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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 2019 adventures that will make an impact—both for the traveler and destination.
From bringing tourism back to the Indian state of Kerala post-floods and conservation holidays in the UK to tracking jaguars in the Amazon and observing wildlife rangers in Kenya, we’ve pulled together trips you can take in 2019 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.
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.
Find out more at Volcanoes Safaris.
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.