Go2Africa Partners with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to Provide Four Immersive Experiences to Aid Gorilla Conservation in 2022
Ellen Degeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Opens
to Travelers February 2022
Cape Town, South Africa (December X, 2021) Go2Africa, the award-winning safari operator, is excited to announce a new partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the pioneer in mountain gorilla conservation, which will open its new educational 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 quick visit or to enjoy one of our immersive experiences designed to educate and raise funds to support the Fossey Fund’s work in Volcanoes National Park and local communities,” says Maija de Rijk-Uys, CEO of Go2Africa.
Opening this spring, 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 campus includes a public exhibit designed to educate locals, 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 Rwandese school children to the campus to learn about gorilla conservation and biodiversity.
Dr. Tara Stoinksi, CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund shares, “This campus was designed for and by our team to help us succeed in science to better protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat. It’s also an entry point to introduce the thousands of travelers who trek these parks to a lifetime of conservation activism. This partnership with Go2Africa allows us to engage passionate travelers while raising necessary funds to keep the work going. Our team of researchers are excited to engage with visitors starting this spring.”
The VSPT Kyambura Community and Conservation Center serves as a major resource for the neighboring communities and is key to the partnership. VSPT will continue to extend the existing three-kilometer buffer zone it has created along the gorge; use of the football pitch to develop local sporting talent among young people; enhance the training in skills offered by the Kyambura Cafe and hospitality training center; expand the women’s coffee cooperative; develop the wetland for guests and local environmental education; as well as support conservation through trainings and workshops for teachers and community.
1. Behind the Scenes Campus Tour
Get a 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.
Donation: $100 per client, 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.
Donation: $500 plus $1,500 gorilla trekking fee
3. 1-on-1 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 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.
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 as you join their research team to contribute to the progress being made to understand and protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat.
This eclectic safari lodge, fully upgraded during 2018 and 2019 with entirely remodelled public areas and gardens, has been converted from an old coffee store to create a breathtakingly beautiful space. The lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park with sweeping views of the rolling savanna, the distant mountains of the moon, and the sunken Kyambura Gorge.
Eight unique luxury bandas, reflecting the local building style (4 of them deluxe bandas).
Personal butler service for all guests.
All bandas have mosquito nets, 240v lighting, charging stations and a private balcony.
Bandas are individually named after the Kyambura Gorge chimpanzees.
Swimming pool and new spa.
Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge building.
Premium wine, whisky, and cocktail menus.
Rwanda & Uganda Covid Policies for International Guests:
According to the Rwanda Development Board, all passengers, including those in transit through Rwanda, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda. For passengers entering Rwanda, a second test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours during which time travelers will be required to self-quarantine in a designated hotel at their own cost. All tourism activities, including primate trekking within Rwanda’s national parks, have now resumed in line with enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures. For more information on the tourism reopening guidelines, please visit: http://www.rdb.rw/visitrwandaguidelines.
Passengers arriving in Uganda must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within 120 hours prior to landing. Passengers leaving Uganda must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within 72 hours before boarding. Mandatory use of masks and social distancing of 5 feet within the terminals will be enforced. Access will be barred to those without a face mask. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has opened all parks with safety restrictions in place, and primate tourism is once again available. UWA has introduced the following procedures which will remain in effect when borders re-open for international tourism: Mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infra-red thermometers at key tourism gates. Mandatory face masks while inside parks. All tourists participating in primate tracking activities should carry at least two N95 masks, surgical masks, or double-layered cloth masks with filters. Mandatory hand washing/sanitizing all the entrances of all UWA premises and protected areas.
Go2Africa is a multi-award-winning tour operator based out of Cape Town that curates exceptional, personalized African vacations, specializing in safaris, plus wineland and gastronomy experiences, city escapes, beach, diving, and golf tours across the continent. Since 1998, the team has been committed to building first-hand knowledge of every destination, lodge, and activity they recommend from their 3000+ partners. Working across 15 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, 100% of their revenues stay in Africa, supporting local communities and conservation projects, making a difference long after their clients return home. With an entire team of African-born and raised specialists, including seven named as Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists in 2021, travelers are in expert hands. From spotting the Big 5 to following the Wildebeest Migration, trekking into the rainforests to encounter endangered mountain gorillas, enjoying world-class scuba diving and whale watching, or simply enjoying sundowner drinks on an endless savannah, Go2Africa can help create the perfect experience to immerse oneself in the magic of Africa - one of life’s most incredible experiences.
About Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund:
Established in 1967 by famed primatologist Dian Fossey, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund works to protect and study wild gorillas and their habitats and to empower people who share the gorillas’ forest home. With a team of more than 240 staff working in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Fossey Fund is the world’s longest running and largest organization dedicated entirely to gorilla conservation. At the time Fossey began her groundbreaking work, it was predicted that mountain gorillas would be extinct by the year 2000. Instead, they are recognized as one of the world’s few conservation stories, and recently were moved from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered,’ one step further from extinction.