Phil Frost is going on a safari and wants others to join him.
This will be the Baton Rouge Zoo director’s fifth trip to Africa, and the third Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo-sponsored journey to that country. Having visited Kenya on past trips, this fall’s 10-day tour heads to Tanzania, Africa’s 13th largest country.
“When a person thinks of Africa, whether they know it or not, Tanzania is often the image that comes to mind — from the vastness of the Serengeti and its endless roster of wildlife, to the splendor of Mount Kilimanjaro,” Frost said. “No matter what aspect of the trip ends up being your personal draw, this safari will be full of once-in-a-lifetime memories.”
Kaki Heiligenthal, the zoo’s director of marketing and development, said travelers can expect upscale accommodations, starting with the first stop, the Lake Duluti Serena Hotel. Located on a coffee plantation, the guest cottages offer views of the lake and Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
The next day, the group heads to Lake Manyara National Park, known for being home to more than 350 species of birds. This will be followed by three days at Serengeti National Park, where wildebeest and zebras roam. It’s also the optimum spot for glimpsing gazelles, hippos, lions, leopards and cheetahs. Then it’s on to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where an extinct volcano’s crater is home to black-maned lions, black rhinos, flamingos and other waterfowl. The second day there, the group takes a ride down to the floor of the crater.
In addition to the main itinerary, those on the tour can book extra excursions: a two-day pre-trip Kilimanjaro hike, or a balloon ride in the Serengeti. Additional fees apply.
About 20 slots are open for the trip, which costs roughly $6,285 including the airfare. Deadline for the $750 per person deposit is Aug. 11.
Those registering after that date will need to pay the full price upfront.
For more information, go to www.brzoo.org/tanzania or call (800) 627-1244.
Fest guide times two
Festival International de Louisiane and local publication IND Monthly got together this year to produce the Official 2015 Pocket Guide to the Lafayette festival.
The 56-page guide includes everything from the schedule of performers to parking and shuttle information. A digital version of the pocket guide is also available on the ind.com and festivalinternational.org sites. The printed version of the Pocket Guide was inserted in the April 1 issue of IND Monthly and will also be available at information kiosks on the festival grounds.
Festival International runs April 22-26 in downtown Lafayette.
Museum shows murals
Clementine Hunter’s nine African House murals, other large-scale works by the well-known Louisiana artist, as well as artifacts from her life are on display at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, 800 Front St., Natchitoches.
Hunter, one of the most important self-taught American artists of the 20th century, produced thousands of paintings drawn from her experiences working and living on Melrose Plantation in the Cane River region.
Best known for her smaller paintings, Hunter created the African House murals in 1955. Working primarily at night and with remarkable speed, Hunter completed the murals between June 8 and July 21.
The murals, on loan from the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, decorated the walls of one of Melrose Plantation’s outbuildings, the historic African House, which dates to the 1820s, until the murals were removed for restoration last year. The house is scheduled to undergo renovations soon, presenting a unique opportunity to stage the exhibition in the museum.
Besides the restored African House murals, the exhibition includes unrestored murals from Melrose’s Yucca House and Ghana House. Significant paint loss on the Ghana House mural reveals Hunter’s pencil lines, offering a view of her creative process.
Private collectors have also contributed large-scale works and artifacts to the exhibition, including a whiskey jar with Hunter’s paint brushes, her palette and a program from her funeral.
Hunter began painting in the late 1930s, with leftover brushes and oils from New Orleans artist Alberta Kinsey, a frequent Melrose visitor. Once Hunter started painting, she never stopped, working until just a few days before her death on New Year’s Day 1988.
The museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. “The Murals of Clementine Hunter” runs through April 30, 2016.
Teche now part of trail
Bayou Teche has become the first Louisiana waterway on the National Water Trails System.
The designation will increase recreational tourism on the Teche, a 135-mile river than runs through 15 communities and four parishes in the southwestern part of the state, according to a news release from the non-profit Teche Project organization.
The National Water Trails System is a network of “exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained,” the release said.