Ah, safaris. They're the stuff of legendary trips to the far-off grasslands of Kenya or Tanzania. Where the Big 5 rule the roost and everyone wears too much khaki. But you don't have to spend thousands on a trip to Africa to go on safari. There are lots of options here in North America.
1. Safari West, Santa Rosa, California
Get a taste of Africa in the heart of California’s wine country at Safari West. Six-hundred animals, including giraffes, gazelles, and zebras inhabit the preserve. Go for the day, or spend the night in a luxury tent to get the full effect. Fun packages, like “Wine, Wheels, and Warthogs,” offer unique getaway ideas.
2. La Paz, Baja
This safari is of the under-water sort. And, sure, you can pay a fortune for an all-inclusive trip to Baja to see the famous resident whale sharks and giant pacific mantas, but the budget-oriented DIYers out there will be pleased to know that local dive shops, like Desea Adventures, offer two-tank dive packages starting at $130. Snorkeling with sea lions is an option for non-divers.
3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is without a doubt one of the world’s most precious resources for geology and ecology, not to mention recreation. Wildlife management is a hot topic in these parts, and on most tours you’ll not only get to see wolves, moose, and bison, to name a few, but you’ll get an insider’s take on the area’s most important, and often controversial, issues. Many outfitters offer trips.
4. Mexico Monarch Butterfly Trail
Mexico has much more to be proud of than spring break beaches and clichéd telenovelas. An all-inclusive trip, such as this one with G Adventures, will open your eyes to a new side of Mexico’s cities and countryside. Plus, the Monarch migration is nothing short of a miracle, as it takes several generations of butterflies to complete a single migration. The peak months for this trip are January, February, and March.
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