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Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

NYC
1 post
1 review
Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Looking for recommendations for a high-end safari tour operator. Trying to decide between A&K or Micato. I have friends who traveled with A&K some years ago, and they loved it, but I'm wondering if anyone has been on safari with them or with Micato recently?

nyc
Level Contributor
15,087 posts
1. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Besides the fact that both A&K and Micato are very expensive, unless you request a private safari which will be at an even higher price, their standard itineraries are "group" trips. And, some of these itineraries use mid-range properties, i.e., Serena or Sopa Lodges, yet charge ridiculously high prices.

Do you want to share your safari with others, some who may or may not have your interests, be provided a tour guide which isn't really necessary (but another tip that is expected). That's not so say that some visitors prefer group rather than private safaris.

You can certainly get a private itinerary with an in-country outfitter, as Cheli & Peacock for high-end properties. In fact there are probably tour operators in your home country who can book a private itinerary using the same lux properties at their contract prices which tend to be lower than the "rack" rates C&P would charge if going with them direct.

See: www.chelipeacock.com for their specific camps throughout Kenya, though they can also book other lux property.

Why not post the itineraries from A&K and Micato you are considering, when you plan to travel (month) and we can comment.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,821 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Gamewatchers, Offbeat and Kicheche (Chameleon), will also come in more competitively, and each will offer their own camps as well as others'. The key to it all, once you've chosen accommodation (or even before) is a good driver-guide. And that's where these three, plus A&L, Micato and as 4sandi says, C&P, have bundles of credibility over most other operators. I'd also nominate Sunworld, Origins, Rekero and Ker & Downey and Southern Cross. Together these companies have more than half Kenya's silver guides.

Richard

414
VA
Level Contributor
38 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Richard,

We are just beginning to plan for our safari in August (celebrating 30th wedding anniversary). I've noticed that you've provided lots of good advice. I'm kind of confused about selecting accommodation then a driver. Although we really prefer independent organized trips, we're leaning hard d toward going with a full-blown trip. How does one go about organizing accommodations then driver?

We do appreciate any advice.

Nancy & John (US)

414
VA
Level Contributor
38 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Richard,

We are just beginning to plan for our safari in August (celebrating 30th wedding anniversary). I've noticed that you've provided lots of good advice. I'm kind of confused about selecting accommodation then a driver. Although we really prefer independent organized trips, we're leaning hard d toward going with a full-blown trip. How does one go about organizing accommodations then driver?

We do appreciate any advice.

Nancy & John (US)

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,821 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

VA

Basically you'd be organising a tailor-made trip. So you find a good vehicle and driver/guide using a reputable company that has a good vehicle fleet (eg Sunworld) and ensure you get ideally a *silver*-qualified d/g. And you get the company to book the camps and lodges that you choose. Or you could book places direct, and just use your vehicle and driver for guiding and transport from camp to camp.

Hope that makes sense.

Richard

6. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

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7. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

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New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Just wondering what you decided to do for your trip to Africa. My husband and I are also going on a 30th anniversary trip. We are trying to decide between A&K or Macato. We have been on many A&K trips and loved them. Would love to hear what you decided on.

Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
8 posts
245 reviews
9. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

A few years ago, my wife and I chose a Micato safari (East Africa -- Kenya/Tanzania) after comparing A&K and Micato literature. The primary obvious difference between the two: A&K chooses luxury lodgings before and after being in the game reserves; Micato chooses deluxe lodgings. I suspect that accounts for much of A&K's higher price.

In the reserves, lodgings are comparable (we were in the same lodge at least once), and wonderful. In talking with folks using A&K -- a fine company, by the way -- I discovered Micato does little personal things that A&K doesn't: small, locally crafted gifts waiting on the pillows at night, that sort of thing. Not major, but these thoughtful extras add up.

Group size and size of vehicles was comparable -- small enough to not feel herded like wildebeests but large enough for conviviality, an aspect of travel we enjoy. (Our core group was eight.)

I would never discourage anyone from selecting A&K. I've used them elsewhere and observed them worldwide, and they're first-rate.

But our experience with Micato was absolutely terrific in every way (as was the Africa experience itself); if you're leaning toward this approach to a safari (vs. small custom outfitter or winging it), I could not recommend Micato more enthusiastically.

Miami
Level Contributor
4 posts
199 reviews
10. Re: Africa Safaris: Abercrombie & Kent or Micato?

Just returned from a twelve day Micato Safari. I would not recommend them. The cost vs value does not add up. They are an expensive company that uses average lodges. The Pintos (family owners) must be making a mint, because services do not add up. If you are looking for an upscale experience stay away from Sopa lodges and Micato.