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From A to Zebra: A Sonoma Serengeti Safari With Your Grandchild

Program No. 15605RJ
Spot African animals like giraffes and zebras from an authentic safari jeep and camp in tents on a wildlife preserve in the “Sonoma Serengeti” with your grandchild.

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At a Glance

Go “wild” on an adventure with your grandchild at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Serengeti of East Africa as you jump into a real safari jeep to search for spotted cheetahs sunbathing on a hill and neon pink flamingos wading through shallow pools of water. Trek through the inner grounds to look for giraffes towering over the grasslands and grazing gazelles. Become an expert on an animal as you put together a research project to present to your new friends. Experience the sights and sounds of the Serengeti as you learn with your grandchild about some of nature’s most majestic animals!
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile, some uneven gravel terrain with slight incline to and from tent cabins and meal areas. Flashlights provided at night. Must be able to climb a few steps into a safari jeep and tent cabins.

What You'll Learn

  • Enjoy a truly immersive African experience by staying overnight in tents imported from Africa with views of grazing giraffes!
  • Get up close with a private presentation of mammals and other fun reptiles of all shapes and sizes.
  • Move to the rhythm and beat of African music during a private dance lesson.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Campfire
Santa Rosa, California
Safari West

Activity note: Check-in from 3:00 p.m. at the front office. Remember to bring your name tag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. After you have your tent assignment from the front office, join us at the Road Scholar table in the Elephant Room (next to the Savannah Café restaurant) to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived Orientation: 4:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Local experts will give lectures and lead field trips. We’ll get around primarily by walking with one activity by jeep. As a special feature of this program, each kid will choose an animal for a study project to learn everything we can about that animal and give a report about it on Day 3. During the upcoming jeep safari drive and animal observation time, we will have opportunities to ask questions about our chosen animals. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the Elephant Room.

Evening: We’ll gather for a campfire chat at the fire pit (weather permitting). Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Jeep Drive, Conservation Project, Bird Presentation, Dancing
Santa Rosa, California
Safari West

Activity note: Getting in/out of a jeep; driving about 2.5 miles with numerous stops, approximately 3 hours. Walking up to a mile.

Breakfast: In the Elephant Room.

Morning: We’ll answer the call of the wild and board our open-air jeep for a safari drive through parts of the Safari West Wildlife Preserve that covers 400-acres of oak-studded hillsides and Sonoma County grasslands. Safari West has two big goals: preserving and propagating endangered species and promoting conservation by raising awareness of these animals through education. Led by an experienced wildlife expert, we’ll explore natural habitats of this “Sonoma Serengeti” that’s the closest we can come to Africa without going there. Amid the 400-acre wilderness, there are more than 900 animals representing 90 different species. They roam across some of the largest enclosures in the country. We’ll observe animals from antelope to Cape buffalo, gazelle, giraffe, rhinoceros, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, and more.

Lunch: In the Elephant Room.

Afternoon: Following lunch we’ll be joined by a Safari West staff member to learn all about bees and the hard work they do. How do bees make honey? How do they communicate? Why are they so important to human life? We’ll learn the answers to these questions and more in the Elephant Room. Next, we’ll organize into grandparent-grandchild teams and engage in animal observation. Each team will spend time in the wildlife preserve with our experts for field observation of our chosen animals. We will walk about a block in our family groups with zoo-keepers. Questions are encouraged! We’ll meet up in the Elephant Room where someone from Sonoma County Bird Rescue will come to teach us all about the local wild birds in the area. We’ll learn about the impact humans have on the environment and the birds who share it. We’ll have a chance to observe some birds as well!

Dinner: In the Elephant Room.

Evening: Get ready to get up and get active after dinner as we’re joined by friends who will teach us some African Dance moves. The fun drumbeats are sure to get us out of chairs and moving!

Animal & Bug Presentations, Bushwalk, Animal Projects
Santa Rosa, California
Safari West

Activity note: Walking about 2 blocks; uneven gravel roadway, slight inclines. Elective walk 1/4 mile; dirt road.

Breakfast: In the Elephant Room.

Morning: We’ll start our morning in the Elephant Room with a Safari West staff member to enjoy an exciting animal presentation. The staff will have animal friends with them and we’ll get to learn fun and interesting facts about each one. Then we’ll head out on a “bushwalk” with Safari West staff. We’ll walk through the grounds with enclosures for many other animals, including cheetah, lemurs, and colorful birds in the open-air aviary. Kids will have opportunities to ask the animal keepers about their selected animal for tomorrow’s presentation.

Lunch: In the Elephant Room.

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll be joined by an expert for an up-close look at some of the unique insect inhabitants of the Sonoma Serengeti. Then we’ll compete in a Safari West themed scavenger hunt. Can you find the answers to all the scavenger hunt questions? Then we’ll take some time to put the finishing touches on our animal presentations. We’ll gather in the Elephant Room where everyone will have a chance to share about their chosen animal.

Dinner: In the Elephant Room. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather in the Elephant Room for movie night. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Wrap-up, Program Concludes
Santa Rosa, California

Activity note: Check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the Elephant Room.

Morning: We’ll have a wrap-up session with our Group Leader and say farewells. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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