CELEBRATING DIAN FOSSEY 87TH BIRTHDAY TODAY

Today would have been Dian Fossey’s 87th birthday, and though she was killed before she could realize the full value of her important work, we think she would be proud – and maybe a little surprised – that her vision lives on.

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Mountain gorillas still exist today because of Dian’s courage and persistence. She NEVER wavered in her commitment to the gorillas – even in the face of significant challenges. But Dian’s legacy isn’t just the mountain gorillas…she proved that one person can truly change the world.

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Dian and her legacy has given us more time with the gorillas.

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THE DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND INTERNATIONAL 

Ellen DeGeneres, a much loved American comedian, television host, actress, writer, producer, and LGBT activist, turned 60!  Her beautiful wife Portia gave her and Africa a very special gift. Watch and read this.

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We would like to celebrate Dian’s birthday today by showing you how you can make a difference and showing you how to get to see these wonderful endangered gorillas in Rwanda and DRC.

Click here to donate to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International or visit the Ellen’s passion and read how she is making a difference.

And when you are ready to book Gorilla Trekking with us, let us know as we are happy to assist you with this once in a life time adventure, a memory that will stay with you forever.

Here are some striking images taken by Nelis Wolmarans of the exceptional Gorillas.

 

GORILLAS IN RWANDA

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK/ VIRUNGA CONSERVATION

Found in the Northwest of Rwanda, a visit to the Volcanoes National Park is a must and, in many cases, the very reason one visits Rwanda. The park is home to around 10 Gorilla families (8 permits are given per family so a total of 80 permits per day).

It is an area of thickly vegetated rain forest and bamboo. It is where the legendary Dian Fossey, made her home for over 18 years. She spent the years studying the life of Africa’s gorillas and their habitual ways and becoming a force against the poachers seeking out gorillas for meat and trade. She left a legacy behind and began the process of conserving our Gorillas. 

The Volcanoes National park is a part of the Virunga Conservation area. The Virunga Conservation area traverses over 3 countries, (Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda), covers 2 national parks (Virunga NP in DRC, Volcanoes NP in Rwanda and Mgahinga in Uganda) and houses eight volcanoes (5 of which sit in Rwanda) and forms the borders – these are Mount Karismibi, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke and Mount Gahinga).  Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira, which sit in DRC, are the only active volcanoes. This incredible formation is all part of the Albertine Rift.

This is the terrain; the endangered gorillas call home. The eco-system and fertile volcanic soil is what makes the region so attractive for the gorillas. The eco-system is divided into 4 vegetation zones and also provides habitat for the golden monkeys, as well as many bird species.

Thanks, so all conservation efforts and rules, gorillas have increased in numbers and continue to contribute hugely to the economy of Rwanda which in turn finances the anti-poaching team and creates jobs for the locals, which minimises the need for poaching and black-market gorilla sales.

Further to gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park, hiking tours are a must.  There is no better way to appreciate the parks rich flora and fauna.

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.

Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives.

Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. The journey back can take just as long, but you are often carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!

Expert guides give a pre-trek briefing on specific protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas that live within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m. Porters are available to help carry backpacks and cameras, as well as helping you with your footing along your hike which can be hard work, but well worth it.

If you are ready for a “life changing” experience and an adventure of a lifetime, contact us so we can make your dream come true.

Our preferred guide for Gorilla Trekking is Nelis Wolmarans, his pictures captures the profoundly amazing adventure.

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DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA NAMING CEREMONY

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Rwanda’s annual gorilla-naming ceremony, called “Kwita Izina,” took place on Sept. 1, and in addition to the infant gorilla named by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, 18 other gorillas received names during this event.

Most of them were infants born in the past year, but a few were actually adult gorillas who joined the monitored gorilla groups during the same time period, arriving from groups that have not been monitored, sometimes from over the border in Congo.

Here are the new names of all the gorillas from the ceremony:

Mitimbili’s infant: A male, born on April 24, 2017, now called Uruyange, meaning “shiny.” He lives in Pablo’s gorilla group, which is the largest monitored by the Fossey Fund.

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Kurudi’s infant: A female, born in Aug. 4, 2016, now called Macibiri, after Dian Fossey’s Rwandan nickname, Nyiramacibiri.

Tamu’s infant: Gender still undetermined, born on Sept. 8, 2016, now named Ubudasa, meaning “remarkable,” in reference to the young silverback who leads this group.

Ukuri’s infant: Gender still undetermined, born on Aug. 7, 2016, now named Umutware, meaning “leader” and honoring the leadership of Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

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Mahirwe’s infant: A female born approximately April 1, 2016, now named Arakaza, meaning “welcome” because she was born while the group was in the Democratic Republic of Congo, outside of our tracking area.

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Tegereza’s infant: A male, first seen on March 7, 2017, now named Iyamarere, meaning “enthusiastic.”

Rugira’s infant: Gender still undetermined, born on June 21, 2017, now named Urugano, meaning “generation,” to highlight investment in Rwanda’s youth.

Adult female in Ntambara’s group: First seen on March 8, 2017, now named Nsanganira, meaning “well accepted.” This previously unknown female was first seen in the group when they returned from ranging in Congo and is now well established in her group.

Other gorillas getting names include those in groups that are monitored by the Rwandan park authorities (Rwanda Development Board):

INFANTS :

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Ikoranabuhanga, meaning “information technology” to highlight this development in Rwanda.

Inyange, meaning “handsome and smart.”

Isuku, meaning “cleanliness,” recognizing how clean Rwanda is.

Inkingi, meaning “pillar” because gorillas are a pillar for the Rwandan economy.

TemberoRwanda, meaning “visit Rwanda,” to invite people to come to Rwanda.

Inkesha, meaning “star,” because the mountain gorillas are such important figures

Imirasire, meaning “ray of sun” to highlight Rwanda’s efforts in solar power.

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Mudahinyuka, meaning “truthful and reliable.”

Ubwiza, meaning “beautiful.”

Iriba, meaning “water source.”

Also named was a new group that formed and is now called Muhoza, meaning “consolation.”

The annual Kwita Izina ceremony and associated events are organized each year by the Rwanda Development Board, which oversees management of Volcanoes National Park, home to the mountain gorillas.

Support the Fossey Fund’s gorilla protection and monitoring efforts by clicking here.

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If you are ready to book your Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Click Here and get ready for your life to change. We support Dian Fossey Fund and are very grateful for all her amazing profound work.  Dian lives with us everyday.