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Travel tips:

``Gorillas in the Mist'' tours. If you caught the movie and now want to see these captivating animals up close and personal (see photo above), you can. Treks to visit the gorillas in Rwanda are being sponsored by safari operator African Classics. A five-day tour can be arranged as an extension of the regular Kenya safari or separately. The cost of the trek is $1,695 per person, in a group of six, or $1,995 per person for two. One-person treks can also be arranged. Air fare to and from Rwanda is additional. Accommodations are de luxe, but participants should be prepared for plenty of walking on safe but hilly mountain trails. For details, contact your travel agent or Classic Tours International, 625 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; telephone 800-828-8222 or from Illinois (312) 642-2400. Lower off-peak fares on Amtrak. They're in effect until May 25. Amtrak divides the United States into Western, Central, and Eastern sections for its ``All Aboard America'' tickets. To ride in one region, the fare is $149; in two regions, $199; and in three, $249. The fares apply for either one-way or round-trip excursions, and various stopovers are allowed. You have to complete your trip within a 45-day period, or by May 25, whichever comes first. For shorter distances, Amtrak is bringing back the ``One Way Plus $7'' round-trip tickets. Sleeping accommodations are also priced lower than usual, and can be purchased in combination with daytime coach travel for relatively inexpensive pampering. Call Amtrak at 800-872-7245 for more information.

Stouffer Hotels drop phone surcharges. Taking the lead in the hotel industry, Stouffer Hotels and Resorts has dropped surcharges on credit-card phone calls, collect calls, and calls to 800 numbers. According to William N. Hulett, president of Stouffer, ``There are times when revenues, even substantial ones, should take a back seat to pleasing your guests; in our judgment this is one of those times.'' Surcharges will remain on local, directory-assistance, and long-distance calls.

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Winter fun in Stockholm. From now through April 30, 1989, one can take advantage of one of several ``Stimulating Stockholm'' travel options. One of these is a week-long package including round-trip air fare from New York, six nights' hotel accommodations, full breakfast each day, and a sightseeing tour of Stockholm. Prices begin at $575 per person, double occupancy. Activities there could include learning to ice-skate or ski cross-country, riding an Icelandic horse, or aerobics. Special attractions here include antiques auctions, furs, and fine Swedish crystal. For more information, contact the Swedish Tourist Board, 655 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 949-2333.

People-to-people exchanges. If staying with a family or studying abroad interests you, you might want to try a subscription to Transitions Abroad. This magazine, issued five times a year for $15, tells about exchanges overseas. For example, the November issue gives a country-by-country description of educational programs for travelers of all ages. If you subscribe, you receive a complimentary 56-page ``Guide to Living Overseas.'' Write Transitions Abroad, Dept. P, 18 Hulst Rd., Amherst, MA 01004. The guide is sold separately for $5, plus $1.95 postage and handling. Telephone: (413) 256-0373.

Improved travel to French West Indies. Air France has announced daily winter-season flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Martinique and Guadeloupe. The flight makes stops in St. Martin Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. These flights are in addition to the older American Eagle evening flights and scheduled flights with other carriers from US ``gateway'' cities. For information about French West Indies vacations, contact a local travel agent or the French West Indies Tourist Board, 610 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10020; telephone (212) 757-1125.

Short Caribbean cruises. A new ship, the Crown Del Mar, has begun a program of two- and five-night cruises from Palm Beach to the Bahamas and the western Caribbean. The 486-passenger ship, owned by Crown Cruise Line, sails with a crew of 195 every Friday at 5 p.m. to Nassau and on Sunday at 5 p.m. to Key West, then Canc'un and Cozumel, on Mexico's Gulf coast. The ship offers a complete range of facilities and activities. Air/sea packages, available from 73 ``gateway'' cities, range from $344 to $685 for the two-day cruises and from $640 to $1,395 in season; all prices are per person, double occupancy. For bookings, contact your local travel agent.

London's off-season 50/50 program. To beat the high costs this year in London, you might want to look into this program. It features rooms in 50 London hotels at $50 or less per night. Each room has a private bathroom, and costs include breakfast. All are close to the city's tourist attractions and the underground and bus systems. A minimum stay of two consecutive nights is required, and stays must be booked seven nights in advance. Additional discounts are available for stays of five nights or longer. The offer, valid through Mar. 31, 1989, can be booked by writing British Travel Associates, PO Box 299, Elkton, VA 22827, or by calling 800-327-6097 or, from Virginia, (703) 289-6514.

America's 12 best golf courses. Golf magazine has done its first-ever rating of courses. In alphabetical order, the choices are Amelia Island Plantation on Amelia Island, Fla.; The Boulders, Carefree, Ariz.; the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs; the Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Fla.; the Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.; Kapalua Bay Hotel and Villas, Maui, Hawaii; Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Kohala Coast, Hawaii; The Lodge at Pebble Beach in Pebble Beach, Calif.; Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms, S.C.; and Williamsburg Inn/Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va.


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