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Gorilla tracking in the mountains of Rwanda, a New Hampshire holiday and a jet-set Canadian excursion are the top travel experiences chosen by Canadian Geographic Travel staff this summer.
VIRUNGA LODGE, RWANDA
There is perhaps no better time to see mountain gorillas than 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Karisoke Research Center, founded by celebrated primatologist Dian Fossey to protect the critically endangered apes. And there is arguably no better place from which to set out to see these magnificent animals than Volcanoes Safaris’ Virunga Lodge, a 10-room “bush-chic” retreat atop a ridge with spectacular views of lakes Bulera and Ruhondo and the surreally lush countryside. When you’re not out on a gorilla tracking safari, visit the lodge’s new Dian Fossey Map Room, home to a fascinating exhibition on the exploration and conservation of the region from the 1860s to 1985, the year Fossey was murdered.
Harry Wilson, senior editor
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.