Micato Stanley Wing costs

Jun 7th, 2008, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Eben, it would help if you'd just clarify who and what Micato in Tanzania is... tour operator or safari outfitter. Reading between your lines, they are the former and not the latter, despite their name on the vehicles. I know that some of the East African outfitters will put the tour company's name on their vehicles, if requested. I think that Africa Adventure Company does that. OAT doesn't, though. The vehicles still say "Kibo." So who is the actual outfitter for Micato? Is it one outfitter, or do they contract out the work to several companies?
ShayTay is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354

If you want to believe everything people tell you while on safari then you are most welcome.

But be please be careful when publishing and repeating things without doing some research.

Please take a look at this picture:


Does the vehicle look familiar?

Painted sign on the door? I do not think so.

About the guide....do you really want to know? Then post his full name and I will find out for you.

Please contact Micato and post their Arusha address here.

Shaytay, I think OAT does things the right way. No trickery with door logos and such. They use Kibo (a great outfitter) and the world knows it. My link answers your Micato question! In addition they also use cars/guides from a few other outfitters. Sunny Adventures must be a new addition but I have not seen this (yet).
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Yes, I can see from your pictures that you could be right, but it STILL doesn't make me an idiot for believing what I have been told, nor does it 'unjustify' my posting what I have been told. The sign on the Micato door is not a sticker, so obviously if they are leased vehicles, they are long-term leases. I used to lease a vehicle, I still thought of it as mine while I paid that lease.

As I have said a few times, it makes NO difference to me whether it is their vehicles & drivers or not, as long as they are guarenteeing that they are in top notch shape and the drivers are really good (and they are), nor does it really matter to me whether they 'own' them or not. As I said in my other post, the three points that I know 100% are good enough for me. I was just repeating what I had been told, and I mentioned that same point in my posts. Maybe it's more economically feasible to be in the safari guiding business and not the mechanical repair business, who knows?

I don't see that any wrong has been done by me believing this, or posting what I have heard, nor that Micato is doing it 'wrong' and OAT is doing it 'right'. There's alot of information in this world I am not privy to, and it doesn't bother me not knowing (like who really owns the airplanes that my son flies every day, or the bus that I ride on every day, as long as they are maintained properly I'm good with whoever)

No need to post Steven's last name, as I can see Steven in the picture at the bottom of your link. I will conceed to you, and will stop posting any information on the vehicles & TZ guides/drivers as you request. And I sincerely apologize to you for posting that they had their own drivers & vehicles.

So let's just leave it at this and get back on our merry way to having a good time reading and learning (in my case) from all of the posts here.

Wait - one last thing though - I would like to sincerely ask why does it matter so much to you and other people where I spend my money? Why do so many people give me grief about it? I remember when I first posted in 2005 that I was going on a Micato safari, that both you and Rocco seriously questioned why I would do such a thing. Micato may be more expensive than others, but they employ - either directly or indirectly (see above ) many, many local people in East Africa with top notch jobs. If I am paying for one or two too many people being employed then so be it, it's good for the economy there. It is a locally owned company, just like yours and hundreds of others I could choose from.

And, rest assured, if someday I have time to plan, or see a specific need to do so, (ie a group of 6 of us going or something) I will consider your company amongst all of the others mentioned on this board for a private safari.
LyndaS is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 428
Eben - you said your buttons were pushed - and when that is the trigger for your response, you can be very intimidating. I know, having once been on the receiving end. You clearly have so much experience and information to share, but if you are going to treat us like idiots our instinct is to miss - or dismiss - what you have to tell us.
Lynda, I agree with your conclusions and attitude 100% - please know you are much appreciated.
Jess215 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Lynda~agree with Jess. How you spend your money is not our business. You've had 2 very successful Micato safaris (and another one in the wings) and why wouldn't you promote them? If you were happy, and obviously you were, than I don't see anything wrong in your conclusions or expressing your opinions on the company. We're not all experts, but we do know what we like and want out of an African safari and you've found what is perfect for you.

