Dian Fossey Hike in Rwanda; Dian Fossey was an American primatologist, conservationist and primatologist best remembered for pioneering mountain gorilla conservation in Rwanda. She lived and worked at the Karisoke research centre, also founded by her, in Volcanoes National Park.
From 1966 until she died in 1985, Dr Fossey carried out an extensive study on the mountain gorilla groups in the mountain forests of Rwanda. She was encouraged to work there by a paleoanthropologist called Louis Leakey.
Given her significant efforts in the conservation of mountain gorillas, a book called Gorillas in the Mist was published two years before her death, consisting of an account of her scientific study and prior career.
The works of Dian Fossey
For over 20 years, she protected and cared for the gorillas earning their friendship in return. She established the first ranger patrols despite all the political and economic obstacles.
Dr Fossey founded the Digit Fund that helped finance vital ranger patrols throughout the mountain gorilla habitats. Her work inspired a new generation of African Conservationists, saving these primates from extinction. She also used her career as an occupational therapist to remove children from constrained homesteads.
Dian Fossey Museum
This museum (the Karisoke Research Centre) lies in the Volcanoes National Park in the North Western part of Rwanda. The name Karisoke originated from the fact that the museum lies between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke, thus the combined names. The Dian Fossey Museum is a major tourist attraction in the park since it is one of the living memories of the American primatologist and her works.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (originally known as the Digit Fund)
This a charity organisation for the protection of endangered mountain gorillas. The Digit Fund was created by Dr Fossey in 1978 to finance her anti-poaching patrols and prevent further poaching of mountain gorillas. Additionally, this fund was named after her favourite gorilla, Digit, who had been decapitated by a group of poachers in 1977.
The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
This multi-acre, eco-friendly facility was established in February 2022. It has three main buildings;
- the Sandy and Harold Price Research Centre
- the Rob and Melani Walton Education Centre
- the Cindy Broder Conservation Gallery
It is the current home for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and aims to provide a conducive environment for accelerating science and conservation work.
The remarkable hike to the Dian Fossey Grave
The Dian Fossey grave hike is another exciting activity visitors enjoy in Rwanda in remembrance of the doctor. After her tragic demise, the doctor was buried in the Volcanoes National Park alongside the silverback gorillas she loved dearly, also killed on the same day. Today numerous tourists visit Rwanda specifically to hike to her grave. Visitors combine both gorilla trekking and Dian Fossey grave hiking.
What to expect during the hike
A hike to the Dian Fossey Grave yard starts at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters at Kinigi at 7: 00 a.m. A trained park ranger leads hikers after the briefing session. The hike begins at 8:00 a.m. from the foothill of Mount Bisoke. Expect to hike through an elevation of about 2967 meters from the Bisoke Volcano hiking trail to Mount Karisimbi via the stunning Hagenia forest zone between 2900 and 3000 metres. While hiking through the tomb site, you will enjoy the scenic views of Bisoke and Karisimbi, including the breathtaking vegetation, birds and golden monkeys.
The Dian Fossey hike will surely offer you and your loved ones a memorable and insightful safari experience. Make your safari booking with us today, and let us turn your travel dreams into an unforgettable reality!