Micato Stanley Wing costs

May 9th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #1  
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Micato Stanley Wing costs

A year ago I read two wonderful Micato trip reports here on Fodors. We wanted to book the Stanley Wing for late this year but their prices were astronomical and we decide to postpone. Our travel agent did not give up and still sends us Micato brochures and updates!

Then in December my husband received an invitation to attend a flight controller conference in Arusha this past March! His air was paid for and afterwards I joined him on safari arranged by the conference staff. We had a local guide and shared the car with two colleagues from the conference.

Before dinner at Sopa Ngorongoro we saw a large group out on the terrace. They were all wearing green hats and matching safari outfits in “vintage Micato style” according to our guide! We almost spent our life savings on a Micato safari and there I was having serious doubts about large groups with dress codes!

The next day we saw the group piling into green cars hired from Sunny Adventures in Arusha but with white Micato signage on the doors! Our guide said Micato Safaris have no vehicles in Tanzania and the guides and tour directors tell clients they work for Micato but they are actually employed by Sunny Adventures and other local companies!

Apparently the group came from Sopa Tarangire and was heading to Sopa Serengeti. Our guide did not understand why they picked those lodges because the migration was near Ndutu and Tarangire was wet with tall grasses. This turned out to be tru as we saw large groups of wildebeests and many cats at Ndutu but not a single Micato car!

I asked our guide why Micato charge $1000 per person a day but he just shook his head and did not know.

After reading the reports on Fodors we nearly paid $26000 for a 13-day Micato Stanley Wing safari, but I saw them pack 6 people in cars hired from a local company, they use Sopa lodges which in my opinion are similar to Comfort Inns with views and dinner buffets and they do not adjust their itineraries for different wildlife seasons.

Our travel agent explains all drinks and lodge tips are included and they have the best guides and service in the industry but we only spent about $20 a day on tips and drinks and Micato has no guides and vehicles in Tanzania!

How can anyone justify the $1000 per person a day costs for a Micato Stanley Wing safari?
bgrsdee is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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I don't have to justify it to you.

Maybe I won a lottery, maybe I inherited a large parcel of money, or maybe, just maybe I work 7 days a week to earn money for vacations that I want to take, not what you want me to take.

I do have to tell you though we did not dress alike, and had no such dress codes. That's not very observant of you. Look closer next time, don't just assume & then ridiclue.

And, not that it makes ANY difference at all, but as I have posted before when Eben stated that Micato uses other companies vehicles, Micato does indeed have their own vehicles and staff members in Tanzania. I'd have to look up the exact numbers, but as I recall it was 16 vehicles and about 30 staff members out in the field - plus office support and maintenace support staff for the vehicles.

Instead of just posting negative playground 'nah nah nah nah' stuff, why don't you do something useful and write us a detailed trip report on your trip? That way others on this forum, choosing companies to use, can benefit from your wonderful experience.


-Lynda
(Micato 2006/007 and next year too)
(and probably the author of the reports you read)
LyndaS is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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And next year too, Lynda? What have you been keeping from us?
atravelynn is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Lynn - this is the year that we are planning to take our son & his friend (it was to be his girlfriend but they more or less broke up, so his friend volunteered to go with us instead).

I guess like anything in life it's not for sure yet, but I am going to try my level best to make it happen! With huge changes coming to my client base in the summer (two of the big companies I did books for have been sold to huge corporations and I will loose them as clients once they are moved), but I will just have to look harder for new clients then, as I always
'Hold on tight to my dreams'.

And Africa & the animals there has always been, and will continue to be, no matter how many times I go, my dream.
LyndaS is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Lynda!
matnikstym is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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My fingers are crossed for you too, Lynda. And thank you for your measured reply to the OP - you certainly spoke for me as well but much better than I ever could have done.
Dress codes -- LOL!
Jess
Jess215 is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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You are going to travel with the girlfriend?! And I was impressed with that "measured reply" to the dress code. That's really open minded of you. I do remember the beginnings of a trip with your son.
atravelynn is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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All I can say is "AMEN" Lynda. I always find it interesting that people love to ridicule and question things they have not experienced. Yes, Micato is expensive, but no one knows the extras and attention to detail they provide unless one has traveled with Micato. I personally don't think you win the Conde Nast Number 1 spot by providing a dress code! As someone that has done a Micato tour as well as a custom designed safari, there are times and places for both and I would not trade either! I agree with Lynda, do a trip report about yor experience instead of trashing others fantastic experiences that you know nothing about!
aowens is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments.

Lynn, our son is the one we will be travelling with, when him and his girlfriend broke up, his best-friend-from-grade-one-on-up stepped up to the plate and said - hey, I'll go with you guys! So, us & the two boys - sounds cool to me! Look out Esat Africa though! (and this time just may be the time for me to consider a private safari so that the two guys don't drive everyone else in the group crazy! )

Everytime our son calls and tells me he meets a girl, first thing I ask is
'Has she always wanted to go to Africa' and 'can she get three weeks off next May?'
LyndaS is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Lynda,

Is the best friend the one who showed up at 6:00AM instead of PM to take you to the airport for your first safari?! You better keep close tabs on him.
Marija is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
aowens is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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ohmigosh, Marija, you are right - he is the one & the same! I'd forgotten about that!
LyndaS is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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Has any one noticed that the OP hasn't returned to reply to their only post on Fodors?
sandi is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Sandi-
I hadn't noticed, but once you mentioned it, I of course clicked on the OPs screen name.

