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Tours & Cruises

Archeology, Ancient Art in South Africa

September 15, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two tours to South Africa, Jan. 1 to 19 and July 21 to Aug. 8, focus on archeological sites. Participants will visit paleontological excavations (dinosaurs and ancient human ancestors), bushman art sites and examine valuable fossils. Participants will also see Zulu and Boer War historic sites and take a cable car ride to Table Mountain, above Cape Town. Tours include game viewing and photographic opportunities among the animals in Kruger National Park, famous for its diversity of animal life. Excursions are made to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls and to visit Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone ruins in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sacramento archeologist David Abrams and art historian Diane Kelly will escort the trip organized by Past Times Archeological Tours.

Cost: $5,485 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles via New York to Johannesburg and all in-country transportation by air and minivan, most meals, entrance fees and lectures by South African scholars.

Contact: Past Times Archeological Tours, 800 Larch Lane, Sacramento, CA 95864-5042; telephone (916) 485-8140.

Czech Holiday

Spend this Christmas in Prague in the Czech Republic on a guided seven-night tour, scheduled from Dec. 19 to 27.

Participants will visit quaint and colorful markets filled with handmade crafts and see the ubiquitous carp-filled tubs lining the cobblestone streets. They will also take a motor-coach tour and a walking tour of the city to visit churches, museums and historical sites in the Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle and Lesser Town. Additional seasonal activities on the itinerary include: classical holiday concerts, a Christmas midnight Mass and a traditional Czech Christmas Eve dinner. The group is limited to 20 participants.

Cost: $1,600 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations at a centrally located hotel, coach transportation, all scheduled entrance fees, two meals daily, transfers and porterage. Air fare is not included.

Contact: Corliss Tours, 436 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia, CA 91016; tel. (800) 456-5717.

Egyptian History

Sporades Tours and Professor Dick Caldwell of USC are offering two two-week tours to Egypt--Oct. 18 and Oct. 31. Guests will stay at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan (Agatha Christie's watering hole), see Abu Simbel, take a five-day Nile cruise, and spend two days at Luxor, two days in Cairo and two days in Alexandria.

Cost: $1,690 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, most meals, ground transportation, cruise boats and sightseeing. Air fare is extra. Contact: Sporades Tours, 13101 Laurinda Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705; tel. (800) 695-7176.

Ancient Guatemala

Fun and Fantasy Tours is offering an escorted tour to Guatemala, Nov. 9 to 17. Participants will see the monumental cities of the ancient Maya, the Spanish Colonial heritage of the 15th century and the Guatemala Indians. Sites visited include the lost Mayan city of Tikal; Lake Atitlan; the colonial jewel of Antigua; and Chichicastenango, known for its colorful Indian markets. Throughout the country there is an endless array of finely made handicrafts, textiles and pottery.

Cost: $1,849 per person, double occupancy air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, all sightseeing, guides and some meals. Contact: Frank Tysen, Fun and Fantasy Tours, 15012 Del Gado Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403; tel. (818) 501-4100.

Real Rio

The Los Angeles Music Center is hosting a cruise to Brazil that is scheduled from Dec. 31 to Jan. 21. Guests start by ringing in the new year in Florida for four days at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Then participants board the Silver Cloud for Rio with stops at the British Virgin Islands, Barbados and French Guiana before sailing to Recife, Salavador, Bahai and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Optional extensions are available to Iguacu Falls and Buenos Aires.

Cost: $8,330 until Oct. 4 or $9,175 after Oct. 4, per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, cruise, all meals and a donation of 20% of the fare to the Music Center Unified Fund. Contact: Music Center Goes to Rio; tel. (213) 202-2241.

Just Sicily

The smell of citrus and honey will be in the air as travelers visit Sicily, Italy, during the holiday season, Dec. 22 to Jan. 1. Sicilian Christmas celebrations are centered around such culinary traditions as fish prepared with lemons and oranges, traditional cookies and honey cakes. Limited to 24 participants, this tour spends four nights in Palermo, with sightseeing in that historic city, plus excursions to the Golden Basilica at Monreale, the seaside town of Cefalu, the Greek temple at Segesta and the medieval village of Erice.

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