How do I book a hike to the Dian Fossey Karisoke ? Do I need to join a group or can I do it alone?? Are there other activities at the research center?
When planning to travel Rwanda to Hike the Dian Fossey Tomb, its important to either book through a travel agent with in Rwanda or ORTPN. Its necessary to give at least a 1 day notice prior to your actual hiking date.
About the Dian Fossey Tomb
Dian Fossey was an America primatologists who took up a broad study and keen interest in studying and protecting mountain gorillas in Rwanda for a period of 18 years but was unfortunately murdered by gorilla poachers. Dian Fossey while doing her research set up a Karisoke Research camp between Mt. Visoke and Mt. Karisimbi in the Volcanoes national park. This is where the Karisoke name was derived basing on the two volcanoes.
The Dain Fossey Tomb Hike
The hike starts at the same time as the Rwanda gorilla trek hence the clients assemble at the Volcanoes park headquarters by 7:am to 7:30 for briefing. Not so many people do the Karisoke hike hence it may be you or your group plus your guide or ranger. The hike is usually muddy hence strong waterproof boots with good traction are needed, using the trekking stick is a must, in addition it’s a strenuous trek ad tough as trekking the Susa gorilla group. The trek offers two ways to start the Diana Fossey site, one is the flatter hill to the mountain, and the other one is cross through the mountain, go straight up, which is very hard and strenuous
Upon reaching the site you will see the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favorite gorilla, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons.
The Dian Fossey tomb’s headstone reads:
No one loved gorillas more
Rest in peace, dear friend
In this sacred ground
For you are home
Where you belong
Today, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund monitors ten mountain gorilla groups (out of 15 total) in Rwanda and is managing a number of other projects to help conserve the gorillas and other wildlife in the region.
This hike is a fantastic experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. If you find yourself in Rwanda and you’re up for a challenge, I highly recommend the hike.
The Park fee for this Karisoke Trek is currently USD$ 75 per person, which includes the fee for the guide. The trek starts at 07:00am from the Park Headquarters in Kinigi, from where visitors