Top New Trips for 2012: Micato: Southern Africa Without Wheels: Safari by Camel, Horse and Elephant
Traveling without motors, blend into the wild wonders of Southern Africa on the adventure of a lifetime with Micato Safaris.
Micato: Southern Africa Without Wheels: Safari by Camel, Horse and Elephant
On this extraordinary tour, travelers will explore southern Africa outside the confines of a safari vehicle. Riding on camel-, horse- and elephant-back, travelers will get up close and personal with nature and enjoy a degree of activity and adventure simply not found on traditional tours. On this tour guests won’t just observe wildlife — they’ll become a part of the natural world, experiencing sights and sounds that can only be witnessed when one blends into the landscape using non-motorized forms of transportation. Guests will trek through sun-painted stretches of Namibian desert on camelback, glide through Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta waterways by canoe, take nature walks to observe white rhinos in their natural habitat, ride on horseback along the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls, hot air balloon high above the South African bush, and much, much more.
Also, as is true of all Micato itineraries, for each safari sold Micato will send one African child to school through its One for One Programme—a revolutionary commitment to the future of Africa.
Here is the full itinerary:
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa: Today you will arrive in Cape Town where you are met and escorted to the Westcliff Hotel for the evening.
Day 2: Windhoek, Namibia: After breakfast, board your flight to Windhoek, Namibia. On arrival, you are driven to Camel Camp, where we enjoy a two-hour camel ride and lunch through this vast desert landscape. Some people say, “You haven’t really been where you haven’t been on your own two feet” – and they are right. Without the sound of an engine, and the smell of diesel, exploring on foot is the ultimate way to experience the desert. The camels will carry our picnic lunch, as well as water, and other items to make our picnic special. You will have an unforgettable experience riding or walking alongside the reliable camels in this vast unspoiled landscape. Late this afternoon you’ll transfer to Windhoek for the night.
Days 3-4: Sossusvlei, Namibia: Today we wing to Sossusvlei for a two-night stay. Early morning guided excursions to the spectacular towering dunes of Sossusvlei are through a private gate into the reserve. Sossusvlei is situated within the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world, which itself is part of the Namib Naukluft National Park that stretches 400km south of Walvis Bay and is sandwiched between the west coast and the escarpment that runs parallel more than 100km inland. Its huge red dunes and flat valley floors make up the archetypical view of the Namib that is world famous.
Guided drives and walks are also offered on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve with incredible views, desert-adapted wildlife and plants. A balloon safari offers a unique experience, soaring silently above the desert before landing for a champagne breakfast.
Days 5-7: Okavango Delta, Botswana: On to Windhoek by air, connecting to Maun where you’ll be transferred to Abu Camp. Abu is unique in that it allows guests to interact with the resident elephant herd, meeting each of them as individuals and learning to understand the complex behavior of the largest land mammal on Earth. Guests are invited to become part of the elephant herd during their stay and may watch them being fed in the evenings, enjoy the frolics of the babies and accompany them on foot as they move through the bush. These elephant encounters provide magical moments and being with them allows a closer approach to other animals than can be achieved when simply observing from a vehicle as an obvious human figure.
Abu also offers morning and afternoon game drives, night drives and nature walks to view the abundance of fauna and flora in the area. During the seasonal floods, guests are invited to take to the waters in the mokoros, the traditional poled craft used in the Delta.
Days 8-9: Livingstone, Zambia: Fly to Livingstone, the site of the glorious Victoria Falls, where you’ll have two days of optional “wheels-free” sightseeing activities. Choose from horseback riding along the upper Zambezi; a game walk in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park with excellent opportunities to photograph white rhino; or canoeing upon the Upper Zambezi.
Days 10-12: Thornybush Game Reserve: Next you’ll fly to Mpumalanga and drive to Camp Jabulani, where they have resident elephants for riding. Here you’ll have three blissful days of game viewing on foot or by elephantback. Horseback riding is offered at a nearby ranch, and you can even end your amazing adventure with another hot air balloon safari high above the African bush!
Day 13: Depart: Today you’ll return to Johannesburg and depart, already dreaming of the day you’ll return to this remarkable land.
Per person rates for this extraordinary 13-day journey, based on a group of four, are $24,500. Departures are available daily.
For more information about this trip, call Micato at 1-800-MICATO1; for general information about Micato and its other trips, visit the Micato web site.