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Tours & Cruises

Fawning Over Flora in South Africa

May 25, 1997|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gardens of South Africa, an American Horticultural Society tour, is timed to catch the wildflower season's peak in the Southern Hemisphere spring. The Aug. 24 to Sept. 4 trek covers Cape Province wineries, private gardens, open fields and a flower show. Fauna-viewing near Kruger National Park provides a break from the flora, then it's back to the gardens in the Johannesburg area.

Cost: $4,630 per person, double-occupancy, including a horticulture professor-guide, lodgings at two hotels and a game lodge, some meals, transfers, tour buses and admission fees. Air fare is extra. Contact: Leonard Haertter Travel Co.; telephone (800) 942-6666.

More Africa

Follow in the footsteps of other Africa fans such as Karen Blixen ("Out of Africa,") Ernest Hemingway and the Leakey family on a trip Aug. 1 to 15 to Tanzania. Participants visit the Ngorongoro Crater and explore the semidesert bush country of Kenya's northern district, home of the Sambura nomads. On the Masai Mara, guests will watch the annual migration of wildebeests across the Serengeti.

Guests will spend five days in a luxury tent camp on the banks of the Mara River.

Cost: $4,990 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, two internal flights in Kenya, accommodations, most meals, sightseeing and game viewing in Land Rovers with English-speaking guides. Contact: Frank Tyson, Fun and Fantasy Tours; tel. (818) 501-4100.

Guadalajara, Mexico

Study art, dance, language and culture on a four-week trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, June 25 to July 24, hosted by El Camino College in Torrance.

Cost: $1,600 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, home stays with local families, some meals, entrance fees to scheduled activities and sightseeing excursions. Contact: El Camino College Study Abroad Office; tel. (310) 660-3824.

Fitness, Italian Style

Visit Italy's Lake District Sept. 13 to 23 on a fitness tour. The itinerary begins in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and moves on to Lake Como, Lake Garda, Padua in Italy. Optional activities include hiking, mountain biking, tennis, swimming, windsurfing, sailing and fitness classes.

All meals will be prepared with low-fat ingredients, and hotels have been chosen for their proximity to recreational facilities.

Also planned is a day trip across Lake Como by ferry to Bellagio for lunch, exploring or shopping. Guests will also visit Padua and Venice, Italy. This tour has two certified personal trainers and a sports masseuse.

Cost: $4,800 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, transfers, meals, fitness training and massage. Contact: Deborah Jarvis, Creative Travel Unlimited; tel. (800) 231-3596.

Italy, Again

The regions of Umbria, Abruzzi, Puglia and Campania will be traversed during an excursion to Italy Oct. 2 to 16. After a three-night stay each in Rome and Florence, with side trips to Orvieto, Siena, Lucca and Pisa, the tour will head south. The group will skirt the Gran Sasso region into Puglia for a two-night stay along the Adriatic Sea at one of the hotels in Fasano. After traveling through a portion of Basilicata and the region of Campania, guests visit the Amalfi coastline to see Positano, Pompeii and Caserta. After a two-night stay in Positano overlooking the Mediterranean, the tour heads back to Rome for the return trip.

Cost: $3,100 per person, including air fare from L.A., hotels, meals and sightseeing. Contact: Teresa Arieta of Burns Travel; tel. (714) 830-0351.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's giant, tribal Highlands Show will be featured in fully escorted tours beginning Aug. 4 and Aug. 15. Each 14-day excursion includes the highlights of the country: a cruise on the Sepik River as well as visits to Karaware, Madang, Port Moresby and Tari in the Southern Highlands.

Cost: $4,950 per person, double occupancy, including all land arrangements and most meals. Domestic and international air fares are extra. Contact: Victoria Travel, 11 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101; tel. (800) 211-9226 or (805) 962-0077.

Cool Alaska

Alaska Wilderness Journeys Worldwide Adventures is offering a nine-night expedition to the Arctic National Park and Preserve. At 19 million acres, this northeast Alaskan wildlife refuge is the largest in the nation. The combination hiking-paddling adventure includes day hiking on open tundra beneath dramatic peaks and paddling the glacier-fed Sheenjek River in small one- and two-person inflatable canoes. No experience is necessary.

From the base camp, participants may spot caribou, moose, bear and wolf and spectacular displays of the Northern Lights. The trip departs from Fairbanks Aug. 23.

Cost: $2,495 per person, including all transfers from Fairbanks, guides, group expedition equipment and meals. Air fare to Alaska is not included. Contact: Alaska Wilderness Journeys Worldwide Adventures; tel. (800) 349-0064.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with travel agents or tour operators.

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