Travel isn’t just a one-way ticket to self-improvement; it can also change lives on the other side. Here are our picks for 2018 adventures that will make an impact—both for the traveler and destination.
“New year, new me.” We’ve heard it all before. And, like you, we know our resolutions will last a microsecond before they’re flung out the window. So instead of focusing on how you can better yourself (chances are, you’re all right anyway) consider the ways you can help improve the world instead—and have an adventure.
From helping rebuild hurricane-battered Caribbean islands to sustainable husky sledding sojourns in Finland to walking the Masar in the Middle East, we’ve pulled together trips you can take in 2018 that’ll still give you everything you crave—adventure, growth, challenge, excitement—but also raise awareness, shift perceptions and provide resources to destinations in need. And in some cases, just give a much-needed cash injection into the local economies and communities.
Trek with the gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda
Volcanoes Safaris, Rwanda and UgandaGorilla tourism isn’t just about seeing the great ape up-close; tourism has also helped to conserve this magnificent creature and one of the pioneering companies behind this is Volcanoes Safaris, renowned for their gorilla and chimpanzee tourism.After the Rwandan genocide in the ‘90s, Volcanoes Safaris helped kick-start gorilla tourism in both Rwanda and neighboring Uganda; they were also the only private sector company to sign up to the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Saving the Great Apes. Now, they’re part of a wider aim to not only preserve the habitat of the great ape, but also ensure local communities benefit.Volcanoes Safaris runs several safari tours including the popular six-day Gahinga and Virunga trip in Rwanda and Uganda. You’ll get to track gorillas and golden monkeys through pristine bamboo forests, climb a volcano, and get to know the Batwa people of southwestern Uganda through community and heritage tours. You’ll also trek to the grave of celebrated primatologist Dian Fossey and the gorilla cemetery where her favorite gorilla Digit, among others, has his final resting place.