Go2Africa, the award-winning safari operator, is excited to announce a new partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (DFGF), the pioneer in mountain gorilla conservation, which will open its new educational Ellen Campus in Rwanda to the public in February 2022. Aimed at providing a more immersive experience for their travelers, while raising funds for the non-profit, Go2Africa has developed four experiences that will take travelers on a deeper and richer gorilla trekking journey.
“We’re excited to have more experiences to offer our travelers in Rwanda. The new Campus is a great addition to our gorilla trekking itineraries, if just for a visit or one of our immersive experiences designed to educate and raise funds to support their work in Volcanoes National Park and local communities,” says Maija de Rijk-Uys, Managing Director of Go2Africa.
Opening this winter, the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund will become the new permanent home in Rwanda for their work, which has been dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa for the last 54 years. Open to the public, the Conservation Campus includes a public exhibit designed to educate students, community leaders, and tourists about gorillas, conservation, the region, and Dian Fossey. Visitors can explore the state-of-the-art experiences including interactive virtual reality and 360° film screenings, snack or dine in the cafe, or take in the view of the six volcanoes from the second-floor overlook.
For travelers looking to learn even more, Go2Africa offers four additional experiences providing access to the Campus and its researchers. All proceeds are donated back to the Fossey Fund’s local children’s outreach program, which invites Rwandan school children to the campus to learn about gorilla conservation and biodiversity.
Dr. Tara Stoinski, CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund shares, “The Ellen Campus was designed to help accelerate our scientific research, allowing us to better protect endangered mountain gorillas and their habitat. It will also serve as an entry point to conservation activism for the thousands of travelers who trek these parks. This partnership with Go2Africa will allow us to introduce passionate travelers to our important work while also raising necessary funds to keep the work going. We’re excited to engage with visitors at our new Campus this spring.”
1. Behind the Scenes Campus Tour
Get a 2-hour guided tour of the new Campus with a Fossey Fund researcher, with behind-the-scenes access to their new purpose-built scientific labs and centers.
Minimum Donation: $100 per person over the age of 15, matched by Go2Africa. Minimum donation of $500.
2. Gorilla Trek with DFGF Researcher
Have a Fossey Fund researcher join you on your gorilla trek. The Fossey Fund started as a scientific organization with Dian Fossey’s first campus based in the forest studying the gorillas and understanding their habitat, which is so important to their survival. The Fossey Fund continues to spend their time in the forests and can provide valuable knowledge and insights on the mountain gorillas and their conservation work alongside you on your trek.
Minimum Donation: $500 per group, plus $1,500 gorilla trekking fee
3. Private Gorilla Conservation Master Class
A great way to start or end your day of gorilla trekking, the Fossey Fund will meet up with travelers at lodges in the campus vicinity for a 2-hour master class in gorilla conservation, ready to answer questions or share their favorite trekking stories. The Fossey Fund wants visitors to not only learn, but be inspired and engage with conservation, which these one-on-one conversations will facilitate.
Minimum Donation: $500 per group
4. Scientific Campus Immersion
Get hands-on and dive into the latest Fossey Fund research with this half-day experience at the newly designed Price Research Center on campus. Thanks to the advancement of technology over the last 50 years, science is becoming more efficient and specialized for studying great apes. Choose from a number of active projects, such as assisting in the genetics or physiology labs with sample preparation, processing data to aid in our long-term gorilla growth study, or conducting biodiversity assessments on campus, as you join their research team to contribute to the progress being made to understand and protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat.
Minimum Donation: $1,000 per group, max group size of 4
These four experiences can be booked in conjunction with any of Go2Africa’s Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda Encounter tour which take travelers into the heart of the area first brought to the world’s attention by pioneering primatologist Dian Fossey, to be immersed in the majesty of Africa’s first gazetted national park that dates back to 1925. The safety of the mountain gorillas is paramount, which is why Volcanoes National Park requires a negative PCR test 72 hours before your gorilla trekking commences, as well as mask-wearing protocols.
For any new bookings until March 31, 2022 affected by COVID-related restrictions and complications, Go2Africa commits to no cancellation fees, trip deferment with no penalties, and 100% travel credit if canceled 65 days before your travel date.
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