Dian fossey Gorilla fund

Dian fossey Gorilla fund: Visit the Dian fossey Gorilla fund museum in Musanze on your Rwanda safari. The Dian fossey gorilla fund is the world’s largest organization that is fully dedicated to the conservation of gorillas and is also the longest time running organization with the aim of protecting the gorillas. The Dian fossey gorilla fund actively participates in helping people and saving the mountain gorillas all year 365 days. 

Dian fossey Gorilla fund

The Dian fossey gorilla fund was started in memory of the late Dian fossey commonly known as the mother of gorillas. Dian fossey was a passionate American primatologist and conservationist majorly focusing on the mountain gorillas. She relocated to the Volcanoes national park in the late 60s and spent 99% of her time with the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes park Rwanda. She started studying the mountain gorilla groups from the year 1966 up to the day of her murder in 1985. She was driven by the encouragement of one paleoanthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey who talked about Jane Goodall’s effort with chimpanzee conservation to set up base in Volcanoes national park. 

Dian Fossey was born in January on the 16th in 1932 to George E. Fossey III and Kathryn “Kitty” Fossey who were divorced but she was raised by her mother. She was born in San Francisco, California, United States and relocated to Rwanda when she was 34 years of age and was killed when she was 53 years of age. Dian fossey stayed in a humble house in the Volcanoes national park where she was murdered, suspects were some malicious poachers who did not agree with her values of protecting the mountain gorillas that were previously being hunted for meat. Dian Fossey was murdered on the 26th of December 1985 in Volcanoes national park Rwanda but her legacy lives on until today through her Karisoke Research center that is still functioning in the Volcanoes national park. Dian fossey had her first mountain gorilla trek in Nyakagezi sector of Mgahinga national park on 16th October way before she relocated to Rwanda. She stayed at Travellers Rest camp for her mountain gorilla trekking.

Besides the conservation efforts of Dian fossey, she left behind a great book “Gorillas in the Mist” later turned to a movie. Her study of the Mountain gorillas started from the Congo (Zaire)  side of the Virunga mountains where she later left after some conflicts on ground fleeing to Uganda and settled to restart the her study on the Rwandan side of the Virungas. She started the Karisoke Research center on 24th of September in 1967 where she had a station for all her research. Upon meeting the gorillas in the forest, they would always run away from her but eventually got habituated to her presence. Her passion for the mountain gorillas was unmatched thus the need for the Dian Fossey gorilla fund after her departure. 

The Dian Fossey gorilla fund was previously known as the “Digit Fund” that was started after her closest mountain gorilla with whom she had built a bond with was murdered by poachers. This fund was to raise money to support her conservation efforts to end poaching and raise awareness on conserving for generations. After her death that has never been concluded on the murderers, the Digit fund was changed to the Dian Fossey gorilla fund.  Dian fossey was found murdered in her cabin shortly before her 54th birthday, struck twice on the head and face with a machete. 

The Dian Fossey fund trackers and researchers still carry out her work closely monitoring, protecting and studying half the population of all the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park Rwanda while the other half is protected by the Rwandan national park authority (RDB). The trackers both conserve and collect the necessary data for the mountain gorilla conservation and are the key players in saving the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes national park Rwanda. They track the mountain gorillas on a daily basis and study each individual gorilla on behavior, appearance and store all this detailed information on the long term gorilla research database and this is all possible because the mountain gorilla groups are now habituated and accustomed to human presence in their home.

The Dian Fossey fund also has a team of dedicated individuals on the anti-poaching team that carry out routine patrols in the specific sectors of the park to clear snares set for the wildlife of the park and may harm the mountain gorillas and catch poachers who may be on a mission. This team not only focuses on the poachers but other illegal activity like deforestation and work hand in hand with the park authorities by providing such information. 

The Grauer’s Gorillas of Congo are also under the protection of the Dian Fossey Fund which are fond in the Kahuzi Biega national park. The fund set up a research station in Nkuba village in 2012 and since been monitoring them ensuring their conservation. The Dian fossey fund has a goal to double the number of the Grauer’s gorilla over the next 3 to 5 years. These gorillas are not habituated so the information collected is mainly from their remains, foot prints or any form of evidence of their presence in a place.

The Dian fossey Fund goes even further to protect and involve the local communities staying around the parks in both Volcanoes national park and Kahuzi Biega. The fund has funded community projects, provided education opportunities for a few individuals. This fund has overall catered for both the mountain gorillas and the local communities living around as well and you can book your visit to the Dian Fossey fund museum to get a deeper insight and a physical view of the work that has been done over the years. Book your Rwanda safari with us and let us take you on the experience.

book a safari