Dian Fossey Grave Hike takes you to Dian Fossey Tomb and Karisoke Research Camp, a scientific research base on Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda.
Dian Fossey Grave Hike Back ground
The Gorilla lover, Dian Fossey was murdered in 1985 by suspected gorilla poachers, whom she had fought aggressively for a long time and established her base at Karisoke scientific camp in the saddle area between two volcanoes; Mt Visoke and Mt Karisimbi (from which the name Karisoke is derived). The camp site stands at an altitude of around 3000m (over 9000 ft) and was abandoned during the unrest of the 1990’s. All that remains today is the graveyard where several of Dian Fossey’s favourite gorillas were buried at Karisoke Research Camp. Dian Fossey is also buried near the graves of her beloved gorillas.
Despite her death, her works continue through the programmes of different research facilities and bodies. The work of Dian Fossey were further made popular in the Hollywood movie “Gorillas in the Mist” (1988), featuring Sigourney Weaver as Dian. Extracted from her journal, Dian Fossey’s last words were, “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Currently, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund helps in the conservation of ten gorilla groups (out of 15 gorilla families) in Rwanda plus many other conservation projects geared towards the plight of mountain gorillas and other mammal species in the region.
Dian Fossey Grave Hike
The trek to Dian Fossey Grave Hike is one outstanding trek a tourist can add on a Gorilla trek and Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. Around the same place, is a gorilla cemetery in the formerly Karisoke Research Camp.
Dian Fossey Grave Hike takes half an hour drive from the park headquarters at Kinigi to the trail head and then a 10-minute walk to the park edges. It is at this point that ascendance via the woodland starts and takes something between 2 – 4 hours, basing on one’s ability to hike and the duration or the extent of one’s scenery enjoyment.
On the other hand, descending back to the starting point takes between 1 – 2 hours.
What to see on Dian Fossey Grave Hike
Dian Fossey Grave Hike gives an opportunity for visitors to watch birds and other wildlife creatures found in the Virungas en route. When you reach the summit of your hiking at the grave site, you will see a house where Dian Fossey was brutally slain in December 1985 but the more comfortable place is where she was laid to rest next to her beloved gorilla, Digit plus roughly 20 more mountain gorillas buried there and were either lynched by poachers or just faced natural deaths.
The Dian Fossey trek is a thrilling wild experience body-wise, emotionally and from a research or education perspective. The hike is so inspiring to study about a person who was so devoted to gorillas and left a legacy which still exist to the present times.
Dian Fossey Grave Hike Park entry fee
The Park fee for Dian Fossey Grave Hike is currently USD$ 75 per person, which includes the fee for the guide.
Like Gorilla trekking, Dian Fossey Grave Hike starts at 07:00am from the Park Headquarters in Kinigi, from where visitors will have to drive / be driven to the start point for the trek. Permits can be purchased on the day of the trek at the Park headquarters and porters can be hired from here