A study conducted by more than 30 scientists around the world and released earlier this year shows that 75 percent of primate species have shrinking populations, and 60 percent are threatened with extinction. Their decline is being attributed to hunting, farming, ranching, logging, mining, and oil drilling. In the forests of Rwanda, the native mountain gorilla population is most famous as the subject of primatologist Dian Fossey’s research. Though Fossey’s work became the impetus for a widely successful conservation effort that has over the last century brought a species back from the brink, Rwanda’s gorillas remain critically endangered due to habitat loss caused by human development.
Where to Stay: Encounter mountain gorillas—as well as chimpanzees and golden monkeys—while trekking through the forests of Rwanda with Volcanoes Safaris. The outfitter’s six-day safaris take place at its Virunga Lodge and highlight gorilla conservation and education, as well as local culture. The lodge also recently debuted its new Dian Fossey Map Room in honor of the 50th anniversary of the primatologist’s Karisoke Research Center. (volcanoessafaris.com)