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King Kong in RwandaPhoto: King Kong

To get into character, actor Andy Serkis, a.k.a. King Kong, sought out some ideal coaches: the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.
Read the King Kong interview

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Tracking Primates in Rwanda
Adventure-approved excursions for right now.   By Costas Christ
Photo: Chimpanzee  in Rwanda

The Guided Tour

Why Go: Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, home to the world's largest remaining population of mountain gorillas, has long been a mecca for wildlife buffs. Now, on top of checking out the gorillas, you can hang with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom—chimpanzees—on one grand, great-ape bonanza. Before visiting cloud-enshrouded Volcanoes Park, Kenya-based outfitter Origins Safaris will put you in close proximity with the curious apes inside Nyungwe National Park. You'll be near enough that a few safety tips will come in handy: Never point at or make eye contact with a chimp. This is the jungle, after all.

Need to Know: Professional trackers will guide you, but you'll have to tackle the terrain as a primate would. That means rigorous hiking on steep and slippery ground, where dense vegetation will have you clutching vines at elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet (1,828 to 3,048 meters). Protect yourself from the stinging nettles that thrive in the cool, damp environment, with sturdy trousers and a pair of gardening gloves.          
Days: 8

Outfitter: Origin Safaris

Cost: $4,570 per person

Photograph courtesy of Origins Safaris

Pick up the December 2005/January 2006 issue for more great adventure travel ideas, news, and articles by award-winning writers.

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