Safari Animals Graze Near Modern, African-Themed Abodes
A herd of zebras saunters amid grasses and shrubs, appearing as comfortable in the middle of Texas Hill Country as they would in the Serengeti Plain of Africa. A giraffe, several elands, various antelopes, ostriches, and a camel have free reign to roam and graze throughout the property of the Serengeti Resort. This exotic wildlife comes into view beyond a wall of glass in the Zafara Lodge, the central anchor of the sprawling resort.
Lodgers can rough it safari-style in a spacious tent, in which fluffy pillows and fresh linens grace two full-size beds or two queen-size beds. A large deck and outdoor fire pit wait outside. The African-style bungalow—raised off the earth—features a thatched roof, vaulted reed ceilings, and African décor, including zebra-striped couch cushions and exotic art. When guests tire of watching the HDTV or holding auditions for their spirit animal, they can meander to the large front deck, furnished with chairs, a barbecue pit, and a picnic table.
A rented golf cart enables four safari-goers to zip around the property to marvel at the elands and various antelopes as they frolic across the landscape. Four-legged creatures such as the camel and the giraffe trot past carts to gobble up animal feed directly from visitors’ palms. Back at the ranch, the African-inspired courtyard is a scenic place to cap off the day with a glass of wine as macaws and lemurs scuffle about beneath a twinkling canopy of lights.
Kendall County, Texas: German Heritage Among Lush Hill Country
Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, Kendall County is tucked into the lush Texas Hill Country and comes tinged with eclectic German heritage. After signing a treaty with local Native American tribes, German immigrants settled in the area during the 1840s and founded the town of Boerne in 1852, which thrives today as a quaint village with an artistic bent. Central European influences linger at local eateries, which dish up traditional cuisine.
Hill Country's sprawling prairies and rolling hills are rife with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Nearby, Guadalupe River State Park is bisected by the eponymous river, whose banks are lined with giant bald cypress trees. Adventurers can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the scenic waterway, or hire a local teenager to mold fake Bigfoot prints on the nature trails that wend past limestone cliffs.
Urban adventures abound in nearby San Antonio, which brims with shopping and dining along its famed River Walk. Self-guided audio tours expound on the history of the King William Historic District, a collection of 19th-century mansions built by German merchants.