Dian Fossey Grave hike, in 1967, the American zoologist Dian Fossey who had been doing research on mountain Gorillas in the forests of Congo fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that was yet to be known as Karisoke research center. She spearheaded the conservation campaign of the mountain gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching in this area, a fight she put up until her murder in 1985. She was buried at the research center next to the grave of her favorite gorilla called Digit.
Today, Visitors can pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day. Hiking to the graves is not as easy as you may think, but it’s quite short lasting for roughly 1-3 hours from the starting point. The hike is not as strenuous as hiking the Virunga volcanoes but it’s quite tiresome requiring one to be physically fit and committed. To ease the movements, travelers are also reminded to wear hiking boots to overcome the muddy and slippery grounds especially in the rainy season. Similarly, dress in long trousers, which you will tack into stockings to prevent bites from ground insects and being hurt by stinging nettles.
Besides the hike, the trail is a hot spot as a birding paradise, where you can see quite a number of bird species some of which are endemic to the Albertine rift valley and number of wildlife too such as the monkeys. The trail also provides you with a great opportunity to clearly see the Virunga volcanoes especially karisimbi and Bisoke after which the Karisoke research center was named. 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. Among the gorillas’ graves, is her favorite gorilla called Digit, just buried next to her. This was done to her request.
What you need on Dian Fossey Grave hike
Hiking the trail to the Dian Fossey grave is quite challenging, you need to have done some bit of physical exercise so as to keep you fit as the trail is muddy at some point. You need good hiking shoes especially water proved one with good grips. You need to also have walking sticks to help in support at some point. The experience is quite amazing, one of its kind; however, you need to walk at your own pace. Similarly, dress in long trousers, which you will tack into stockings to prevent bites from ground insects and being hurt by stinging nettles.
A hiking valid permit is required however your local tour company can help you to arrange one. All participants in hiking to Dian Fossey graveyard are required to have a valid permit. Beyond Kigali city tours, is highly recommended in doing this right, as they can make it as part of the entire tour package. The hike is quite life rewarding, with such a great experience, this is worth lifetime story to share. Visit and see physically, the great work of Dian Fossey. On a lucky day, the trek also comes with views from golden monkeys and at times the rare mountain gorillas and birdlife. Hiking permits goes out for $75 per visitor.