local man sorting plantains in uganda

Nature at its most enduring and endearing

There is sometimes a strange and unexpected reward for places isolated by political climate or conflict: blockades and war zones don't apply to nature. Having endured civil war, Idi Amin's bloody rule and decades of ethnic conflict, Uganda has finally found its silver lining, as off-limits areas have become havens to wildlife that might otherwise have perished. Its most famous residents are the critically endangered mountain gorilla, of which half the world's surviving population lives in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Aside from gorillas, chimps, and the Big Five, accessible and affordable Uganda is also the much-sought-after source of the Nile River, as mythical as ever – now for its whitewater rafting and kayaking.

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