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African Splendor
from $20,600 pp

  • Duration: 16 days
  • Countries: Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania
African Splendor

We’re not sure why, but great journeys often involve great contrasts. African Splendour is a case in point. On the full 17-day safari (the first 6 days in Southern Africa are optional), we range through 34 degrees of latitude and four countries, but, most engagingly and contrastingly, we experience the diverse excitements of Cape Town’s urban pizzazz, the watery colossus of Victoria Falls, and the wondrous game lands of the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem, where the wandering rains compel the planet’s most momentous movement of big, interesting mammals. (And then there’s the Ngorongoro Crater, which really can’t be contrasted with any other place, because there really isn’t any other place remotely like it, at least on our home planet.)

Those with a little less time can begin the safari on Day 8 in Nairobi before heading off to the quite engagingly contrasty Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, and the Maasai Mara, high on the list of Africa’s supreme splendours.

Safari Highlights
  • A magnificent and varietal passage through fabled East and Southern African landmarks: buzzing and beautiful Cape Town, epic Victoria Falls, and the legendary game reserves of East Africa.
  • A sterling collection of carefully curated hotels, camps and lodges, including the One&Only in Cape Town, Anantara’s newest hotel in Zambia, the stunning Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, and Sir Richard Branson’s personal camp in Kenya.
  • A rich variety of experiences: wine tasting in the gorgeous Cape Winelands, exploring the wondrous Cape Point Nature Reserve on the continent’s southern tip; land and air views of stupendous Victoria Falls; eventful game drives and walks in the heart of East Africa’s big game country.
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Additional Information

Itinerary DAY 1 En Route

En route to Southern Africa for optional 17-day safari; otherwise, begin on Day 7 in Nairobi.

DAYS 2 TO 4 Wonders and beauties of Cape Town and environs

After a late afternoon or early evening arrival in South Africa’s second-largest and most scenic and snazzy city, we’ll settle into Cape Town’s grande dame hotel, the pink, very pretty, much-loved Mount Nelson.

Nelly, as it’s affectionately known, lies in the centre of City Bowl, the rocky natural amphitheatre that embraces old Cape Town. During our two full days we’ll make an excursion to the area’s famed Cape Winelands, lunching at an estate and strolling through one of the Winelands’ charming villages (whose names highlight their Dutch heritage: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek). We’ll visit Cape Point Nature Reserve and, a little farther south, the Cape of Good Hope. And we’ll take the Aerial Cableway to the top of 3,500-foot Table Mountain, centre stage of Cape Town’s amazing amphitheatre. And we’ll visit and perhaps lend a hand at beloved Rosie’s Kitchen, where Cape Town’s less fortunate find friendship and lovingly prepared meals.

DAYS 5 & 6 Titanic Victoria Falls and the Royal Livingstone

A lovely flight northward delivers us to Victoria Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders,” not the highest or the widest but the world’s grandest and most booming waterfall, a large lakesworth of water flinging itself 360 feet straight down every minute of every day, right before our delighted eyes.

We have a couple of days to appreciate the Falls’ subtly shifting moods. We’ll cruise on the Zambezi River, watching elephants and giraffes enjoying their own sundowners, we’ll helicopter over the Falls on the Flight of Angels, and we’ll wander from one misty vantage point to another, returning for sustenance and leisure to our magnificent Royal Livingstone Hotel in Livingstone, Zambia, named for the almost mythic explorer David Livingstone.

DAY 7 Nairobi and the serene Hemingway’s hostelry

We fly northeast from Zambia and Victoria Falls to Nairobi and Hemingways, a quietly ravishing haven for lovers of old-style pananche mixed with modern amenities and great cuisine, wonderfully set in the lush suburb of Karen.

