Visiting the Dian Fossey Center in Volcanoes National Park is more of a memorial hike
A visit to Dian Fossey Centre on a Rwanda gorilla safari is a popular activity in Volcanoes National Park because of its relatedness to gorilla trekking. Dian Fossey Centre was set up in remembrance of Dian Fossey, a primatologist who lost her life in the gorilla conservation efforts. The visit involves a 30 minutes’ drive from the park headquarters to the trail head to access the Karisoke research camp where tourists walk for 10 minutes to the park boundary. The walk from the park boundary to the research center where the Dian’s grave is, takes about 1 ½ hours within the forest with possible sightings of forest hogs, forest elephants, a variety of primates and bird species.
The Dian Fossey grave yard hike is a learning experience for travelers providing them with the in-depth understanding of start of gorilla conservation and tourism in Rwanda and how an America primatologist sacrificed her life to save the rare mountain gorillas that where at the verge of extinction by then.
The visit to Dian Fossey Center is more than just a hike but an exceptional experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and lost her life building a legacy that has seen Mountain Gorillas as the only great apes facing a population growth and an increase on Rwanda gorilla trekking safari tourists.
Dian Fossey funded various projects to protect the gorillas, hired patrols to arrest poachers and gorilla doctors to treat the injured gorillas in poaching which put an end to poaching. When Dian Fossey made up her mind conserve gorillas, she established a research Center “karisoke research Center”. Her mission to protect Rwanda’s mountain gorillas against poaching generated hatred and negative attitudes by poachers who revised all means to assassinate her.
Hiking to the graves is not as easy as you may think but it is quite short lasting for roughly 1-3 hours from the starting point. The hike is not as energetic as hiking the Virunga volcanoes but it is quite tiresome requiring one to be physically fit and committed. To ease the movements, travelers are also reminded to wear hiking boots to overcome the muddy and slippery grounds especially in the rainy season. Similarly, dress in long trousers, which you will tack into stockings to prevent bites from ground insects and being hurt by stinging nettles.
Just like any other popular activity in Volcanoes national park, all participants in hiking to Dian Fossey graveyard are required to have a valid permit which your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda can book prior.
When planning to take a Rwanda gorilla trekking tour, adding in a visit to the Dian Fossey Centre is a wise idea for a chance to relax chance to kind of pay respect to a person who put in her all to conserve these elusive species that we all enjoy to see today. You can choose to do this on the same day your gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda chose to add in a single day to your safari.