Cheetahs, Giraffes and Zebras: A Safari in California With Your Grandchild
See giraffes and zebras up close from an authentic safari jeep and learn from naturalists as you immerse yourself in an “East Africa” adventure in the heart of California wine country.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 15605RJ
4 days
Starts at
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4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
Getting There
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Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Animal Study
Santa Rosa, CA
Safari West

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your tent assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the Elephant Room, next to the Savannah Café restaurant, to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule reflecting any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. 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. 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. This is a Road Scholar intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised.

Dinner: In the Elephant Room, we will enjoy a buffet offering choices including appetizers, salads, barbeque meats, side dishes, and desserts, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Especially for Kids: Each grandchild will pull the name of an animal from a hat 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 a chance to ask questions about our chosen animals, and then, to close out the evening, we’ll have a marshmallow roast!

Jeep Safari Drive, Crafts, Animal Observation, Game Night
Santa Rosa, CA
Safari West

Activity note: Safari jeep ride approximately 3 hours. Minimal climbing and walking.

Breakfast: In the safari restaurant, we can choose from a breakfast buffet, including bagels with cream cheese and jam, hot and cold cereal, yogurt, and fruit. Beverages such as hot chocolate, milk, juice, coffee, tea and water will be provided.

Morning: Answer the call of the wild! We’ll board our open-air jeep for a safari drive through parts of the 400-acre Safari West Wildlife Preserve, accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (one of only six in the USA). Safari West has two big goals: the preservation and propagation of 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” and observe animals from antelope to Cape Buffalo, gazelle, giraffe, rhinoceros, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, and more. Then we’ll walk through the grounds with enclosures for many other animals, including a cheetah (or two!), lemurs and colorful birds in the open-air aviary. Especially for Kids: Grandkids will have opportunities to ask the animal keepers about their selected animal for tomorrow’s presentation.

Lunch: In the Elephant Room, we’ll enjoy a buffet including salads, deli sandwiches, and side dishes, plus hot cocoa, coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: In the Elephant Room, we’ll organize into grandparent/ grandchild teams to begin our craft projects. After we’re done with these projects, we’ll gather for an up-close look at the unique reptiles of Safari West. We can even touch some of them if we’re feeling brave! Then, each grandparent/grandchild team will spend time in the wildlife preserve with our experts for a field observation of our chosen animals. Questions are encouraged! We’ll all return to the Elephant Room for a wildlife movie before dinner.

Dinner: Elephant Room buffet dinner.

Evening: Game night! We'll play cards and board games with new friends.

Presentation, Scavenger Hunt, Keeper Chat, African Dance
Santa Rosa, CA
Safari West

Activity note: Walking about 2 blocks on uneven gravel roadway with slight inclines. Flashlights provided at night. Optional 1/4 mile walk on dirt road.

Breakfast: Restaurant buffet breakfast.

Morning: Safari West staff will join us for a special animal presentation in the Elephant Room. Especially for Kids: Later in the morning, we’ll set off on a scavenger hunt to learn more fun things about the animals at Safari West. Then we head back to the Elephant Room to finish up any final touches on our animal presentation before presenting what we have learned to the group.

Lunch: Elephant Room buffet lunch.

Afternoon: We will be joined by some of the keeper staff and will head off for more animal observations. The keepers will share how the animals are kept happy with appropriate food and habitat. Especially for Kids: Next we get to split into two teams for an Animal Enrichment Project. We will work together to create a special treat for one of the animals. When we are finished, we will get to present our creation to the animals to enjoy. Later, we’ll gather in the Elephant Room for a wildlife movie before dinner.

Dinner: Elephant Room buffet dinner.

Evening: Especially for Kids: Staff will lead an African dance lesson that’s guaranteed to get us all out of our seats and moving.

Wrap-Up, Program Concludes
Santa Rosa, CA

Activity note: Hotel Check-out is by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Restaurant buffet breakfast.

Morning: Our Group Leader will lead a wrap-up presentation where we’ll have a chance to share our favorite experiences and say goodbye to new Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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