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Postcards from the Edge

Mar. 14, 2005

Bored by the prospect of another tame holiday spent sipping espresso on a piazza or sunning yourself on a crowded beach? Audacious travelers can now explore rougher, wilder destinations as tour operators cater to an increasingly adventurous clientele. Here are three trips guaranteed to satisfy even the most jaded thrill-seeker. If you don't mind slogging through thick mud and dense forest, a gorilla-spotting holiday in RWANDA might appeal. Now that relative political stability has returned to the country, it's once again possible to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Following in researcher Dian Fossey's footsteps, visitors can catch a rare glimpse of some of the 700 surviving primates at Parc National des Volcans, a conservation center in the northwestern part of the country. Expect your trek to be rewarded with screeches, grunts, beating of chests and close encounters with some of the most fascinating creatures on earth. The park's lodge is basic but spacious —rooms have seating areas, lots of windows and an en suite eco-friendly shower. Cost is $1,444 per person sharing a twin room for a 4-day safari. tel: (44-870) 8708480;