we arrived at a wonderful breakfast complete with white linens and crystal champagne glasses that they had set up for us in the bush.


Then, we flew to Loisaba Lodo Springs, which features eight glamping tents with impressive views of northern Kenya stretching out to Mount Kenya. Later, we stayed at Neptune Ngorongoro Lodge in Tanzania. It’s an all-inclusive property with 20 spacious private log cabins. Each one has a fireplace and a gorgeous sitting area separate from the bedroom. We also visited Ngorongoro Crater, which is said to have the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa.

During the trip, Micato Safaris took care of everything. The food was fresh and delicious—many of the lodges I stayed at had their own gardens—and the staff anticipated our every need.

Cheetah lying down under tree


African women - safari
Man and horses near banquet table - African safari

What were some of the other highlights?

One of my favorite experiences was a hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti. We flew just above the treetops and saw herds of elephants, a family of giraffes and more in their natural habitat.

We had wonderful animal encounters throughout the trip. During the game drives, we were often in private reserves and were some of the only people there. We also visited the Giraffe Centre to learn about these amazing animals as well as a chimpanzee rescue and an elephant sanctuary.

Balloon ride Serengeti group of smiling travelers

Wing safari plane and travelers with luggage

How did you travel within Africa?

We went on what’s called a “wing safari” because you fly from camp to camp by small plane. Each plane holds about eight passengers, and you’re often landing on dirt landing strips in the middle of nowhere. You have to pack lightly—just one duffel bag each—but that was no problem because Micato Safaris offered laundry services at each location.


When is the best time to visit Kenya and Tanzania?

There’s really no bad time to go to Africa, but I went in November, which was an excellent time to go. The weather was great, and we saw a lot of wildlife.

What kind of traveler is a good fit for this safari trip?

This trip is excellent for families, couples, friends and more. We saw several families with school-age children on the trip.

What types of travel do you specialize in arranging for your clients?

I specialize in Africa and Europe—particularly Greece, Germany and Italy—as well as river and ocean cruises, and more. I’ve been in the business for 42 years.


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Lioness with open mouth in front of grassland