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The Mature Traveler

On a Family Adventure in Kenya

November 29, 1987|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 25-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks

For grandparents and grandchildren sharing a delight in animals, Grandtravel has scheduled two 1988 summer departures of its African Safari Adventure, a 15-day trip through the game reserves of Kenya.

As in all Grandtravel programs, the safari provides for grandparents and grandchildren to travel in groups of at least 20 so that each generation has other members of its peer group with whom to share activities and experiences.

Amboseli, Aberdare and Lake Nakuru national parks, and the Masai Mara National Reserve are on the itinerary. These are four major areas for viewing elephant, zebra, antelope and buffalo, prides of lions often of 20 or more, rhino families and hundreds of species of birds.

For the grandchildren, special arrangements are made at Treetops, the lodge at which the safari stays in Aberdare Park, to be awakened when leopard and bongo approach the floodlighted water hole in the early hours. At Mount Kenya Safari Club, there are horses to ride. In Nairobi, the safari visits the farmhouse home of Karen Blixen, on whose life the film "Out of Africa" was based.

Accommodations Planned

Accommodations are at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi and at game lodges in the reserves. Safaris depart July 13 and Aug. 10. Prices are $3,850 for adults, double occupancy, $3,710 for a child over 12 as third in a room, $3,435 for a child under 12 sharing a twin, and $3,085 for a child under 12 as a third in a room.

Included is round-trip air transportation between New York and Nairobi, charter flights within Kenya, all accommodations, three meals daily, transportation with a guaranteed window seat, the services of a professional naturalist escort and a Grandtravel escort throughout, taxes and service charges.

Grandtravel programs have been developed by a team of teachers, psychologists, leisure counselors and educators, giving special attention to current interests, historical sites and natural attractions.

Pre-departure counseling is available from Grandtravel to help grandparents and grandchildren understand each other's needs.

Further information, brochures and reservations can be obtained by Grandtravel, 6900 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 706, Chevy Chase, Md. 20815, phone toll-free (800) 247-7651 or (301) 986-0790.

All-inclusive 22-day Israel leisure vacations for mature travelers over 50 are being offered by A. J. S. Travel Consultants. According to Max Mermelstein, president of the wholesale firm, tour members will have front-row seats to that nation's 40th anniversary of independence, and opportunities to meet with many local and foreign celebrities during the yearlong anniversary celebrations.

Designed for those who prefer the slower pace of a vacation instead of the rigors of a conventional tour, the fully escorted Israel Leisure Vacations offer the choice of first-class or deluxe hotel accommodations with Israeli buffet breakfasts and dinners daily, escorted, leisurely paced sightseeing tours to all parts of modern and biblical Israel, the services of government-licensed guides and local hosts, social and recreational activities including a folklore evening at a Jerusalem nightclub and a multimedia show in Old Jaffa.

Optional one-week extensions at the Dead Sea spa are available.

Prices from $1,999 to $2,999 per person in double rooms, with departures available from Los Angeles now through March 2, 1988. For a brochure, see your travel agent or call A. J. S. Travel Consultants toll-free at (800) 221-5002.

A special lesson program this season is being offered to skiers 60 years and older at Northstar-at-Tahoe.

Called the Golden Stars all-day ski clinic, it is being offered Wednesdays (except holidays) throughout the season and includes lesson, lift ticket and lunch for $50 per person.

An instructor will pace the class to the people. Clinics will be available in three levels: entry, intermediate and advanced.

Additionally, Northstar offers specially priced lift tickets for seniors. Skiers 60 through 69 years of age may purchase lift tickets for $19 a day (Sunday through Friday, plus non-holidays), and 70 and over may purchase tickets for $5 a day. For more information on Northstar's Golden Stars program or senior lift tickets, call (916) 562-1010.

San Marcos Travel in North San Diego County opened its Senior Travel Department in 1978 and, through countless hours of researching, keeps tabs on all of the options available to the mature traveler by airlines, cruise lines and tour companies.

Loraine Reylek, a senior herself, is the designer of the agency's Single Seniors Program. She helps compatible travel companions get together to avoid the exorbitant single travel supplement charges for those who are traveling alone.

"The goal of this program," Reylek says, "is to have single mature travelers actually get together and talk about their likes and dislikes.

"As everyone knows, it doesn't always mean that because people share the same interests on a computer card, they will get along in a small hotel room for a long trip."

Single mature travelers are given many opportunities to get together. Meetings are held every other month at San Marcos Travel office, 940 San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos.

Specific destinations are discussed and single seniors have time to meet and get to know one another as well as learn about areas to travel to. Newsletters are sent and luncheons are also held periodically to help singles meet.

The next meeting will be Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the agency. Mexico is the destination to be discussed. Videos will be shown, free information provided and door prizes awarded.

To become involved in this free program, phone San Marcos Travel at (619) 744-8940.

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