Ellen DeGeneres campus inaugurated in Rwanda

Saturday June 11 2022

Ellen DeGeneres (centre) planting a tree at the new campus in the the Volcanoes National Park. PHOTO | POOL


US TV host Ellen DeGeneres was in Rwanda this past week to officially inaugurate The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

The $15 million campus in the Volcanoes National Park, Musanze district, will further the mountain gorilla conservation and research work started by Dian Fossey, the legendary conservationist who was murdered in 1985.

At the launch, DeGeneres said of Fossey; "She was my hero. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has been here for over 50 years through all the challenges.

"This campus is important for the gorillas, but it is also important for the Rwandan people to continue the conservation work, for all students to come here and learn."

The launch was attended by Rwanda's Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente who said the campus was "an important milestone in the conservation of these animals".

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is the world's longest-serving organisation dedicated to gorilla conservation. One of the Fossey Fund’s goals for the new space was to create a new experience for tourists coming to Rwanda.


The design and construction used local labour and material to develop an immersive reforested landscape.

There is housing for 30 students and visiting researchers.

Read: Ellen's campus opens in Rwanda

Generous donor contributions made it possible for the campus to have several engagement spaces.

Read: A 'special gift' sells Rwanda