My husband and I took a tour on December 26th, and it really was a very memorable Christmas holiday outing. I advance-booked in November, and right from the outset Susan was super-helpful in building a rapport and ensuring we had all the information we needed. She reassured me that booked tours run regardless of the number of participants, so there was no need to worry about cancellation or moving us to a different day to consolidate numbers. This is a big plus, I think, and is just one of the ways in which Mild to Wild Rhino tours excels in personal customer service. When they say they want you to have a really wonderful experience they really mean it.
Pickup was at the Springdale cinema foyer, where Mild 2 Wild has an office. It's very convenient for Springdale visitor accommodations, but bring your car, as you'll need to drive out to the trail point where the Rhinos will be waiting for you. These 660cc Yamaha workhorses are well maintained, heavy duty vehicles with good suspension and cage roof top for safety and comfort - not the flimsy looking open-tops some companies use. As well as seat belts you'll be offered the option of helmets and goggles, and in winter there was also the option of extra warm-weather gear.
Each vehicle seats two, and the passenger seat is suitable for anyone large enough to wear an adult seatbelt. Anyone with a full drivers' license can operate the vehicle, which is very straightforward, but full instruction is given. With 2 heavyish middle-aged adults on board, in challenging weather, our maximum speed was 29mph, but I think the Rhinos can achieve up to 40mph in the right conditions. Even 29mph feels quite exhilarating off-road and in the snow! The gradients these vehicles can tackle, both up and down hill, is amazing, and really adds to the fun.
The tour itself takes you through Anansi tribe back country that you'd probably never get to negotiate on your own. We had just one guide, as there was only the two of us, and Buddy was excellent in every respect. He has family roots in Southern Utah, and his knowledge and anecdotes really added to our experience. When tours involve larger numbers Mild to Wild uses more guides where appropriate, to ensure the party stays together and everyone gets a good experience.
Whilst this was a great and invigorating winter outing, be aware that the weather may affect visibility of panoramic views, and take Susan's advance advice about clothing and footwear. Bring a camera, binoculars and maybe an insulated safety cup with a hot drink if the weather's particularly cold. Remember that you'll need more clothing than you would if you were generating your own heat by hiking. The passenger footwell can accommodate a small daypack easily.
We would go on another of these tours in a heartbeat, and hope to visit again to see the seasonal contrasts - cactus flowers, wildlife, sunsets, etc. We'd recommend Mild to Wild Rhino tours for singles, couples of all ages, and families without tiny children. It's a wonderful way to go off the beaten track without the need to be superfit. All you need to be able to do is climb into the vehicle and enjoy the ride!
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