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Part of what makes travel so enjoyable is the sense that you are really discovering a place, and not just following the masses to the latest hotspot destination. As with fashion, the greatest satisfaction comes from feeling ahead of the curve, not like you’re a latecomer to a trend. Summer vacation season is in full swing, so whether you’re planning your next trip or simply looking for some wanderlust-inflected Instagram envy, here are the top up-and-coming destinations. Just make sure to visit now before all your friends find out about them.
Tourism has played an indispensable role in helping Rwanda heal after the 1994 genocide, and its capital Kigali is an astoundingly safe, clean and exciting city. Spend a couple of days visiting the markets and museums in town, but also save some time to visit Volcanoes National Park a few hours north—one of the only places left on earth where you can visit endangered mountain gorillas in their natural element. The view of the Virunga Mountains from Volcanoes Safaris’ flagship Virunga Lodge might be one of the best photo ops in the world (seriously).
By Todd Plummer
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.