Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda
Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda is one of the top tour activities conducted by most tourists on a Rwanda Safari. The activity is exclusively conducted in Volcanoes National Park which is located in the Ruhengeri district, in the far northeastern part of Rwanda.
The Dian Fossey hike in Volcanoes national park can be done after a gorilla trekking tour. The hike lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes from the park’s boundaries. It involves hiking from the park’s boundaries to Karisoke Research Center where you will find Fossey’s tomb. The hike starts with a 30 minutes’ drive from the park’s headquarters to the trailhead that leads to the research center.
A Brief History about Dian Fossey.
Dian Fossey was a famous American conservationist and primatologist, whose conservation efforts and studies on mountain gorillas have greatly contributed to our understanding of these majestic primate species.
Dian Fossey carried out a comprehensive study on mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda, with her works dating from 1966 till 1985 when she was killed. On 27th December 1985, Dian Fossey was found dead inside her cabin in a remote campsite in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Details surrounding her death are still unknown, although some speculate that she might have been murdered by rebels or poachers who were against her conservation works.
It is said that Fossey never got a lot of affection from her foster father after her parents had divorced; hence she spent most of her time in the comfort of animals. This could also explain Fossey’s immense love for wildlife and why she spent a lot of time studying them and fighting for their conservation.
Following a recommendation from Louis Leaky, another well-known paleoanthropologist, Dian Fossey embarked on a research journey to the vast and dense forests of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda where she started studying different mountain gorilla families in the park.
Two years prior to her death, Fossey published a book entitled ‘Gorillas in the Mist,’ which talks about most of her work in Rwanda. Later in 1988, a film bearing the same title was produced in Hollywood. Fossey used the Karisoke Research Center as a research base for the studies, along with her team of junior researchers.
Dian Fossey is also known to have pioneered many anti-poaching campaigns in Rwanda, along with her staff. Many of these campaigns led to the arrests of many poachers who were later convicted and sentenced to jail, some of whom are still serving their jail term to date.
After Dian Fossey was found lying dead in a pool of blood inside her cabin, she was laid to rest next to her favorite gorilla friend called ‘Digit,’ along with 20 other gorillas that were previously killed by poachers or died under other circumstances.
How much is the Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda?
The Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda costs USD 75 dollars per person. The hike is a great option for visitors who cannot afford to do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park because you can easily cross paths with a few gorillas on a lucky day.
How to Book your Trekking Permit for Dian Fossey Hike in Rwanda.
Visitors planning to do the Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda are recommended to book your trekking/hiking permit through a trusted tour operator company like Explore Rwanda Tours. Alternatively, you can book your hiking permit directly through the reservations office in Kigali or at the park headquarters in Volcanoes national park.
Visitors are also advised to book your trekking permits at least three or six months in advance so as to avoid any inconveniences that come with over booking especially during the peak season.
What to expect during the Fossey hike in Rwanda.
Visitors on a Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda get to spot a lot of attractions in the park such as; a variety of bird species, the Dian Fossey gravesite, golden monkeys, forest elephants, warthogs and tour Karisoke Research Center. If you are lucky, during your hike you can spot some mountain gorillas.
Best Time to do the Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda.
The Dian Fossey hike in Rwanda can be done at any time of the year.