Rwandans watch immersive gorilla trekking VR film to mark Earth Day

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) together with the Ellen Fund, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Habitat XR, partnered to bring the country’s mountain gorilla trekking experience to people’s living rooms through a Virtual Reality (VR) film as the world marked this year’s Earth Day on Wednesday April 22.

A five-minute immersive cinematic virtual reality experience, the film brings you face-to-face with amazing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. With your personal VR headset, you can escape reality and go on a gorilla trek with the beautiful, curious endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

The film is free, and can be viewed on partner platforms such as Oculus, Within, Samsung VR, Littlstar and VeeR. A snapshot of the film can also be viewed without a VR headset online.

Commenting on the film, Belise Kariza, the RDB Chief Tourism Officer, said: “The global tourism industry has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis and we are sad we can’t welcome visitors to see and experience our beautiful country right now. However, it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay safe at home while we work with our partners to create and share immersive content like this Gorillas VR film. As the world celebrates Earth Day for the 50th time, we hope people enjoy this virtual experience of trekking through the jungle and interacting with the gentle giants of Volcanoes National Park from the comfort of their homes.”

The Ellen Fund supports global conservation efforts for endangered species. Founded in 2018 by Portia de Rossi as a gift to Ellen DeGeneres, the Fund’s immediate focus is to secure a future for wild mountain gorillas by building The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund a permanent home in Rwanda.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is the largest and longest-running organization fully dedicated to gorilla conservation. Their successful, people-centered approach includes close collaboration with local governments, communities, and partners from around the world to protect and study gorillas and their habitats in Africa. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has teams in Atlanta, Georgia, Rwanda, and the DRC.

Based in South Africa, Habitat XR is an immersive experiences studio focused on reconnecting people to nature through technology and storytelling. Habitat XR has produced projects around the world and won multiple accolades globally.


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