Even by the standards of African safaris, dining with a giraffe and meeting silverback gorillas are not everyday occurrences. But actor and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres did just that and more when she finally embarked on her trip to that continent.

The trip was for a specific purpose: to visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which her partner Portia de Rossi had surprised her with on her 60th birthday in February. DeGeneres is an animal-lover and a huge fan of conservationist Dian Fossey, who was murdered in 1985.

DeGeneres presented clips from her trip with de Rossi to Kenya and Rwanda at the premier of the 16th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In Rwanda, they came face-to-face with gorillas and DeGeners had the honour of sitting at Fossey’s office desk.

Later, she also met Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Fossey Fund CEO, Tara Stoinski, at the camp-site. The facility will cost an estimated $10 million to complete and, of which about $8 million has been raised already, half of it coming from Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher’s mega donation of $4 million through the tech company Ripple.