Things you must know before hiking Dian Fossey Tomb

Things you must know before hiking Dian Fossey Tomb

April 1, 2014


Many tourists ask themselves many questions as they plan for their safari to Rwanda including those interested in touring Volcanoes National Park. At this adventurous park, there are many activities that a visitor can enjoy including gorilla trekking, nature walks, bird watching and Dian Fossey grave (Karisoke) hiking. However, there are questions concerning this hiking activity which require you to know their answers before traveling like; How to book a hiking safari to Dian Fossey Karisoke? How many people are allowed to hike at a time? What to do while hiking? and many more.

A visitor is advised to book with a credited tour company like Maranatha Tours and Travel company so as to have aguaranteed magnificent experience on the mountains. We can organize your safari to this smallest country in East Africa at fair cost, book accommodations for you and cater for your movements in Rwanda. To ease our work and ensure convenience, a tourist is advised to give a notice prior to his/her actual hiking date for proper planning. All you need to do is to inquire with us on this website or contact us so that we can formulate a suitable itinerary for you in time.

What is special with Dian Fossey Tomb?

Many visitors hike to this adventurous place because of the hard-to forget experience without knowing the history behind it. This magnificent site full of cultural outlook was setup in memory of Dian Fossey, an American primatologist who spent over 18 years trying to study and protect the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Her love for these rare primates kept her in the wild and even ended up becoming a friend to the primates. It was during one of her busy days in the jungle when she was killed by the poachers who saw her as a threat simply because she had started advocating for anti-poaching in Rwanda. To keep her legacy, it was decided that her body should be buried in Volcanoes National Park on top of a mountain where she used to do most of her works.

Today, Rwanda gorilla safaris are on an increasing rate because of Dian Fossey’s works and she has been recognized worldwide. About 60% of the visitors specifically come to do gorilla trekking and they end up extending their safari by hiking to Dian Fossey’s Tomb.

Normally, the hiking starts at 8:00 am in the morning and it takes about half a day. Before setting off (at about 7:00 am), you are briefed by well experienced guides who are there to answer all your questions about this site. Small groups of people are allowed to hike at a time to avoid overcrowding in the paths each with a guide who directs and advises. This hiking is usually muddy and a tourist is advised to wear waterproof boots with good traction plus a walking stick for support. It is quite a tough strenuous trek just like a trek to the Susa gorilla group in Volcanoes National Park because of the straight up movements involved. Today, the fees for Karisoke trek is USD$ 75 per person and this includes the fee for your guide.

Though tiresome, it’s worth once you reach the site as you see the house where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985.The most touching feature at this site is the place where Dian Fossey was buried next to her favorite mountain gorilla, Digit and others which either died because of sickness or killed by poachers.

At this place, your eyes will not keep a distance away from the touching words written on Dian Fossey tomb’s grave which read;

No one loved the gorillas more

Rest in peace, dear friend

Eternally protected

In this sacred ground

For you are home

Where you belong

However, her death did not kill her efforts and currently, Dian Fossey Fund monitors over 15 mountain gorillas plus managing other projects aimed at protecting these endangered species and other wildlife in the region.

There is no doubt that this hiking is fantastic emotionally, intellectually and physically. It comes as an optional activity after gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park for tourists interested in adding a cultural experience to their safari.