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The misted mountains of Uganda, Africa, home to imperial silverback gorilla are quickly becoming the hot and haute destination for the ultimate trip of a lifetime. Blissfully off the beaten path and virtually untouched, the landscape here is nothing short of epic. It includes razorback mountains - the tallest in Africa lush, terraced hillsides positioned above blues lakes, wide expanses of safari parkland and humid rainforests. Honeymoon here and you'll sail past hippos on the Nile River, drive by a lioness resting in tall Savannah grass and trek into the mountains for a glimpse of the endangered gorillas. And end your days lounging in front of the fire or splashing in your private pool in a luxe bands (villa hut).
The Golden Triangle
Where the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet, there's a collection of ancient volcanoes, emerald hills and sapphire lakes. Terraced slopes are planted with Irish potatoes that sprout with purple flowers, and rising above are the imposing Virunga Mountains where the world's only surviving mountain gorillas roam in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Trekking through bamboo to spend time with these magnificent creatures is a uniquely otherworldly experience. Watch as a silverback breaks off s 25-foot bamboo stalk as if it were a twig or a playful baby rolls down as lope behind his mom. There are just around 900 left in the world and organizations like the Gorilla Doctors and Uganda Wildlife Authority spearhead the conservation pf the Nyakagezi gorilla family that lives in Mgahinga and the 12 families in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. After a hard day's hike, it's glorious to return to the comfortable Mount Gahinga Lodge, one of Volcanoes Safaris' four lodges, where you can sip milky, spiced Ugandan tea by the fire. Also do a cultural visit with the Batwa Tribe, the indigenous people who have been forced into the lowland and farms by deforestation. You can try traditional archery and browse handi-crafts (room rates start at $180 a night ad are all inclusive; volcanoessafaris.com).
By Sunshine Fint
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.