Dian Fossey Hiking Experience.
Aside from Mountain Gorilla Trekking and Golden Monkey, visitors to Volcanoes National Park in the north western part of Rwanda are impressed by the incredible hike up to the Dian Fossey grave yard.
Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who raised the campaign towards saving the lives of Gorillas in the Virunga region.
She started with conserving Gorillas in the Jungles of Democratic Republic of Congo but the constant civil wars in the country forced her to give up and shifted to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park where she constructed a research Center “Karisoke”.
She was later murdered by rebels from DR Congo. But currently the available Karisoke research Center details the start of Gorilla tourism in Rwanda and how this great conservationist conducted work during her times.
This hike does not only expose you to all details about Dian Fossey but it is also a way to appreciate her heroism and great efforts made towards the living of Gorillas which is now a prominent tourist attraction in the World.
If you stayed in Kigali or Musanze, early in the morning you will transfer up to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi. After a short briefing, you start the Journey via a trail that is outside the dense forest.
Since all trails leading to the grave yard traverse through territories where gorillas feed from, you are most likely to come across these apes on a lucky day.
Other primates you can see include Colobus monkeys, Blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Golden monkeys and more. While hiking, you will as well admire the spectacular views of Virunga volcanoes such as Karisimbi and Bisoke.
Besides that, the trail is a haven for bird watching, you will behold plenty of bird species including those which are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Once you reach Dian Fossey grave yard, the area is scattered with other grave yards for Gorillas that were killed by rebels. You will tour the research Center and see all Dian Fossey’s project before she was killed.
On reaching the site, you will witness the grave for Dian Fossey and many others for the mountain gorillas that were killed before and after her by poachers.
Hiking time & Dressing code
The hike takes about 1-3 hours, it’s not as more strenuous as hiking the Virunga Mountains but tiresome and requires physical fitness.
To be comfortable and for a successful hike, you should wear strong hiking shoes that can overcome mud and slippery trails.
Slippery trails and mud appear most in the rainy season. The dressing should be descent and appropriate to everyone, long trousers are recommended such that you can tack it into the stockings and long sleeved shirts to prevent yourself from insect bites and skin scratches.
Cost for the Hike
Like Gorilla trekking or golden monkey tracking, Dian Fossey Hike requires a permit, and it costs $75 USD per person