Safari specialist adds family options, new tours

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. -- Family safaris, new itineraries to South Africa and shorter tours for people with limited time and budgets were added to the product line at United Touring Co., an Africa specialist here that entered the safari market more than 50 years ago.

The company guarantees all departures when full payment is confirmed, and rates are per person, double, and inclusive of roundtrip economy air from New York.

Prices for all trips include airport transfers in Africa, expert local guides and game viewing in custom-designed safari vehicles with roof hatches for easy photography.

For families

The 11-night Kenya Family Safari includes game drives in Samburu National Reserve and Masai Mara Reserve; a night drive in a private game sanctuary, and a boat trip on Lake Naivasha that features two nights in a tented camp and a visit to a chimpanzee sanctuary.

The program is priced from $4,295 for adults, $2,045 for children ages 7 to 11 and $2,945 for those ages 12 to 18.

The South Africa Family Safari begins in Johannesburg, where kids can learn about tribal cultures at the Lesedi Cultural Center.

The safari continues to Sun City, where families can visit a water-sports complex.

Game viewing is at Kruger National Park.

Lions are among the many species of wildlife that can be viewed while on safari with United Touring Co. The group then visits Ratanga Junction Theme Park in Cape Town, where youngsters and adults can ride the Table Mountain funicular to the mountaintop.

Rates for the 11-night program begin at $3,995 for adults; $2,195 for kids ages 7 to 11. (There is no discount for 12- to 18-year-olds on this program.) Departures are on Saturdays.

The 12-night Tanzania Family Safari features game viewing at Arusha National Park at Kilimanjaro; Tarangire National Park; the Serengeti; the Ngo-rongoro Crater and Conservation area, and Lake Manyara National Park.

Families will have the opportunity to experience Tanzania by camel, on foot and via Safari Cruiser.

Prices begin at $4,695 for adults, $2,445 for kids ages 7 to 11 and $4,295 for those ages 12 to 18. Departures are on Mondays, and a Zanzibar extension is available.

South Africa

United Touring is offering two new South Africa safaris this year.

The 13-night South Africa Royale makes the journey from Johannesburg to Sun City, followed by a flight to Sabi Sabi for two days at a private game reserve.

An overnight trip aboard the Rovos Rail brings clients to the Mkhaya Reserve in Swaziland, where guests can participate in game drives in open vehicles, and have dinner in the bush.

The itinerary covers a night in the port of Durban and three nights in Cape Town before the flight home.

The program is priced from $6,695.

The second safari, called In the Footsteps of Livingstone, focuses on the regions in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe visited by David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer.

The itinerary includes Johannesburg; a sunset cruise and two days exploring Victoria Falls; game drives and two nights in Chobe National Park; a game-viewing trek via four-by-four vehicle or boat through Okavango Delta, and four nights in Cape Town.

The 14-night package starts at $6,895.

Shorter trips

United Touring designed several new shorter itineraries for travelers with limited vacation time.

The trips address the trend to shorter vacations but are designed to ensure travelers still experience the highlights of Kenya and Tanzania, the firm said.

Rates for a nine-night, air-inclusive safari from New York start at $2,495 per person, double.

"Many travelers believe that a safari is an extravagant, once-in-a-lifetime trip," said Jeannie Rodgers, president of United Touring.

"Many of our clients want to enjoy a safari but aren't able to spend three weeks out of the office. These trips are planned to maximize a shorter visit."

For more information, contact the company at (800) 223-6486; fax (610) 617-3300, or e-mail [email protected].

The firm's Web site, at www.unitedtouring.com, offers full details of each itinerary.

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