Explorations in Haute Cuisine

On safari in the early 20th century, Teddy Roosevelt ate, among other delicacies, elephant-trunk soup and giraffe heart. Though the exact cuisine has certainly changed since then (for one thing, there's no more dining on endangered species), elegant meals of exotic game are still safari standards. Today other types of adventure journeys have adapted the model, too, so one no longer eats canned and powdered foods when trekking through challenging terrain. Instead, as with the following excursions, it's local meat, freshly picked produce, and a gourmet chef's designer touch.

Abercrombie & Kent: Canal du Midi Voyage

A seven-day charter through France’s Languedoc aboard the six-passenger Roi Soleil barge, stopping for wine tastings and tours of Roman ruins
Next Departure Charters through September 2008
Cost $34,900 per character
800-554-7016; abercrombiekent.com

Ambiance

Passengers dine alfresco on the decks of the Roi Soleil, visiting picturesque rural towns, hilltop villages, and vineyards, and passing through historic places such as the ancient Roman city of Narbonne and the fortified medieval hilltop city of Carcassonne.

Menu

Starter Scallop-and-chicory tartlets with orange-and-basil fumet
Entrée Lamb stuffed with Lubéron Valley baby vegetables
Cheese Baked St.-Marcelin
Dessert Strawberry soufflé with roasted almond ice cream
Wine Domaine de la Jeanne Cuvée Pistral 1998; Château Mont-Redon 1995

Absolute Travel: Cape Town and Singita Safari

A seven-day South African journey starting with tours of Cape Town’s wine lands and wrapping up with four days of game drives and bush walks; accommodations at Singita Boulders Lodge in the Singita Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Next departure Year-round
Cost $8,400
800-736-8187; absolutetravel.com

Ambiance

After an afternoon game drive and an early-evening cocktail, guests arrive at an airstrip that’s been turned into a dining area, with lanterns, a fire, and an outdoor kitchen. Lions and elephants often lie about or pass by. The meal comes as a surprise to guests, who think they’re returning to the lodge.

Menu

Starter French onion soup with a Gorgonzola samosa
Entrée Quail on pancetta and lentil ragout with brandy cream; beef fillet with Rösti potatoes, foie gras wontons
Dessert Panna cotta with strawberries and balsamic reduction
Wine Courses paired with different wines, such as the South African Bouchard Finlayson “Galpin Peak” Pinot Noir 2002

Butterfield & Robinson: Iceland Walking

A seven-day Jeep-supported trek through the western hills of Iceland along the Snæfellsnes coast, with stops to climb volcanoes and soak in geothermal pools
Next departure June 17, 2009
Cost From $8,500

Ambiance

The remote Hotel Budir in Snæfellsbæ overlooks the sea and mountain peaks beyond. The candlelit dining room welcomes guests after a hike down Sólheimajökull.
866-551-9090; butterfield.com

Menu

Starter Beef carpaccio with mango-and-papaya salsa
Entrée Grilled rack of lamb and lamb shanks, braised parsnips, and portobello confit
Dessert Coconut-and-pistachio panna cotta with anise and saffron
Wine Château de Fuissé Pouilly-Fuissé “Les Combettes” 2004

Micato Safaris: Hemingway Wing Safari

A 14-day safari through Kenya and Tanzania, visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and more
Next departure September 16, 2008
Cost From $10,210
800-642-2861; micato.com

Ambiance

In the vicinity of the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, the Bush Banquet Under the Stars is served at lantern-lit tables along the banks of the Mara River. Masai warriors in full regalia lend a hand as servers.

Menu

Starter Wild Kilifi oysters, fresh from the Indian Ocean; ostrich carpaccio with black truffle oil
Entrée Saddle of gazelle with cauliflower tabbouleh and harissa
Cheese Kalloumi, Bleu-de-Brun
Dessert Crêpes flambés with Kenya Gold coffee liqueur

Oars: Rogue River Wilderness Gourmet

A four-day trip, with three to five hours a day spent on Oregon’s Class III Rogue River in a paddle raft, an oar raft, or a one- or two-person kayak
Next departure September 18, 2008
Cost $1,250
800-346-6277; oars.com

Ambiance

On a private stretch of beach along the Rogue, guests spy ospreys, river otters, and the occasional eagle or black bear while award-winning chef Bob Anderson (formerly of Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel) prepares dinner.

Menu

Starter Black Mission figs stuffed with Point Reyes blue cheese and wrapped in bacon; salmon and trout; artisanal California cheeses
Entrée Salad of locally grown greens; filet mignon with a Jack Daniels-and-shallot sauce
Dessert Fresh-berry ice cream