Fantsatic - I cannot reccommend Virunga Lodge enough for anyone staying in the area for gorilla tracking. The location is stunning - up a very steep track at the top of a volcanic crater - so fantastic views across two lakes, which make for great sunrises one side and great sunsets the other. It is an ecolodge - we were a bit concerned about reports of long drop toilets, bucket showers and limited electricity. But is was actually fine and added to the "back to nature" feel - the ecosan toilet worked very well (no smells!), and the staff were happy to bring you as much hot water as you liked for a shower. There was always hot water in the morning for washing - each lodge has been designed to allow the staff into the back of your bathroom (which is separated from the main room by a covered corridor) without disturbing you. The main lodge has lots of areas to sit and look at the views and each evening there was a very welcoming fire. Anytime the solar electric ran out there were plenty of candles and storm lamps provided (but do take a torch). A great treate was the hot water bottles in our bed each night - it gets quite chilly. The rooms were spotlessly clean and the bed very comfortable with great pillows, duvets etc. You can have your clothes washed anytime and they even clean your boots if they get muddy tracking the gorillas. Food was excellent - all drinks are included in your package - the wine was of a good standard, from South Africa. The helpfulness and friendliness of the staff really make this place. This lodge is not the closet to the gorilla tracking or the newest but it is truley stunning and very comfortable - a very memorable experience. The lodge also puts a lot back into the local community - using local food and supporting the local school. One evening the local village put on a dance show - not at all cheesy and a very nice experience. There are great walks from the lodge to the village - we found the local people to be proud and friendly - we did not find that the children begged - rather they were happy to smile at you and wave and practice a little english. Rwanda felt like a very safe place with friendly people who although poor were happy. And the gorillas - see them whilst you can, there are only 700 or so left in the world. They are truely beautiful and although large, serene and not scary. And the small effort to trek the volcano worth the effort (it was not as tough as I was expecting).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The magnificent Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury gorilla lodge of Rwanda and one of Africa’s finest and most renowned lodges. The lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east. It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service by our carefully trained staff. It is the first accommodation choice for the luxury traveller tracking the endangered mountain gorilla. Each of our ten luxurious bandas has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes. Luxuriously appointed, with the accent on vibrant Rwandese fabrics and stylish locally inspired furniture. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Virunga Hotel Ruhengeri
- Virunga Lodge Rwanda/Ruhengeri