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“Fabulous position and views” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Virunga Lodge

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Virunga Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous position and views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2013

The Lodge has a great location if a little tedious to get to as it is a good half hour from the Park headquarters up a rough dirt road. However the views over the lake made it worthwhile. Facilities in the lodge are very good particularly considering it is an eco lodge with all solar power.


Lights in the rooms are pretty faint so don't expect to read.

Food was very good and staff were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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249 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    181
    44
    19
    2
    3
See reviews for
34
114
31
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

We stayed here on a trip to trek to see the gorillas in the Volcanoes Parc. The lodge offers individual small houses. Great views of the lakes below. A little far form the Parc entrance on a very rutted dirt path but this is Rwanda so dirt roads are to be expected. The staff and
views make this place. We loved the idea of the individual adobes with a small terrace outside but
the owner needs to update the furniture ( worn chairs, shabbiness throughout) and pay attention
to accoutrements and I was not impressed by the food and I am NOT a fussy eater. I did not expect or want a luxury resort - we were here to see the gorillas- but
at these prices, I expect clean and fresh. There was never any evidence of a manager and since
we are in the hotel industry, I would have expected someone in charge to show up.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank augiedogFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VolcanoesSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Virunga Lodge, responded to this review, 16 October 2013
Hi AugiedogFlorida,

Thank you for your comments, we're very happy that you enjoyed the lodge and your experience in Rwanda.

We would like to respond to your feedback to let you know that it has been taken on board and worked on. The main lounge has been totally refurbished recently, including the restaurant, and since this has only just been finished in the last few weeks, the process will be rolled out to the bandas early next year.

With a background in the hotel industry we're sure you appreciate that we don't always get things perfect for every guest, which is what we aspire to do. The food has had a huge number of positive feedback and we are confident that our team of chefs can adapt to comments given to them at the time. We apologise that this was not your experience.

We have made sure that the management and all staff at the lodge are aware of your experience and will be working to ensure that it is not repeated. We hope that we will be able to welcome you to Uganda and Rwanda again soon.

Volcanoes Safaris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

The Lodge is a great location to commute to for Gorilla and Golden Monkey tracking in Rwanda. It's location is set on a mountain top above two lakes and one can see all the stars at night, mainly because the solar electricity cuts off lights at around 9 each night. The rooms are comfortable and the bathrooms are large, but again, without lights, the automatic lights in the bathrooms end early. There is a latern in the rooms that are charged by solar, most days. The staff is friendly and helpful and the food is very good, either in the dining room at night or on the terrace during the day. The main lodge is the only location where one can recharge any batteries, if needed, and there is limited wi-fi available inside the lodge. There is a couple of fireplaces and confortable seating for the included alcholic drinks either before dinner or after. Be careful with your reservations, however. We, a party of eight, had reserved and paid for four rooms over 16 months before our arrival and were told just prior to our arrival in Rwanda that there was an issue with Virunga front office staff and that we only had two rooms for the eight of us. Needless to say, what was offered was a room just off the property that had a separate bath building for showering and running water taken by one couple wanting privacy. Two other couples had to double up, while one couple had a one room for themselves. In talking with other guests, most all of them had reserved their rooms less than a year ago, in fact, one had reserved their room two months prior. I leave this evaluation to the readers, but our party was not happy during our stay.

Room Tip: Bring flashlights and expect to spend time in the main lodge as the solar electricity doesn't al...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MB Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013

Absolutely gorgeous location, set up on a hill overlooking twin lakes of Lakes Burera and Lake Ruhondo. Staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating, and the food absolutely scrumptious. Each room has an outlook over one of the lakes. The rooms are super spacious and very comfortable. There is a log fire in the main lodge, they put hot water bottles in your bed at night and wake you up with a cup of tea in the morning.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank African_Safaris_Ltd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2013

This is a very interesting place to stay. Perched amid the volcanoes and sitting above a network of lakes it presents an amazing vista. The hotel itself is reasonable. The room are comfortable although a little basic for the price but considering where you are they are of a higher standard than anything else, probably for 300 miles! They are very comfortable and considering it can get quite cold they are warm and snug. Most people are visting the gorrilas which requires a very early start and we were awoken, while it was still dark, with hot tea and coffee, brought to our room which was most welcome. The food is good and the group dining, with the other guests was pleasant, as everyone was just so excited about the gorrilas. I would think this is the best choice for the region and although expensive it is quite unique; just like the gorrilas.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank paultreble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whangarei, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

The best ever the people food and the scenery was spectacular a fantastic base to see the gorillas there was a bit of a ride to get there but we'll worth it I would go back there tomorrow The drive up the mountain was amazing with all the beautiful local people smiling and waving .The gorilla trekking was a dream come true and Rwanda as a country is beautiful I wish we had spent another week in this amazing country it was so clean and very safe .

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanine50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
55 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

Context of review: 2 night stay to go Gorilla Trekking
Pros: Wonderful hilltop location; 8 indivual cabanas that are very large,comfortable and nicely decorated; great food; very quiet and peacful; activities including a spectacular Rwanda dance troupe on a hill behind the hotel; the staff washed our shoes when we returned from Gorilla trekking!
Cons: some water and electricity issues but nothing major, a 45 minute drive to the gorilla trekking starting point

We really enjoyed this lodge and highly recommend it

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Scott29inSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Virunga Lodge

Property: Virunga Lodge
Address: Lake Bulera, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Northern Province > Musanze District > Ruhengeri
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Ruhengeri
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a spectacular location overlooking the Virunga volcanoes and shimmering lakes Ruhondo and Bulera.The magnificent Virunga Safari Lodge, set on a stunning hillside, has eight bandas with a panoramic view of the Virunga volcanoes and the lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. The terraced gardens on this high ridge are now well established, with a magical sunken paradise garden as their focal point. Aside from gorilla tracking , clients can climb a volcano, track the golden monkey, visit Dian Fossey's grave or go for gentle strolls around the picturesque villages near the lakes. Three hours' drive from Kigali or a long day's drive from Kampala. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Virunga Hotel Ruhengeri
Virunga Lodge Rwanda/Ruhengeri

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