Trek to Dian Fossey Tomb (Grave) Hike
What is found at the grave and the Research Center? How can I reach there? How long is the walk, what does the trek cost? How can I organize the trek? Besides her grave-stone what else is there to see in the tiny museum? What does the research center look like?
Among the most renowned hikes when in Volcanoes National Park found in Rwanda is that to Dian Fossey’s Tomb as well as the nearby gorilla cemetery within the formerly Karisoke Research Camp. Back in time, Dian Fossey established this Karisoke scientific center in the an area just between 2 volcanoes of Mt Visoke as well as Mount Karisimbi (from which its name Karisoke was derived). This camp site is found at an altitude of nearly 3000meters (more than 9000 feet) and was deserted during the wars of the early1990’s.
This trek includes a 30 minutes drive from the headquarters of the park to the trailhead from where you will have a 10 minutes stroll to the border of the park. From here, the climb through the green forest takes about 90 minutes to 3 hours, basing on your fitness as well as how often you will stop to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and then the descent takes one to two hours. Fossey’s former living quarters that she nicknamed ‘the mausoleum’ are currently in ruins, and many other landmarks can be seen here at the camp with clear signposts. The hike presents an amazing chance to views birds plus other small creatures that living in the Virungas along the way.
At this legendary site you will as well see the house in which Dian Fossey was strangely murdered back in 1985 however more calm is at the place where she was laid to rest just close to her most-loved gorilla – Digit and close to 20 other gorillas some of which were killed by the brutal poachers and others suffered death due to other reasons.
Her tomb stone reads: “No one loved gorillas more Rest in peace, dear friend eternally protected In this sacred ground For you are home Where you belong”
In Dian Fossey’s journal, some of her last words stated that when one discovers the importance of life, they will depend less on all that is past and focus more on preserving the future.
Currently, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is observing 10 gorilla groups (of total 15 found in Rwanda), and has a number of additional projects to assist conserve these gorillas plus other animals within the area.
This walk is a wonderful experience not only intellectually by physically and emotionally as well. It is really an inspirational to learn about a person who was entirely dedicated and even left behind a legacy which still exists to date. In case you travel to Rwanda, this would be a nice place to visit before you leave the country.
A Park entrance fee of US$75 is currently paid for the Karisoke Trek per individual, and that includes a fee for your guide. This trek begins at 7:00am at the Park Headquarters found in Kinigi, where you will drive to the trailhead of the trek. The Permits can be bought on the very day of this trek at the headquarters of the park where you will also find porters to hire here.