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52 reasons to get going.
For some of us, travel is a necessity. A luxury, a break, an adventure–yes, but what’s more, it is our true reality. Because when we travel, we are awake. Travel, its ethos of wonder, curiosity, and open-mindedness: it truly makes us alive.
Here at Fodor’s, we spend almost all of our professional time and much of our personal time thinking about where we want to go next. The beauty of the world is immeasurable and its people inimitable. Our annual Go List helps focus our wanderlust. Because travel is more than movement, greater than sightseeing. It is our sustenance and our substance. Here are 52 places that inspire us to get going in 2019.
Discover unparalleled wildlife experiences in the “Pearl of Africa.”
Why it’s Wonderful: Uganda’s mountainous terrain, soaring waterfalls, and amazing wildlife encounters set it apart from the rest of the continent. Although Uganda claims to have the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, African elephant, and Cape buffalo), the country could easily stake its claim as having the “Big Six” since it is also home to the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas. Aside from countless opportunities for spotting wildlife while on safari, you’ll also be able to take a boat ride to the source of the Nile River on a day trip with Paraa Safari Lodge, or channel your inner Jane Goodall by trekking for chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest. The highest mountain range in Africa borders the country, but it’s in the hills of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that you’ll have the rare chance to spend an hour observing the elusive silverback mountain gorillas in their natural environment.
Where to Stay: For waterfront retreats, choose to wake up just steps from the Nile River at the Paraa Safari Lodge, or take your morning coffee on the breakfast veranda overlooking the Kazinga Channel at the Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. For the ultimate mountain gorilla experience, book a bandaat the eco-chic Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, where the gentle giants have been known to wander through on their way down the mountain.
Insider Tip: If you plan to trek for mountain gorillas, you’ll need a permit, as only eight people are allowed to see one gorilla family per day. One permit costs $600 USD, and it’s best to book your permit at least two months in advance through a safari agent like Maranatha Tours and Travel or Let’s Go Travel.
When to Go: The best time to see wildlife in Uganda is during the dry seasons, lasting from June to August and again from December to February.
What to Watch: Disney’s The Queen of Katwe with Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Uganda Guide
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.