Sierra Leone has had a regrettable history. The country's long-running civil war took the lives of tens of thousands of people before it ended in 2001. It also took an enormous toll on the country's environment and its endangered species, a threat that continues today: since peace was declared, deforestation rates in this West African nation have actually risen. But Tiwai Island, an inland island on the Moa River, is an exception to the sadness. Tiwai's wildlife sanctuary (+232-76-755-146; firstname.lastname@example.org) shelters dwarf hippos, the endangered colobus monkey and hundreds of species of birds along with Sierra Leonean research students which you can glimpse along 31 miles of walking trails. The nature reserve is still in its early stages, but a visit to Tiwai would be a truly wild experience (you can stay overnight in tents) and one that would help a people and a country that have suffered.