10 Amazing Educational Travel Adventures


Zoos are for Wusses

African elephants (males) sparring at the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya
African elephants (males) sparring at the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya
James Warwick/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The classic travel adventure is the African Safari. Nowadays, however, you'll want to come back with a head stuffed full of facts about African wildlife, not a stuffed African wildlife head. Nature preserves in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia offer safaris that allow you to view wildlife in the company of expert trackers and guides. Some guides will also take you to villages still practicing traditional culture in the area for a little cultural safari.

To jack up the educational factor of your trip, you can go on safari with a U.S. institution. Many colleges and universities organize educational safaris through their alumni associations, and the Smithsonian has a safari program that includes the company of renowned zoologists. Safari trips can be rustic or luxurious and many are suitable for children. In addition to seeing wildlife, you can see natural wonders like Mount Kilimanjaro and Victoria Falls. If sleeping where lions roam isn't adventure enough for you, you can bungee jump off the 300-foot (91.4-meter) Victoria Falls or go white-water rafting. Just watch out for hippos.

Author's Note: 10 Amazing Educational Travel Adventures

The hardest part of writing this article was choosing sites and adventures to include. I tried to give a mix of natural, cultural and historical sites, while also getting a decent mix of education and adventure on the list. Getting that blend proved challenging. To my knowledge, no one is offering Shakespeare symposiums on class V rapids. The research I did for this article proves one thing: With educational adventure trips you'll get what you put in. A knowledgeable guide and access to experts may cost you more than going it alone, but you'll get much more out of the experience. My advice? Don't just stick to this list of educational adventures. There are so many possibilities. Check out UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites and begin a list of your own.

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  • Alaska Travel Industry Association. "Adventure and Ecotour Activities." (June 13, 2012) http://www.travelalaska.com/Things%20To%20Do/Adventure/Adventure%20Experience.aspx
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