Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

The continued survival of the mountain gorilla is due – in no small part – to passionate conservationists. One of the key figures responsible for helping ensure the survival of mountain gorillas was Dian Fossey, and her work continues through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, an organisation that Steppes Travel works closely with.

Originally created as the Digit Fund – named after Digit, Fossey’s favourite gorilla, the fund was set up to finance anti-poaching patrols in Rwanda. Now, it has evolved, supporting a far wider range of projects and has expanded its focus beyond Rwanda, and into neighbouring countries.

The fund takes a holistic approach to gorilla conservation, prioritising four main areas: protection of gorillas, scientific research, educating the next generation of conservationists and empowering local communities. The last of these is particularly important, as it ensures that local people not only benefit from gorilla tourism and but are not in conflict with gorillas for resources.

Karisoke Research Centre

Dr Dian Fossey set up this research centre as a camp within the Volcanoes National Park in 1967, located between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Karisoke. It continued to operate even after Fossey’s death, but in 2012 it eventually moved to a much more modern building in the town of Musanze. 2017 marked Karisoke’s 50th anniversary.

This new, convenient location means a visit can easily be combined with gorilla trekking. The centre offers the chance to learn about the history of Dian Fossey, see current research and discover protection practices being developed. In exchange for a donation, a private tour of the labs can be arranged, which includes the fascinating skeletal lab and a chance to meet the director.

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom