Ellen's gorilla conservation in Rwanda

U.S.$5 Million Mobilized For Gorilla Conservation In Rwanda

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres’s campaign to conserve mountain gorillas in Rwanda is booming. The TV personality also a comedian managed to raise U.S.$5 Million (about Rwf4.6 billion) to support mountain gorilla conservation in Volcanoes National park Rwanda. Ellen mobilized fundraising supported by her wife Portia de Rossi and other people from the entertainment world in support of the “Gorillapalooza” that was held in Los Angeles, California. It was a great surprise when money collected doubled the initial budget by more than half. Ellen and her team had initially hoped to raise $2 million but were surprised when they managed to raise $5 million. The comedian was super excited that she could not hide her excitement extending her sincere appreciation to all those who supported her during her TV show.

About Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda

Ellen & Wife watching a gorilla in Rwanda

Since the time of Dian Fossey, mountain gorilla conservation has been a key priority for the Rwanda government, something that has attracted support from numerous conservationists and gorilla lovers from all over the world. In May 2017, Rwanda Development Board double increased the cost of her gorilla permit from $750 to $1500 purposely to promote the conservation of endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National park. Despite the critics RDB got from travel operators and local people, the initiative transferred the country into a luxury gorilla tour destination. More still, Ellen DeGeneres is currently constructing a gorilla campus in Rwanda (Ellen Degeneres Campus) of the Dian Fossey fund at the base of Volcanoes National park. The campus construction started in Feb. 2019 following the comedian visit to Rwanda in May 2018.

How was money fundraised?
Ellen DeGeneres initiated a campaign and informed her friends in the entertainment industry each of which played a vital role in raising the $5 million. Among the people who attended include Chris Martin who staged the performance for the audience, Julia Roberts and Sofia Vergara would outbid each ticket at the “12 Days of Giveaways” while James Corden co-hosted a live auction together with Ellen. When James Corden held a microphone, he started by asking each participant to point at the richest person on his/her table. The first bidder set $25,000 that was later hiked to $30,000 by Diane Keaton, then to $50,000 by Julia Roberts until $55,000 by Sofia Vergara. In the end, Sofia raised $85,000 winning as the highest bidder. Other people who contributed to the gorilla conservation campaign include Sean Hayes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton and Kendall among others. In her shows, Ellen DeGeneres normally arranges 12 days of giveaway event in which he lavishes her audiences with exciting prize packages such as electronics, Netflix subscriptions and gift cards for 12 days.

About Ellen DeGeneres Campus

Ellen DeGenere’s Campus in Rwanda

Rwanda DeGeneres campus was gifted to Ellen by her wife De Rossi as a birthday gift in 2018. This initiated Ellen’s first visit to Rwanda to check the site and confirm herself the legacy of Dian Fossey, the American primatologist who lost her life to poachers in her campaign to save the endangered mountain gorillas that were at the verge of extinction. The campus is being built on 11 acres of land covering 50,000 feet just at the foothills of Volcanoes National park, home to the highest population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation Area. The campus will comprise of the various sections including laboratories, libraries, classrooms, meeting space and the place for exhibitions. In addition, Ellen’s campus includes a conservation gallery; housing, education center, and a research center will all necessary equipment. The major aim for Ellen DeGeneres’s campus is to gather and provide tools to support the existing Dian Fossey Fund saving mountain gorillas for sustainable; gorilla tourism in the Virunga Massif. Ellen DeGeneres’s campus is focused on supporting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which is the world’s longest-running and largest organization dedicated t saving mountain gorillas, which has operated for more than 50 years through its Karisoke research center in Musanze.

Achievements of the Rwanda Development Board
We greatly recognize the continuous efforts of the Rwanda Development Board that has this small county merge as an exceptional gorilla safari destination. The marketing campaigns including “Visit Rwanda” plus other unique products such as gorilla naming ceremony celebrated each year to give baby gorillas names have made Rwanda a must-visit for most travelers on African safaris. In 2018, the Rwanda Development board sold off 15,132 permits earning $15 million to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Conclusively, the raised US $5 million for gorilla conservation in Rwanda is a great achievement in the tourism industry. The money will help fund various gorilla conservation projects in Rwanda, which will see the number of mountain gorillas, increase from the current 1004 gorillas to a higher number in the near future. For gorilla tour bookings and travel advice to Rwanda, Contact

Posted in blog.