Last week Brian Keating was camped-out on the cusp of a volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This week, he is in Rwanda, where he’s just returned from an important hike — visiting the research site of the late American primatologist Dian Fossey. Brian speaks with host Doug Dirks with the details.

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Brian standing at Dian Fossey’s grave

Brian standing at Dian Fossey’s grave where she is buried beside Digit, her favourite gorilla who was also murdered. Located some 3,100 m ASL, Karisimbe Research Station was her home for the duration of her research, where she showed the world that gorillas are truly gentle giants.

Chief Park Warden Prosper Uwingeli with Dee Keating

During our descent from Dian’s research camp, we had a chance encounter with one of the gorilla troops. Chief Park Warden, Prosper Uwingeli, is seen here with Dee Keating and “Charles”, the silverback of the Umubano Troop, a family of gorillas whose territory encompasses Fossey’s camp area. We saw 7 individuals from this family, and witnessed some fantastic, goofy “show-off” behaviour amongst the juveniles. There are 13 members in this family.

Brian and Dee in Hagenia Forest at Dian Fossey’s camp

Brian and Dee in the fantastic Hagenia Forest at Dian Fossey’s camp. It’s easy to understand why she chose this location for her cabin, and as her base for research. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but it’s also excellent gorilla habitat. Buffalo spoor was common in the area, and we spotted a black-fronted duiker, a type of forest antelope.