Top Ten African Safaris

East Africa: Gorillas in the Mist, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

You know the rules. Don't run from a charging silverback, don't show your pearly whites, and don't look one in the eye if it gets pissed at you. All of this is explained before setting out on the most amazing experience that Africa has to offer.

It is within Bwindi Impenetrable forest, part of the Virunga mountain range, on the border of southwestern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, that you can come face-to-face with a troop of gorillas. There are little more than 600 mountain gorillas left on the planet and half of them live within Bwindi. The rest remain in Rwanda and Congo but due to civil strife and rebel activity, Bwindi is seeing most of the tourist action.

After you trek through the thick brush (they don't call it "Impenetrable" for nothing!), they see you and proceed down from their swinging vines, as if clocking in for another performance. There is always a chance a baby gorilla will closely inspect your blond hair, or a silverback will hiss or fart—nothing is predictable in the jungle and you must obey the rules of the great and powerful silverback—you are the peeping tom into his family after all! Whether you track the "M" group or the "H" group, you will not find a wildlife experience quite as exhilarating or emotional.

Just the Facts

Best Season: September-March, June-September

Highlights: Route to Bwindi Forest; Spotting the massive silverback gorilla



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