Every year we skip across time zones and lines of latitude to be with loved ones during the holidays. Upon arrival we meet the strangers who seem drawn into every family gathering—a newly adopted baby, a cousin’s fiancé—and our notion of family softens and swells into a broader understanding of kinship. In that spirit, and to acknowledge Monkey Day, the Dec. 14 celebration of “all things simian,” we urge you to journey to a distant country to visit a distant, not-quite-human relative, but a relative all the same.
Southern Hemisphere: Signature Uganda Tour, Abercrombie & Kent
Approximately 20 hours of flying and 9,300 miles away lie the lush forests of Uganda, and significant populations of your two closest (non-human) relatives: chimpanzees and gorillas. You’ll see plenty, something any tour operator can provide (though wild, these primates are used to humans), but Signature Uganda remains a standout. This is a private journey—no groups, and you’ll set your own departure date. Running a leisurely nine days, Signature Uganda begins with the chimpanzees of Kibale National Park, moves on to Queen Elizabeth National Park for game drives and crater walks, and culminates in a stay at the famous Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, deep within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Seeing groups of majestic mountain gorillas during each daily hike is a given, but Sanctuary’s camp is regularly visited by inquisitive gorilla families—silverbacks, fuzzy, tumbling babies, and everything in between. They simply emerge from the forest and onto the surrounding lawns, curious about what the Homo sapiens are up to.
Every detail (including the permits required to track and commune with these gentle-yet-powerful endangered giants) is arranged by ultra-lux Abercrombie & Kent, so accommodations and meals are top-notch. Prices start at $7,795, and your journey is customizable. Visit for more information.