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“Charming”
Review of Hotel Muhabura

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Hotel Muhabura
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Ruhengeri
Reviewed 31 October 2013

If you go to Ruhengeri and you are a realist, you should not expect a first class hotel: Ruhengeri is a little town somewhere "in the bush".
But what they lack in luxury, they really compensate with friendship!

The food? Well, it was fresh... You could hear when the goat was killed early in the morning, the same one you would have for lunch and dinner. And they were healthy to eat too: I believe I spent more calories in chewing them then the amount of calories I got from the food...

But the mushroom stewing was first class, better then the ones I have in Norway, where i live. And Norway is FULL of mushrooms!

I loved the swimming pool too... How big was it? Well, about 3 by 4 meters?... And empty...

And one thing: I lived there for about nine months directly after the genocide in -94, helping to build up the whole area with fresh water, working from the Virunga Park and down to Kinigi.

The rooms were simple, with paper thin walls, so I could hear my neighbors activity when he was writing on his laptop. But I just loved the gecko lizard on my wall, who was defending me from insects, as well as the transparent frog on the bathroom.

We joked often about the bank on the other side of the road, saying that it had a fantastic service: It was open 24/7 (mainly because the front door was blown off by a bomb during the war).

Totally speaking, I loved Rwanda and Ruhengeri. And the Muhabura is... charming.

So if you are going to the Virunga Park, this is the place to start from.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
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Thank watergeorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 149 reviews

Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

Nothing about this hotel is overwhelming, except for the,smile and friendliness of the front desk staff. The room was cramped, with one wall consisting of a huge picture window. The shower was distinctly in need of renovation, and as mentioned by others, the linens due for replacement. The food at the restaurant was edible but not much more...and the early breakfast, skimpy at best. However, after trekking in the rain, we were given a room to change our clothes, even though we had already checked out and were very muddy. Like we said, friendly and accommodating.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank pamdeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Again, we returned after a year to this hotel with the quality restaurant. We also had a bite in the garden; quiet and excelent for birding. Good mix of Gorilla tourist, local conference guests and people passing by. The stickers of all travel agents is the proof!
Tip: Good advice at the reception on other activities around Ruhengeri. Also the ABC-file in every room gives all information.
This hotel was the first in town and therefore will always have the most charm to stay when visiting the mountain Gorilla's.

Room Tip: 1. Try the new Sauna and masage facility (reservation)! 2. Room 12 (Dian Fossey) is special with al...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jansen86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

We stayed in this hotel twice recently. This hotel was the first in Ruhengeri and was the place where Dian Fossey stayed when she came down from the volcanoes (and the room she stayed in is as she left it when she was killed). The rooms are dated but that makes it all the more interesting. The food was variable and took ages to arrive when the restaurant was busy. Breakfast was excellent and was available from 5.30am for those going trekking.
The gardens are lovely and an absolute delight for those interested in birding. On the second occasion we stayed there I took advantage of the massage on offer and it was excellent and really good value. Staff are very helpful.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Linda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

Stayed there for 4 nights and we liked it. Convenient to have a restaraunt/bar. Nice garden to sit in and enjoy the sun (if there is any). The young Ugandan guy at the reception turned out to be extremely polite and professional, though we learned he had been there for only a week. His colleague was not nearly as useful. Food in the restaurant was good. Room was spacious.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Karin741
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2013

I arrived at the Muhabura without prior reservation and was charged 40 USD a night bed & breakfast in a single room with a double bed. It’s very much like a holiday camp and although there’s hot water all day, the tank is rather small so for two people, you might have to take it in turns. The shower was good but the room was a bit dirty with a lot of dead flies around.

My bed has a mosquito net which was also a bit dirty, with quite a lot of flies since the cleaner leaves the door opened during the day in between guests. There’s free wi-fi in the room which worked fine but the area is prone to power cuts. TV only had Rwandan channels. The hotel’s very quiet though and there are plenty of plugs for chargers.

Breakfast consisted of fruits, eggs, omelette (a bit soggy) and tea/coffee. Staff are friendly and helpful, with a little gift shop by reception and a fair-trade souvenir workshop next door.

The Muhabura is situated at the dimly lit end of Musanze so beware of motor bikes, sewage and potholes. Across the street is Palms Hotel which is more western in style at 60-80 USD a night with garish décor. They refused to go lower than 60 USD which sounded ridiculous considering Musanze is a second-tier city with few tourist attractions currently opened (no hiking or caves without prior permission).

Food is similar at both hotels. There are more hotel/motel/lodging options next to the Palms and Muhabura so best to check them all out before deciding if arriving without reservation. I personally didn't spot them till late in the day.

The Muhabura is perfectly adequate for one, maybe two nights’ stay.

VISAs accepted but best by cash.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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Thank sachahuista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

I stayed there for two nights when in Rwanda for Gorilla tracking. The room 15 was spacious and clean, the back of the hotel had a nice view of the volcanoes.

Breakfast was decent, with bread, butter, jam, eggs and a plate of fruits. Dinner was good, plentiful and cheap, the plate of the day was about US$4. There was probably about 1 kg of food in the plate, you could easily share between two. They also had a really good ice cold beer called Mutzig, and very cheap as well! Definitely recommended!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Carlos H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Muhabura

Address: Avenue Du 5 Juillet, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Northern Province > Musanze District > Ruhengeri
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Ruhengeri
Number of rooms: 127
Also Known As:
Hotel Muhabura Rwanda/Ruhengeri

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