African safari for a family of five

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 26-March 4, 1998
Family vacations for high-energy boys
Exciting honeymoons on a tight budget
Driving cross-country for $25 a day
African safari for a family of five
Outfitting a one-year trip to Japan

African safari for a family of five
Question: We're looking for an adventure trip for our family with kids ages 6, 8, and 10 in the month of July or August. We're considering anything nature-related, full of wildlife, and with a combination of comfort and rugged accommodations. Anything that won't bore the kids will be fantastic.

Jessica Rosenberg
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

A pride of lions take center stage
on an exotic African game safari

Adventure Adviser: You live in the Virgin Islands, so it's obvious your kids are pretty used to eye-pleasing surroundings. If price is no object, I have quite a few suggestions.

How about Abercrombie & Kent's Grand Family Tour to Australia? You'll spend 15 days on the continent zigzagging your way from Sydney to the Outback, then northeast to Queensland and the Whitsunday Islands.

The trip includes a cruise on the Daintree River and a stop at Ayers Rock, as well as visits to aquariums and zoos where you'll get your fill of koalas, platypus, and other indigenous Australian animals. The tour runs July 11-25 and August 8-22 and costs $4,190 per adult, and $1,700 to $3,760 per kid. Call A&K at 800-323-7308 for more details.

For an all-out African game safari, try the Born Free Safaris and Tours "Hakuna Matata" family safari. The 16-day trip will take you to the Ngorongoro crater to view the resident rhinos, lions, and gazelles. From there, you'll head to Lake Manyara Park where you'll find hippos, flamingoes, and a few ostriches, antelopes, and monkeys thrown in for good measure.

Though you'll be roughing it by safari standards, the most rugged accommodations are "deluxe tented camps," which are a far cry from your average two-man pup tent. The price for the trip is $4,025 for adults and $2,475 for kids. The trip is offered July 9-24 and August 6-21. Call Born Free at 800-472-3274.

A bit, but not much, more domestic is Natural Habitat Adventures's eight-day exploration of Alaska's Denali National Park and the Kenai Peninsula. This trip focuses heavily on wildlife sightings and will have you rafting, yachting, biking, flying, hiking, and driving through Alaska's immense national parks in search of sea otters, puffins, whales, moose, caribou, brown bears, and eagles.

You'll try to get a wink of shut-eye in cushy inns and lodges along the way, but the nearly 24 hours of sunlight may prompt you to stay up all night. The trip is offered July 26-August 2 and costs $2,995 for adults, $2,495 for kids age 12 and under. Call Natural Habitat Adventures at 800-543-8917 for details.

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