I enjoy your posts and your thoughts as I do Eben's, and hope this doesn't sour you on posting.

matnikstym is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
I've been very consistent with this issue.

I do not care how people spend their money or why they choose a particular company.

But this is a public forum where no posts are sacred and inaccuracies are quickly corrected.

The regulars here are quick to jump on posts they disagree with. Please allow me to do the same.

When buying a vehicle an educated consumer is the best client. On safari it is no different.

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354

I am unsure about how to respond to you.

As you know I make only a few posts per month - restricted to specific questions about lodges and parks. I very rarely comment on itineraries and almost never on trip reports.

It is not my aim to belittle anything or anyone. My posts should speak for themselves. Short, to the point and factual. My English is bad and my writings are worse.

When I do post I want the reader to know that my info is accurate - based on first-hand experience, not hearsay.

I do not understand how you can be intimidated by the truth?

The Stanley Wing posts reached a point where folks were trying to justify the high costs and blant itinerary with things that are not true.

There is no need to continue do this. We all know the tour is popular and well-run as it should be. Weekly departures visiting the same lodges in the same order on the same days are rather easy to accomplish.

Custom itineraries are a different manner and let's give some credit to the outfitters who tackle this challenge with equal success.

Despite the inaccuries of the Micato posts I had no interest in this thread but when my name came up I had to respond.

Now we know the truth which should be enough to put this one to bed.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 428
Hey Eben
I appreciate your responding to me. If someone - anyone, - not just you -says that another has stated something that's an "untruth" - the subtext - intended or not -- is "you are either a liar or stupid." And if that comes from someone - you, for instance, - who is apt to really KNOW something, the recipient might well be intimidated, angry and defensive. So we end up having a debate instead of a conversation.
One idea might be to check in with someone who knows us well (husband, wife, whomever...) before we push the POST button - just to make sure
we are not pushing other people's buttons also! Or count to ten or whatever it takes....
Jess215 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Eben, I agree, enough said, let's shake hands & put this to rest, your picture of the car didn't convince me, as a guy three doors down from us drives the same car as us - but seeing Stephen in the picture at the bottom sure did the trick!

Thanks for the kind words, Jess, Dennis and Jessica, I appreciate it!

Dennis, it will take a whole lot worse for me and my tiny stapler to stop posting and slink away, but thanks ever so much for the thought! I go by the philosophy that you should learn something new every day, and that is good - even if someone has to hit you over the head with it to get it through, it's still good to learn at least one thing new every day. Yesterday I learned three new things, so it was a bonuis day! None of which, I can say for certain will change my life. Also, it was probably my turn to get in trouble on this board yesterday.

I harbour no ill thoughts to either the person from Micato, or Eben. I just look at it that Eben has way more depth of knowledge than I will ever have on the who's who in the safari business and of course the safari business in general. And for this, I respect him & his viewpoint.

For the person who told me that from Micato, well, hey maybe for all I know he does indeed 'think' he works for Micato, as he follows their guidelines and rules when he is in that shirt maybe, I don't know, and it doesn't matter. Could be anything. No one in the family, or in the office in New York ever told me this, as I never asked them, I asked a driver in the field. I think no less of that person, or Micato for knowing now, as everything that they state in their brochure that they will deliver to me in their product has been held up - 110% - and that's all I care about. And whether or not they do this week after week, or customize their trips for everyone also makes no difference to me, it still takes a good solid company with good solid people & management to deliver a 110% product. Economies of scale is NOT a bad thing in any business. And after going twice with them, I feel I can qualify to post that as a truth, and will continue to say this whenever asked.

Someday, as I say, we may do a private safari if circumstances are such that we deem it better to do so. And then I will also qualify to have an opinion on a private safari, and to compare the two.

