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Volcanoes Safaris Partners with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund as Members of the Founders Circle for the New Ellen DeGeneres Campus in Rwanda

Volcanoes Safaris is pleased to announce support for the new, state-of-the-art Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Campus for its programs to ensure wild gorillas are protected for the next 50 years and beyond. Volcanoes Safaris is signing a partnership worth $100,000 over five years, in cash and kind, making Volcanoes Safaris part of a small group of platinum donors which will support the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in different ways including training staff in management and hospitality services as well providing operational support for the campus.

Volcanoes Safaris and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund will also continue to work on joint advocacy for mountain gorilla conservation in the region. “We wish the campus great success and pay tribute to the pioneering conservation work of the Fossey Fund. Twenty years ago Volcanoes Safaris organized the visit of the Fossey Fund Board of Directors to Volcanoes National Park in 2002. Today it is a privilege to announce this partnership, our support for the new campus, and the strengthening of the long-term relationship between Volcanoes Safaris and the Fossey Fund,” shares Praveen Moman, Volcanoes Safaris Founder.

Tara Stoinski, President and CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, said “We are thrilled to expand our long-term partnership with Volcanoes Safaris and to have the company as supporters of our new home. Volcanoes Safaris was instrumental in bringing responsible ecotourism to Rwanda in the early 2000s and has continued to build Rwanda’s reputation as a leader in gorilla ecotourism.”

Background on the Project:

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Founders Circle is a distinguished community of supporters whose gifts demonstrate a celebrated commitment to gorilla conservation through the financial support of our Ellen DeGeneres Campus.

The new Ellen campus, which was opened on 1 February 2022, is the first purpose-built home for the Fossey Fund’s critical work after more than 50 years and a global example of socially and environmentally responsible design.

About Volcanoes Safaris:

Volcanoes Safaris has been at the forefront of reviving gorilla and chimpanzee tourism in the region since 1997. As pioneers of sustainable mountain gorilla tourism in the region Volcanoes Safaris became the first international safari company to take clients to Rwanda in 2000. In 2004, Virunga Lodge, built by Praveen Moman, was opened and was the first lodge to be built by an international company near the gorilla park after the war.

In 2022, Volcanoes Safaris is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is recognized as the leader in great ape tourism specializing in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda and Uganda. With four magnificent lodges, reimagined in recent years, guests can enjoy all the highlights of Uganda and Rwanda in comfort and style while primate trekking in East Africa. Guests can also experience and participate in community and conservation projects run by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust.

The Dian Fossey Map Room was opened at Virunga Lodge in 2017 in honor of Dian Fossey and includes a permanent exhibition charting the ‘Conservationists and Explorers of the Virunga Volcanoes’.

About Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund:

Founded by famed American primatologist Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Their successful, integrated approach includes four strategic pillars: protecting gorillas and their forest habitat; conducting critical science needed for conservation decision making; training the next generation of conservationists in Africa and beyond; and helping the communities who share the gorillas’ forest home through food and water security, livelihood and education initiatives.  Celebrating 55 years in 2022, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is the world’s largest and longest running organization dedicated to the conservation of gorillas.

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To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 years are allowed to go gorilla tracking. For guests booking a stay at Virunga Lodge, please note that the minimum age limit for children at Virunga Lodge is 12 years.

Safari Activities

Chimpanzee Tracking

Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.

Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.