The Dian Fossey grave yard hiking amazingly offers a wonderful learning experience about what Dian Fossey- the popular American primatologist and conservationist of the time who dedicated her life to conducting research on the gorillas. As a great primatologist, Dian Fossey is remembered for a number of things including setting up a research camp- Karisoke research center between Mount Karisimbi and Mt. Bisoke.
The Dian Fossey grave yard hiking safari provides a deep understanding of her mountain gorilla conservation legacy in the Virunga Volcanoes/region. She conducted research about mountain gorillas for over 18 years though she mysteriously died. She devoted herself to protecting mountain gorillas in their habitat. She fought against poaching practices and the survival of these endangered species is largely attributed to her efforts to save them in the wild.
Dian Fossey grave yard hiking
The Dian Fossey grave yard hiking starts in the early morning after a briefing at Kinigi offices and the park guide will accompany you at 8:00 am. The trek takes you via altitude of 2900-3000m, navigating via lush hyena forest zone, and more. It is an intellectually, emotionally, and physically remarkable experience- a great inspirational adventure for tourists to have a deep insight into her conservation legacy.
Dian Fossey began her research activities in 1967 and in 1985, she was mysteriously murdered. She was laid to rest next to Digit- the gorilla she wholeheartedly loved. About 20 gorillas more gorillas were also killed by poachers or natural causes. Explore more about Dian Fossey’s work, and how she greatly contributed to gorilla conservation and you too can play part in contributing towards her work which she began in 1967.
Born in 1932, Dian Fossey was passionate conservationist. She spent 18 years with mountain gorillas in the wild. Dian Fossey’s inspiration to travel to Africa began when she was 31 years and she began her journey of exploration in Tanzania, Congo and Zimbabwe then she met Dr. Leaky- a great anthropologist.
She joined the wildlife photographers- Joan and Allan root on a photography expedition in the mountains of the D.R. Congo. Dian Fossey met Dr. Louis Leaky in 1966 while in the US. Dr. Leaky needed someone to carry out research on mountain gorillas just like Jane Goodall who did research on chimpanzees. In 1966, she came back to Congo, and in 1967, there was an outbreak of civil war in Congo when her camp was captured by rebels.
Dian Fossey transferred to Uganda regardless of the war and with determination, she crossed to Rwanda where she set up a camp even when she was warned by the US embassy. She gained the trust of the gorillas by adapting to the gorilla habitat and she spent much of her time habituating these apes. Because of her love for gorillas, local residents nicknamed her Nyiramachebeli meaning the woman who lives alone in the mountain.
Dian Fossey began naming gorillas to ease identification and by 1983, she published a book- gorillas in the mist after 5 years, the film starred in the title.
Cost for Dian Fossey grave yard hiking
Dian Fossey grave yard hikes cost US Dollars 75 per person. The permits are available for booking via Rwanda tourism offices in Kigali or Volcanoes National Park offices. Dian Fossey’s hiking adventures start at Kinigi and it is possible to add it to other activities such as mountain gorilla trekking, and golden monkey tracking. It is a 2-4 hours round trek. Part of the fees paid on the Dian Fossey grave hike is channeled to run a number of gorilla conservation initiatives.
Where to stay
Volcanoes National Park has a long range of accommodation choices for overnight stays and they include budget, moderate, and luxury. They are pocket-friendly including Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Garr Hotel, Five Volcanoes, Bisate Lodge, Singita Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, and more.
What to carry for Rwanda Dian Fossey grave yard hike?
Carry relevant travel documents like visas, passports, yellow fever certificates, hiking permits; waterproof hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, socks, rain jacket or poncho, camera, long pants, garden gloves, insect repellents, packed snacks, bottled water, basic first aid kit and more.
Other Activities to do
Gorilla trekking is the top safari experience tourists can indulge in while in the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. 12 habituated gorilla groups all exist in Ruhengeri Volcanoes National Park and they include among others Susa A, Sabyinyo, Hirwa, Agashya, Umubano gorilla family, Susa B (Karisimbi), Titus, Amahoro, Bwenge gorilla group families, Kwitonda group and others.
To track gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, you must present valid gorilla permits which should be booked in advance. Each gorilla tracking permit is open for booking in Rwanda at USD 1500 and a local tour operator is ready to assist you to secure one.
Birding safaris allow birders to look for a variety of birds living in the different habitats of Volcanoes National Park Ruhengeri. The park is a host to all 200 bird species including bateleur, dusky crimson wing, red-faced woodland warblers, Doherty’s bush-shrike, brown necked parrot, brown woodland warblers, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbirds, dusky turtle dove, Archer’s robin chat, Grauer’s swamp warblers, lagden’s bush shrikes, etc.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden monkey tracking is one distinct experience not to be missed on tour in Volcanoes National Park. It is a remarkable primate adventure that lets you have a close interaction with golden monkeys in the wild and this is possible in the 2 habituated troops.
Volcano climbing opportunities in Volcanoes NP are numerous. The park has 5 of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes (Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Bisoke)- these offer remarkable hiking opportunities to hikers on safari in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park.
While on Dian Fossey grave yard hiking safari, it is easier to get to Volcanoes National Park by road – 2-3 hours and a 4×4 vehicle is highly recommended. Or you can connect from Kabale or Kisoro via Chanika or Katuna border to Rwanda, take 3-4 hours and you will be in Ruhengeri region.