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The Foothills Safari Camp at Fossil Rim, Glen Rose, Texas

African Ambiance, Texas Time

The big game hunt was on. Six people, some dressed in safari clothes and carrying photographic equipment and binoculars, rode the open flatbed truck with waist-high railings. The vehicle bounced slowly over the terrain transporting passengers who had come great distances to shoot strong sleek animals. The resemblance of the setting to the mind's eye of Africa, the wonder of seeing unfamiliar species without barriers and the nonchalance with which the animals viewed the intruders seemed as exhilarating as actually being in the wild.

If that ultimate adventure, a safari on the Dark Continent, doesn't quite fit your travel plans now, the Foothills Camp in the Texas bush might just fill the bill. Feel the thrill of the first sighting of a dangerous Cape buffalo straining across a protective moat and a timid nyala hiding in the high grass. Or sense the harmony in nature as giraffes crane their mammoth necks to gently feed from the palm of your hand or cheetahs groom each other within arm's reach.

Guests who sign on for a three- or four-day safari are led on game drives, accompanied by naturalist guides, across rolling hills and African-like savannas to observe the nearly 1,000 endangered and exotic animals roaming free on 3,000 acres.

Roughing it has never been so easy. Six private luxury tents accommodate two persons and include your own bathroom and air conditioning. The Lodge, located in a secluded part of the preserve, has five comfortable rooms decorated with antiques. The reception area has a cathedral ceiling and stone fireplace, as well as large verandahs offering panoramic views of the landscape. Depending on the season, meals may be served in a glass-walled dining pavilion or on a terrace. The food is high-quality and well prepared.

The Foothills Safari Camp, Fossil Rim Wildlife Cen ter, P. O. Box 2189, Glen Rose, TX 76043. Tel. 254-897-2960, www.fossilrim.com

Spring 1994