DAYS 8 TO 10 Lake Manyara and the epic Ngorongoro Crater

After visiting the nearby Karen Blixen Museum and the playful giants of the Giraffe Centre, we take a typically beautiful flight from Nairobi to Lake Manyara (to which we’ll be formally introduced in a couple of days), followed by a pleasant drive to The Manor at Ngorongoro, a marvelous 10-cottage, 20-suite retreat set within a 1500-acre Arabica coffee estate adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Those of us who began African Splendour in South Africa will recognize the Manor’s elegant Cape Dutch style; those who haven’t will simply be charmed. Our three nights at the Manor are a rare idyl.

We’ll enjoy a restful afternoon (or a very active one; the Manor offers horse backing, mountain biking, swimming in the Manor’s pool, and estate walks, among other enjoyments), before a classic high tea and dinner in the private dining room or wine cellar.

And the next day we visit one of the earth’s natural masterpieces. We’ve got a lot of affection for Ngorongoro. Here’s the essence of the crater’s tremendous charisma: 25,000 or so large and very viewable mammals—from apex predators to galumphing hippos—inhabit the crater’s 100-square-mile floor, and zigzagging up the old volcano’s forested wall to its rim, and gazing for the first or fifth time at the lush lands and their inhabitants in the crater below, is a great moment in any traveller’s life.

We’ll descend to the crater and excitedly roam from morning to afternoon, stopping at mid-day for a charmingly luxurious bush lunch, before heading back to a serene evening at the Manor.

Now we encounter Lake Manyara. Africa is blessed with epic lakes (Tanganyika is the world’s second deepest; all the Rift Lakes are gigantic stunners), but many, including Ernest Hemingway, consider the smaller gem of Lake Manyara—with its diamond-white alkali rim, its million or so coral-coloured flamingos, and the deep sapphire waters at its centre—the loveliest of all. After a relaxed (or active) morning at the Manor, we’ll embark on a fine afternoon of game viewing around the lake (many tree-climbing lions frequent Manyara’s Africa-embodying scrublands, mahogany forests, and bird-thronged marshlands). And after cocktails and canapés in the bush, we head back to the Manor for a final night before venturing to another masterpiece, the Serengeti.

DAYS 11 & 12 A lightening of spirit in the storied Serengeti

We feel much the same way about the Serengeti as we do about Ngorongoro, and if you’d like to read some praiseful prose about it, flip back to pretty much the same text we referenced above.

We’ll make far-ranging game drives in the Serengeti based from the stunningly deluxe Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, elevated above the great plain, giving us vast, endlessly stimulating views.

DAYS 13 TO 15 Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri in the Maasai Mara

Leaving the Serengeti, we fly via Arusha and Nairobi to the Maasai Mara, the northern, more verdant section of the single most salubrious wildlife habitat on this or any known planet, the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem.

Game drives in the Mara are especially fruitful. And our Mara headquarters, auspiciously set in one of the Mara’s prime migration pathways, is a jewel: Sir Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri, whose innovatively designed, yet very African tents resemble the tents of our youth like a Gulfstream G650 resembles a Piper Cub,” as we said a while back. Mzuri is auspiciously set next to one in one the Mara’s prime migration pathways.

DAYS 16 & 17 Return to Nairobi for flights home

After flying back to Nairobi, we’ll visit the Micato-AmericaShare Harambee Centre in the afternoon, relax in a day room at Hemingways or the equally refreshing Boma Nairobi, have a quiet dinner, and head out to Jomo Kenyatta Airport for our late evening flights home, where we arrive, tired but exalted, on Day 17 of this mightily splendid safari.

Departure Dates
Start: January 1, 2018
End: April 30, 2018
Price: $24,900 pp
Days: 16 | Land Only

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Start: May 1, 2018
End: May 31, 2018
Price: $20,600 pp
Days: 16 | Land Only

Get a Quote
Start: June 1, 2018
End: December 14, 2018
Price: $24,900 pp
Days: 16 | Land Only

Get a Quote
Start: December 15, 2018
End: December 31, 2018
Price: $26,000 pp
Days: 16 | Land Only

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Offer Terms & Conditions

1. Accommodations
First-class hotel accommodations based on twin-bedded rooms with private
bath or showers—the categories assigned to hotels reflect the opinion of
Micato Safaris.

