The majority of visitors use the Lodge as a base for gorilla trekking but you could easily be there for two days just to take in the fantastic views.
The main living and dining area of Virunga Lodge is perched on the top of a hill. The different seating areas in and outside were a great touch. I love the African inspired décor (recently refurbished, I believe) that featured some interesting art and a great range of books. The lovely colourful cushions and open fire in the middle of the room are perfect. (It can get cold at night here).
I stayed in the Bulera banda , which has a fantastic view directly over the lake and its islands. Each room has a different view. The shower in my room was hot and powerful (and driven by solar energy).
I really loved the wood and bright colour combination of the dining room.
We all loved the food at every meal: the salmon mousse went down particularly well. (It seemed greedy to ask for more but I was very tempted!) The soups were all delicious and the desserts were original (not your standard "banana-based dessert" that is so common in many lodges in East Africa.
Apart from the excellent gorilla trekking we also watched traditional dancing by the Intore dancers, a group nurtured by the Lodge. The dancing was great fun. Some of our group also ventured down to meet the kids at the local primary school, another project supported by the Lodge.
Prices are all inclusive (three cooked meals a day plus afternoon tea and biscuits, all alcoholic drinks and a variety of community-based activities). Virunga Lodge is not the cheapest in the area, nor is it the closest to the gorilla trekking, but if you’ve travelled halfway round the world for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the gorillas, I would highly recommend it. (The free muddy boot-cleaning service post gorilla trekking was a nice touch - thank you.)
- 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