Der Grabstein von Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey and her legacy: the work to protect the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Anja Sterker
Written by: Anja Sterker Last updated at: February 27, 2024

Dian Fossey and her legacy: the work to protect the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Table of contents

Dian Fossey was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to protecting the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Her groundbreaking work and passionate commitment helped raise awareness of the need for conservation and laid the foundation for the protection of these fascinating animals. Here's everything you need to know about Dian Fossey and her work in Rwanda before embarking on a journey in her footsteps.

Der Grabstein von Dian Fossey und einige Gräber gestorbener Berggorillas

The life of Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey was born in San Francisco, California, in 1932 and developed a passion for animals at an early age. After leaving behind a career as a child therapist, she embarked on a life-changing journey to Africa, where she discovered her love for mountain gorillas. Fossey spent almost two decades of her life in the cloud forest of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, where she intensively studied the gorillas' way of life and behavior.

Pioneering work in nature conservation

Dian Fossey is considered one of the pioneers of gorilla conservation and has achieved numerous milestones in the research and protection of this endangered species. She founded the Karisoke Research Center in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, which was dedicated to the research, protection and rehabilitation of mountain gorillas. Her groundbreaking book "Gorillas in the Mist" and the film of the same name helped to raise awareness of the endangerment of these fascinating animals and mobilize international support for their protection.

The fight against poaching and habitat loss

One of the biggest challenges Dian Fossey faced was poaching and the loss of the mountain gorillas' natural habitat. She courageously campaigned against poachers and fought for stricter laws and enforcement measures to protect the gorillas. She also worked closely with local communities to promote programs for the sustainable use of natural resources and to create alternative sources of income.

The legacy of Dian Fossey

Although Dian Fossey was tragically murdered in 1985, her legacy is still alive. Her tireless efforts to protect the mountain gorillas laid the foundation for modern conservation in Rwanda and continue to inspire conservationists around the world. The Karisoke Research Center she founded still exists and continues her work to protect the gorillas.

Visit the Dian Fossey grave and the Karisoke Research Center

For travelers interested in the legacy of Dian Fossey, a visit to her grave in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a moving and meaningful moment. The Karisoke Research Center also offers guided tours that allow visitors to learn more about the work of Dian Fossey and the fascinating world of the mountain gorillas.

Dian Fossey im Film Gorillas im Nebel gemeinsam mit zwei Berggorillas

Dian Fossey was an extraordinary woman whose commitment to the protection of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda has left a lasting impression. Her legacy lives on in the work of conservationists and researchers who continue to campaign for the preservation of these fascinating animals.