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“A Must on the Bucket List if not Before!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   adjacet to Parc National des Volcans, Ruhengeri, Rwanda   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A Must on the Bucket List if not Before!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Settle in for a very interesting and scenic journey from the airport - be ready with your camera as it is a photographers delight !

Location, Location & Location, looking out to Mt. Sabyinyo is stunning, what ever the time of year, its very much like a moving picture - worth the time to just sit and stare!

The welcome was warm and friendly but also informative at the same time...
The food had tasty flavours and the chef was very attentative to your needs, soups and salad were great, try the local peanut sauce! ...Alcohol is covered if you like a tipple or two.

We were greeted by no less than David Richards (relief host of the lodge) who has written a few wildlife books and has some lovely stories to tell over dinner, should you opt for company.

Dvd's are available to watch in the main lodge lounge - nothing like 'Gorilla's in the Mist' to get you in the frame of mind...

The altitude is high and therefore the pace slower... The lodge climate was a little tropical, layers for clothing are best depending on the time of year. Gaiters/gloves/torches/spare rain coats, are available at the lodge.

A camera is a must, light can be a challenge, depending where you find the Gorilla's, especially if amongst the bamboo. Be decisive and selective on the lens you choose, the staff are knowledgeable with this.

If you want to feel like giving something to the local children whist trekking - pens/pencil/rubber or paper is a good option...

If you can take a porter to carry even a small bag - they also help in the more challenging terrain, it is recommended, as it not only helps locals, but some in the past have been associated with poaching and the $'s might influence them to continue to porter...

The Golden Monkeys are worth a trip - very different, playful and fun bunch...

What is delightful - after trekking, you put your trainers/shoes/boots back on and they are immaculate as if new - magical, as is the warm fire and hot water bottles they prepare at night for your room - all this is the staff's friendly service and attention to detail

Thank you.

Room Tip: Lodge with a view number 2!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Musiara, Manager at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
Thank you for your review of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

We stayed for two nights at the beginning of May 2013. Each & every staff person was really top-notch & so, so sweet, cabins were lovely & comfortable & the views of Mt. Sabyinyo from our cabin was awesome. I sat out front reading on our second night & had trouble concentrating on the book b/c I kept admiring the view of the mountain. Location of the lodge very close to the PNV start of gorilla trek check-in was also good so we could maximize sleep time! : ) Wifi in the lobby area of the main lodge & a cute gift shop as well.

The food was seriously delicious & there was a vegetarian option at each meal. I opted for the veggie choice every meal. The soups were among the best I've ever had! Alcoholic beverages are included in the price of the lodging.

We did the gorilla trek at PNV & the lodge provided gaiters & gloves, which were soooo appreciated b/c of the stinging nettles during the trek. The long, hot shower after the cold, rainy trek might have been the best shower ever! Laundry is included in the lodging cost & I'm not sure how they got our clothes so clean after the trek, but they did! Likewise with their boot cleaning...our boots were magically clean the day after the trek!

On a final note, LOVED the fireplace in our room & the hot water bottles they provided in our beds each evening!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

Amazing property and experience. We were only able to secure 1 night here due to low availability. I wish we could have stayed 2-3 nights. The staff took care of everything. They secured the permits months in advance, arranged transport from/to kigali, provided hiking equipment, etc. All we had to do was show up in Kigali. The food was awesome, and communal dinner was a blast!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

This lodge is everything we hoped it would be plus more!
STAFF : So incredibly friendly and helpful! Nothing was too much trouble for them. They would bring us coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies for our morning wake up call. The day after our gorilla trek we had a late lunch in the dining hall, and when they offered us coffee, we declined as we just wanted to get to the shower and clean up, so instead they brought the coffee to us! Every time we got back to our room there was a blazing log fire going, and hot water bottles placed in our beds just before bedtime. Big beautiful smiles, and so polite, even the security guards.
ROOM : Stunning private cabin with fireplace, standalone bath, shower with a seat in it (did not appreciate the value of this until after a gorilla trek, trying to clean extremely dirty feet...), large luggage room, and beautiful sitting area and patio. Only thing was the lighting left a little bit to be desired...
FOOD : every meal had us going WOW! Some of the best food I have ever had. Not sure why they put knives on the table, as the meat is so incredibly tender that it just falls apart! Only once did I need to add any sort of seasoning, all the flavours were beautiful.

This lodge truly is the perfect way to come back and relax after the potentially arduous trek to see the gorillas. We had such an amazing time we are already planning a return visit!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lilongwe
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Sabyinyo in May 2013 and had an absolute wonderful stay. Beautiful views, comfortable rooms and VERY nice staff. Of course seeing the Gorilla's was fantastic, but the staff were most definitely the other highlight of our stay. I would almost rate value, sleep quality one less to show appreciation of the staff, but everything was really excellent, staff jut stood out and were better than excellent.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

My husband and I arrived at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge after our morning trek to the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. When we got out of the car, and I saw the steps, I thought I would cry. I was tired, filthy dirty, and because of some health issues, thought twice before setting foot on the first stair.
Our luggage was carried up by hotel staff, and we (I) wearily made our way up, up, up - and I'm glad I did!!!!!
We were met by the managers, Tracey & Niles (sorry about the spelling guys, but you know who you are), together with other members of their staff, offering delicious cold drinks, wet towels, warm smiles and a hearty welcome. Our boots were unlaced and taken from our feet and we were supplied with crocs (or something very similar), and after a few minutes, we headed inside for a brief but concise welcome talk by Tracey, who was able to answer any and all questions, after which were shown to our lodge where we were able to clean up, collect our thoughts and then head back to the main lodge for lunch.
The grounds are gorgeous, the buildings very well maintained and decorated beautifully, and the atmosphere is relaxed - exactly what we needed. The fact that our stay included laundry, cleaning of our very muddy boots (and laces!), all drinks (except 'top shelf'), wi fi (in the main building), and the fact that Tracey & Niles were very knowledgable about not only the Gorillas, but with information regarding our upcoming safari days, and what we were likely to see and experience then, just added to the enjoyment of our (far too brief) visit.
The meals were delicious, the accommodation was wonderful, and all in all, I could not recommend Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, highly enough!!!!!

Room Tip: Because of my health issues (including cardiomyopathy), we had the 'room' closest to the mai...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
111 hotel reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Wonderful place - enjoyed chatting with the owners and other guests. Also agreed with previous comments about having cash on you, preferably US $. I was delighted with a child's drawing I bought of the gorillas at the park, and we were always wishing we had cash to buy small souvenirs. Regrettably we only stayed 2 nights. I would say this is the absolute minimum - - 3 or 4 would have been better. Also agree that the walk to the lodge is NOT a big deal - after all, you are likely there to hike. I would caution if you are taxed by the walk to the lodge (which has handrails, stone path, and a porter to carry your bag) you should think carefully if you are fit enough to do the gorilla hike.

We loved every minute and would go back!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Address: adjacet to Parc National des Volcans, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Location: Rwanda > Northern Province > Ruhengeri
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Ruhengeri
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is located in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes. Situated close to the gates of the Parc des Volcans National, it is the perfect base for Gorilla trekking. This is a community lodge, it was built and is operated by Governors Camp but is owned by the local community trust that use revenue generated from the lodge to drive socio-economic projects. Eight cottages provide wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and volcanoes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sabyinyo Silverback Hotel Ruhengeri
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Rwanda/Ruhengeri

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