2. Meals
Three meals daily per the itinerary, based on evening arrivals on Day 2.

3. Air Transportation
Your travel agent should arrange international flights or Micato can refer you to
its preferred purveyor of air tickets. Internal African flights on safari must be
purchased through Micato.

4. Luggage
Tour rates include the transport and handling of two pieces of luggage per per-
son per airline regulations. Guests are urged, however, to travel with only one
medium-size suitcase. On certain flights within Africa, strict luggage restrictions
apply; details are provided in tour documentation. Luggage and personal effects
are at owner's risk throughout the tour.

5. Taxes
The tour program includes hotel taxes as imposed by city and state govern-
ments, entrance fees to National Parks and Game Reserves, and airport taxes for
intra-country flights. International airport taxes are not included.

~ Please Note: If a minimum number of travellers is not reached, Micato
may provide local guides in each location in place of a Micato tour or
safari director. Extensions are locally guided. ~

Not Included in Quoted Tour Rates:
Cost of obtaining passports, visas, 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 U.S. dollars or
acceptable foreign currencies), and deviations from the tour.

General Disclaimer

Product Code: ppo-micatosafaris-457022

General Disclaimer

All pricing and offers for accommodations and other non-air travel are per person, based on double occupancy, capacity controlled and subject to availability and change without notice. Pricing does not include taxes, fees, fuel surcharges, gratuities, resort fees, or airfare unless otherwise noted and is valid on new bookings only.

Prices, fees, and other restrictions are subject to supplier policies. All offers, including but not limited to, bonus amenities, upgrades, prices, and group benefits are based on select dates, resorts, room categories, and/or fare codes. Specialty pricing may require proper identification. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates, and other restrictions may apply.

When traveling outside the United States a valid passport is required. It is the sole responsibility of the passenger to have the proper documentation and identification required by the United States and other governments at the time of travel. When passports are required, it must be valid for a minimum of six months past your date of return.

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Under certain circumstances the package price may be subject to supplemental price increases imposed by the supplier. Price increases include, but are not limited to fuel surcharges, taxes or fluctuations in foreign exchange markets that may be imposed after the date of purchase.

Air-inclusive prices do not include government imposed taxes and fees, including but not limited to a September 11th Security Fee, U.S. or international government imposed taxes and fees, Federal Excise Fees, among others. Some carriers charge additional fees for checked bags, fuel surchage, meals, etc. Please check the carriers website for details. Air-inclusive pricing is based on select departure cities. Prices from other cities may vary.

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Airfare, taxes, surcharges, gratuities, transfers, port charges and excursions are additional unless otherwise indicated. Fuel surcharges, government taxes, other surcharges, deposit, payment and cancellation terms/conditions are subject to change without notice. Baggage fees are not included in your trip cost, you should re-verify with the airline directly or on their website prior to your departure for current details on allowable luggage pieces, fees, size and weight limitations since they vary from airline to airline. See link to research baggage fees and information: http://www.iflybags.com. Rates quoted are per person, land only, based on adult double occupancy unless otherwise stated. Discounts, products, vendors, rates, terms, conditions, availability and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Cruise rates are capacity controlled. Certain restrictions may apply. AAA members must make advance reservations through AAA Travel to obtain Member Benefits and savings. Member Benefits may vary based on departure date. Be advised that any and all costs associated with air reservations made outside of these packages will not be refunded by AAA or the tour operator in the event of an unforeseen change and/or cancellation by you and/or the tour operator. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Rates are accurate at the time of printing and are subject to availability and change. AAA Northeast acts only as an agent for the various tour and/or cruise providers listed and is not responsible for the actions or inactions of such providers. AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care are applicable to AAA members only. If you book a qualifying AAA Vacations® cruise or tour package and find a valid better rate for the exact itinerary within 24 hours of your booking, AAA will match the lower rate and send you a $50 AAA Vacations® future travel credit certificate. Certain restrictions apply. Visit AAA.com/AAAVacations for full details.