So, (1) about a year ago the OP read two wonderful reports on Micato, and based solely on those reports almost spent $26,000; but
(2) the OP did not post even a single question on any of those threads!

Now, if you believe that, I have some swamp land I want to sell you!

The OP probably had no intention of coming back to the thread, or has read the comments and chosen (wisely) not to comment.

LyndaS,
I agree with the others...what a composed and well-reasoned response. This OP did not deserve your good nature.

Aowens,
I haven't traveled with Micato, but as you mentioned, I don't believe they are #1 on Travel and Leisure's "top safari operators" list for nothing. And they've held that spot for not one, but five, years.


TO THE OP/BGRSDEE- I'd love to say exactly what I think about your post, but I'd probably be banned from this site. Unlike you, I find the information here extremely beneficial. If you don't, I'd suggest that you go somewhere else.
Dana_M is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Whoa, baby! Where the heck did bgrsdee come from? What a flame job!

Lynda, GOOD JOB on your response. I would have had to wait several days to calm down before responding in the way you did.

I, too, think it verrry interesting that the OP has never returned.

-doo
doohickey is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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OK, it's been a few weeks but I just found this thread and I had to respond, since my 2007 Stanley Wing report may very well have been one of those referred to by the OP. My safari is also very fresh in my mind these days because I am in the process of turning my report and photos into a self-published book using Blurb.

Hi Lynda! Glad to see your response. I of course feel the same, as you well know. Since the OP hasn't bothered to return, I'm not going to waste my breath on a lengthy response about why I think Micato is great, or why they keep getting top awards, but I wanted to make a few comments for the sake of other readers.

Dress codes??? Give me a break! Not a single person on our tour bought a safari outfit (Micato does offer you this opportunity if you so desire), but I wore my very practical green Micato hat with pride EVERY day.

I'd just like to see someone accuse Renny and Joel, our INCREDIBLE Tanzanian guide and driver, of not working for Micato!

As I recall, we may have traveled in non-Micato vehicles en route to one or more of the parks. I distinctly remember the Micato vehicles waiting for us at the entrance to Tarangire. Throughout our entire trip, we had the best (well-maintained and comfortable) safari vehicles of ALL the tour operators we encountered.

Micato is a large operation and perhaps the only disadvantage about them is that their itineraries are less flexible than smaller outfits. Yes, this means that sometimes they may not be in the ideal location at the ideal time for the best wildlife viewing. That's just part of the business. If you don't like it, choose someone else. For me, the landscapes and people were just as important as the wildlife, and we saw plenty of all three!

While I can see the allure of a private tour, we absolutely loved our group (12 total; I think Micato limits their size to 18 and will take a group as small as 2) and enjoyed sharing the cameraderie and adventure with our fellow travelers.

In the end - to each his own, but is it really necessary to make a nasty post about something you know nothing about?

And golly, what was it about those "two wonderful Micato trip reports" that convinced the OP to want to take a Micato tour in the first place?
hausfrau is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 11:43 AM
  #17  
storegal
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Some of you have too much time on your hands. Give the OP a break!
 
Jun 6th, 2008, 10:16 PM
  #18  
 
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OK, my buttons have finally been pushed.

I have no interest in Micato Wing traveling show with its weekly departures.

But I have a problem with spreading untrue information and reading that LyndaS "corrected" me in another thread.

Here is my challenge to LyndaS and Hausfrau.

I am currently in Tanzania. Please post the address of the Micato office and vehicle facility here in Tanzania and I will go visit them immediately.

If it exist then I will report back here and the matter is closed. If you cannot do this within a few days, then please stop spreading these untruths about 16 new vehicles and guides in Tanzania. Every Micato vehicle I have seen since they stopped using basic minivans here (just a few years ago) belongs to someone else. As for the guides? Hmmm.

So the Micato cars were the "BEST" you saw? This is an insult to all the outfitters who take great care in designing and maintaining top safari vehicles.

As for the itinerary? I do not have the time to educate the two of you here. In any rate, I do not think you are willing to learn.

As for the costs? People should pay what they feel comfortable with. If you want to drop $1000 a person per day for a standard chain hotel safari then fine. But it also shows a lack of research on your behalf and a lack of education about the places you are visiting. Do not be taken aback when others question your decisions.

So please accept my challenge and let me know where to go find those 16 vehicles and guides and I will report back immediately.

To the OP, please ignore the aggressive responses and come back with more of what you saw and experienced.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Eben-

Ouch.

I think this was a really nasty response to me and I don't think I deserved that.

I ALWAYS research, in DETAIL all of my trips, regardless of how we go or with who. And I am NOT an uneducated idiot just because I choose, at this time in my life, not wanting to spend the time getting quotes, booking, going back and forth on which camps, lodges, parks, itinerary, worrying about being bumped from accomodations & starting all over, etc. It just means I work 80 hrs a week.

I am not sure I want to respond to your challenge, or anything else for that matter today, as this all REALLY hurt. I did not 'correct' you, I posted the information twice as to what I have been told. If you tell me you have an office & vehicles in Arusha, I will believe you, and I will not write to the gov't, or the tourist association, to enquire if you REALLY do. Or in the case of Micato, the family that owns it.

And, what does it really matter in the overall picture? Nothing.

For 100% for sure, I KNOW three things-
The driver and the vehicle in TZ were top notch,
The vehicle was IDENTICAL in every way to one in Kenya,
And 'Micato Safaris' was painted on the door, it wasn't a sticker. That's all I need.

But please don't insinuate I am stupid for 'wasting' my money.
LyndaS is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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LyndaS is offline  

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