1. Democratic Republic of Congo

Why go: Eastern DRC is home to the recently reopened Virunga National Park, Africa’s first national park (it was founded in 1925) and one of its most biologically diverse. A U.N. peacekeeping operation has been working to stabilize the DRC since 2010 and has more than 16,000 troops on the ground.

On its six-day “Democratic Republic of Congo by Helicopter” tour, Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx) plunges intrepid explorers deep into the

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