Close this search box.
Close this search box.

A Future for Gorillas and Conservation

The Ellen DeGeneres Campus
of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Visit Us at The Ellen DeGeneres Campus

The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund opened in 2022 and is located near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, home to the mountain gorillas. It represents the culmination of our 20-year dream to build a world-class research and education center to continue Dian Fossey’s legacy and advance our work of saving gorillas from extinction. 

The Ellen Campus is open to the public every day. Visitors can explore state-of-the-art exhibits that tell the story of our 55+ years of gorilla conservation, visit our gift shop featuring locally made crafts, grab a coffee or meal at the Gorilla Café, enjoy lush nature trails and meet with Fossey Fund staff who have dedicated their careers to saving gorillas. To learn more about visiting the campus, click here.

Watch a tour of our exhibits at the Ellen DeGeneres campus.

"From the outset, the mission of this project has focused on creating 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."

Dr. Tara Stoinski, President and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Campus History and Background

Our award-winning Ellen Campus was designed and built by the acclaimed MASS Design Group and was named one of Africa’s 10 most-anticipated architectural projects. It has been featured on CBS’s  “60 Minutes” and in Architectural Digest.

The multi-acre, eco-friendly facility adjacent to Volcanoes National Park includes three main buildings – the Sandy and Harold Price Research Center, the Rob and Melani Walton Education Center, and the Cindy Broder Conservation Gallery – as well as housing for visiting students and researchers.

Built with locally sourced materials and supplies, the facility provided 2,400 construction jobs for the community and invested over $13.5 million into the Rwandan economy. Embodying the Fossey Fund’s mission to limit environmental impact, it also incorporates rainwater harvesting, green roofs, reforestation of former agricultural land, and a constructed wetland to treat wastewater and promote biodiversity. These initiatives have yielded positive results as the campus is now blossoming with wildlife and providing a living laboratory for researchers and students.

The Ellen Campus serves as a gateway to conservation for local community members, tourists, scientists and students from around the world and is the first purpose-built facility for the Fossey Fund’s work. The campus construction was made possible through a lead gift from Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi and support from donors worldwide. In addition to the public exhibits, it also houses laboratories, classrooms, student accommodations and other facilities for supporting conservation and science, making it a hub for research and discovery in the region.

Dian Fossey has always been a hero of mine, and so it’s been the honor of a lifetime to support this project. To see my name alongside hers on the walls of this beautiful campus, and to know I’m doing my part to protect endangered gorillas and continue Dian’s legacy, is simply amazing.

Ellen DeGeneres

Collaborating Partners