of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Working together for the conservation of the mountain gorillas
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest has announced a partnership with The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, to offer suite guests of the resort exclusive behind-the-scenes access to see first-hand the incredible commitment to conserve these majestic and endangered creatures. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund works to protect and study gorillas in their natural habitat, as well as empower the people who live near the Volcanoes National Park. The Fossey Fund was established in 1967 by the legendary conservationist after which it takes its name, and in 2022 it opened its first permanent purpose-built “home”, The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The campus is located just a 10-minute drive from One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, one of two ultra-luxury One&Only resorts in Rwanda, in the foothills of the breathtaking Volcanoes National Park, one of the few remaining natural habitats of the mountain gorillas,
The campus is led by Dr Tara Stoinski who has been part of the Dian Fossey Fund for 20 years and is supported by Veronica Vecellio, Gorilla Programme Senior Advisor & Regional PR Director, who is based in Rwanda. “We have created a space to engage the many stakeholders in conservation—students, scientists, tourists, conservation partners, community members—to advance our collective goal of saving gorillas and more broadly, the planet. It is our hope that people who visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus will leave inspired to make a difference, just as Dian Fossey did,” said Dr Tara Stoinski, President & CEO / Chief Scientific Officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
With the joint goal of giving back to the community and a commitment to conserving the mountain gorillas and their habitat, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund will offer exclusive access to the campus for guests who have booked either the Ingagi or Silverback suites, starting from September 2022. Guests will receive a complimentary VIP back-of-house tour of the facility, led by a senior staff member, including a visit to the scientific labs, providing visitors with a rare insight into the study and protection of the gorillas.
All guests of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest are given the opportunity to contribute directly to the conservation of the mountain gorillas by adopting one of these incredible creatures. The resort gifts all guests with a beautiful handmade felted gorilla produced by Handspun Hope, a local co-operative
that supports vulnerable women who experienced trauma in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, as well as those living with HIV/AIDS. The organisation empowers strong and resilient women by providing them with dignified jobs and spiritual counselling as well as by fostering community development. The felted gorillas placed in every guest room and suite have a tag with the option to adopt a gorilla, with the funds going directly to the Dian Fossey Fund to support their vital work protecting the local gorilla population and conserving the precious environment they call home.
“Our partnership with the Dian Fossey Fund is one of many ways we are engaging with local communities, and together with our guests, contributing to socio-economic transformation in the region,” said Craig Storkey, Area Manager for One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and One&Only Nyungwe House. “From the coffee that we serve at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, which is produced by Twongere Kawa Coko Cooperative, a women-led cooperative of coffee farmers, to our partnership with the Inyange Conservation Troupe, who deliver exceptional moments for guests, such as the inspiring drumming that greets them upon arrival, teaching them local dances and boma evenings. We are passionate about preserving the rich stories of Rwanda, protecting the natural habitats here and being a valued member of the community.”
These initiatives are the beginning of an exciting journey of support and partnership between One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, with the intention of sharing the opportunity to learn, contribute and be inspired with visitors to the Volcanoes National Park.
For more information or reservations, please visit: https://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/gorillas-nest and https://gorillafund.org/ellencampus/