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.

prod-70243-2

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.

gorillaorg-dian02-mobile

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

natgeo-136423179837502601.jpg

Capture

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.

capture

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.

A51P0092A51P2908A51P3405A51P3499A51P3578A51P5578

ELLEN SAVES GORILLAS IN AFRICA

So this is how it started, 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 this : (get tissues)

The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund was established to support global conservation efforts for critically endangered species. Building a permanent home for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is the first initiative of the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. This project will permanently secure the future of wild gorillas in Rwanda by building on successful field conservation efforts, while empowering the people living near the gorillas to thrive in relationship to their own ecosystem.

In 1967, Dr. Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda’s Virunga mountains to protect and study the endangered mountain gorillas.  Although Fossey’s life was cut short, her work lives on in the people and programs of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and its continuing conservation success story.

“I love animals, and I want to protect them, especially when they’re endangered.  We need these incredible creatures and they need our love and compassion to help save them.” – Ellen DeGeneres

The last entry in her diary read..“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”
Dian Fossey

Being in this industry and personally effecting all of us at Personal Collection, we are passionate about Gorillas and bringing clients over to experience this once in a lifetime bucket list opportunity.

So we have all been exceptionally happy and proud of Ellen for taking on what Dian started so many years ago!  And of course we are following her and Portia through her travels, so we wanted to share this with you. map

As per www.ellendegenereswildlifefund.org our Gorillas need love, attention and  protection.  Ellen is going to build a fantastic centre, creating employment, educating the community and the WORLD about Gorillas and why they matter. Bring Africa back on the map for its special wildlife.  In Rwanda, the mountain gorilla population has doubles since Dian first began her critical work.  They are the only great Ape that is increasing in the wild. However, they are only 880 mountain Gorillas alive on earth. 

So as Ellen and Portia are on social media, here is a recap of where they are and what they doing.

Firstly here is Ellen enjoying the wonderful and very special Giraffe Manor. Here is a little snap shot of their journey.

Follow @theellenshow

Here is breakfast at Giraffe Manor.

Here is Portia ordering her Breakfast at Giraffe Manor

And here is Ellen flirting with a giraffe.

Her face during this trip has been priceless, you can see her heart is so full and happy.

Look at these  @theellenshow Instagram pics found and followed by us on our  personalcollectionByTA

Such happy hearts!

Capture3Capture2Capture

Follow Ellen and her journey and contact us when you ready to book your trip and keep posted on our specials on Gorilla trekking through Africa.

All images and information taken from  @edwildlifefund @ellentube

@theellenshopellendegenereswildlifefund.org