For now though I have to get back to the books to earn money for next year's safari! (and also to get on the Latin America board to post my Peru report and the US board to post my Alaska report!)
LyndaS is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 04:01 PM
Posts: n/a
Welcome post Lynda. Many women here look up to you and your reports are fun. You like Micato but not everyone has to. It is nice that you understand that it is a public forum. Eben's post explain my thoughts.

Bgrsdee please come back!!
Jun 9th, 2008, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Thank you Lynda and Jess. We had a good debate and I appreciate how it ended.

Friends we are!

Now this thread can R.I.P.

I am on my way to the Serengeti to chase the migration!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354

Just one last thing.

I have always respected your passion to embrace the local guides and people you met while in Tanzania in particuliar.

For years now I wanted to contact you in private to share some notes about your guides (I know them through my friends here in Arusha).

But I did not know how to tell you or how to approach the issue!

Please consider contacting Steven's company direct and request him and his car for your next Tanzania safari!

And now I must go pack my bags for the Serengeti!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Hi Eben-

I'd love to hear from you, please email me at lyndadswain at telus dot net

Not a day goes by when I don't think of someone we met in Kenya or Tanzania, they are more than memories, they are life.
LyndaS is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 08:08 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Unfortunately I was not online over the weekend so I did not see that my reviving this thread had opened (or reopened) a can of worms. I donít like it when threads turn unnecessarily argumentative and I, too, took some of the comments to Lynda's and my previous post personally. Please bear with me as I would also like to bring this thread to an end on friendly terms.

When my MIL first suggested taking us on an African safari back in 2005, just after DH and I moved to Germany, I was naturally thrilled, but a bit wary, as my MIL is not exactly a world traveler and does not have the best track record when it comes to planning trips. DH and I are not the type of people who take packaged tours (I cringe at the very sight of tour buses and up until this point had never been on an organized tour of any kind in my life). We take pride in researching and planning our own trips, carefully selecting hotels and restaurants, and traveling independently (usually in a rental car) on our own schedule.

It was thus difficult for me to set all that aside and let my MIL choose a safari operator. When her travel agent suggested Micato, I was very cautious and carefully researched the company. The awards and accolades spoke volumes, of course, and the only criticism I could find on this board or anywhere else was that they were expensive.

Well, sometimes in life you get lucky and cost isn't the first priority. In this case, having an extremely well-organized, comfortable, safe, and exhilarating safari were our top priorities. My in-laws are nearing their 70s and this was likely the one and only trip to Africa they would ever take. Needless to say, they didnít want to take any chances. I should also point out that they are extremely thrifty people and are usually the ones pinching pennies, whereas DH and I like to splurge now and then.

With all that said, let me briefly review our experience with Micato. Did everything go smoothly, with not a single hitch except a couple of acts of God (heavy rains, faulty hot air balloon vent) that we couldn't control? Yes. Were our Micato guides and drivers as knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and helpful as we could possibly have hoped for? Yes. Did we have pleasant accommodations, high quality meals, and comfortable, well-maintained vehicles throughout the trip? Yes. Did we get our fill of wildlife and extraordinary landscapes, and have amazing interactions with the local people? Yes. Where there surprise extras supplied by Micato that simply put the icing on the cake? Yes. Is Micato a family-run, local operation run by wonderful people who are deeply involved in humanitarian efforts in Africa? Yes.

Did we have the trip of a lifetime? A resounding yes. Was it worth the price? Absolutely.

Could one say all of these things about other safari operators and other tours? Of course. A Micato tour is certainly not for everyone. That doesnít change the fact that Micato is a first-rate operation, and I would travel with them again in the blink of an eye. I would also happily consider other companies, and certainly take advantage of the excellent advice from the many experts on this forum, if my desired itinerary or budget could not be met by Micato.

I will now return to working on my safari book and reliving my experience for the umpteenth time. Unlike Lynda, who I am exceedingly jealous of, I will not be getting back to Africa any time soon!
hausfrau is offline  
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