Virtuoso Life - January/February 2018 - 94
where next: into africa
Gorilla trekking for good in Volcanoes National Park.
A chance to see endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat draws nature lovers to Rwanda's Volcanoes
National Park, where a large group of the last remaining of these apes reside. Rwanda languished in the shadow of its
1994 genocide for more than a decade, but a stable government and a 30 percent increase in tourism in the past two
years have put the small Central African nation on travelers' lists. A wave of new upscale (and conservation-minded)
accommodations helps too, including Wilderness Safaris' six-villa Bisate Lodge, which recently opened near the park.
"Rwanda is safe, vibrant, and welcoming to tourists," says Irving, Texas-based Virtuoso travel advisor Ralph Iantosca.
Travelers need a government-issued permit for a Volcanoes trek (approximately $1,500 per day; your advisor can help
with logistics). Says Iantosca: "The investment really does have a big impact on helping protect the gorilla population."
GO: Spend eight days hiking, gorilla trekking, and learning about Rwandan history on a private Abercrombie & Kent
tour that includes a stay at Bisate Lodge. Departures: Any day through 2018; from $10,595.
Intrepid wanderers don't go to Ethiopia for the "big five." The country deals
more in the history of humankind and
Simien Mountain gorges than in vast
savannas and classic safaris. "Thousands of years of history and heritage,
from the Ark of the Covenant to the
Queen of Sheba, make Ethiopia an
alluring destination," says Austin,
Texas-based advisor Crisney Lane,
who recommends the country for
adventurous travelers returning to the
continent. Lakani World Tours' ten-day,
private exploration provides a proper
introduction, with visits to museums
and open-air markets in Addis Ababa,
cave churches in Lalibela, and Simien
Mountains National Park to look for
Mountains National Park.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
gelada baboons. Departures: Any day
through 2018; from $4,995.
The island nation off the coast of Mozambique promises magic on multiple
levels: "I love Madagascar's diverse
ecosystems, pristine beaches, vibrant
markets, and Malagasy people, who remain curious about visitors and eager to
tell you all about their lives," says Kylan
Falk, a Calgary, Alberta-based Virtuoso
travel advisor. He suggests spending at
least eight days in the country and working with your advisor well in advance
to secure the best accommodations in
this new-to-tourism destination. Focus
on the eastern and southern sides of
Madagascar while meeting members
of the Antandroy tribe and spying on
ring-tailed lemurs in gallery forests
during African Travel's ten-day journey.
Departures: Any day, March 21 through
December 31; from $5,495.
(ETHIOPIA) HOMOCOSMICOS/GETTY IMAGES,
(GORILLA) DAVID YARROW/GETTY IMAGES