Reviews of Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
It would be very easy to improve the average score we have given Gorilla Mountain View Lodge to a good score. There were some quick fixes that could be implemented at minimal cost which would significantly improve the user experience.
1. Have a salt and pepper pot on every table so the guest does not have to hunt for one on the other tables.
2. Vary the menu a bit more and make the food less bland. We were there for 4 nights and got pretty bored with the food by the end of it. We appreciate that it is difficult to cater to everyone but most of the dishes were very safe ie irish stew, pasta, grilled fish. We were dying for something with a bit of spice ie a curry or chili con carne by the end of the stay.
3. We were in room 6. We don't know if the quality of this room is typical of the general room quality but if it is, then we would say: buy new towels or bleach the ones you already have. We know they were clean but they were no longer white and had gone grey, which makes them look dirty even if they are not. Likewise with the bed linen, it needs replacing. The room needed a lick of paint as it had gone dingy. In our room we had lashings of hot water but it only came out of the tap as a trickle. This made showering impossible and meant it took 20 minutes to run a bath. Incidentally the bracket for the shower head had fallen off the wall at some point in the past and had not been repaired - with the bracket left sitting on the side of the bath. So even if we had wanted a shower, we would have been hard pushed to keep the head up on the wall.
4. We really wanted to tip as many staff as possible i.e the boot cleaners, fire setters, bar staff and table waiting staff, but soon ran out of small denominations in either dollars or Rwandan currency. But each time we went to the front desk, we struggled to get them to change larger bills for us, even when we explained that we wanted to use it to tip their staff.
5. We had two kingsize beds in our room which is probably great if you are two single travellers but as a couple it felt really odd, almost as if surplus furniture had been wedged into our room. One bed is enough thanks!
If the inside of the rooms were as beautiful as the grounds, then they would be very impressive. And as we said it wouldn't take that much to improve them.
Ideal for us
an excellent placeRead more about the whole safari
A great expereience at Gorilla mountain view
We really enjoyed our time at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. The staff were very friendly and attentive, led by a visible and communative manager. The food was simple but with great soups and stews was what was needed with the cold. The rooms were spacious and needed the fire and hot water bottles. A heated towel rail in the bathroom and better lighting would have been welcome.
The boot cleaning service after our muddy trips to Gorillas and Golden monkeys was really appreciated.
The lounges were pleasant but would have been more welcoming with fires in the afternoon.
The gorrila trekking was fantastic.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
This is a mountain lodge and the service provided are good but erratic, one day your fire was lit, the next not, each room was supposed to have a telephone to reception but ours didn't.
You will feel cold and damp due to the region whether it is the dry season or not, so go prepared, having said that, seeing the gorillas makes up for any short comings and beyond. A little more attention to detail could make the difference.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
the staff were always ready to build fires in the room. Quality and variety of food could definitely be a lot better. Bar area is dark and uninviting.
Birding excellent around the lodge.
They supply a small kettle in the room but as there's no electricity from 1.30pm to 5pm, we're not able to enjoy any hot drinks!
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
Wonderful location, friendly helpful staff. Buffet meals made good use of fairly limited ingredients and meant you could refuel quickly before and after activities.
Good sized rooms. Fires in rooms and hot water bottles lovely but much needed as it gets really quite cold at night.
Electricity supplied by generator so only available at fixed times.
Great centre for gorilla trekking
The lodge was lovely with bungalows for each couple. A fire was lit in your bungalow every evening and hot water bottles were brought after dinner (but often not before you'd gone to sleep).
The service of the bungalow was poor and not up to the standard we expected (glasses not washed, bottled water not provided, etc)
The Lodge was well located for golden monkey and gorilla trekking from the National Park Centre being only 20 minutes distant by car.
The days trekking were excellent and we had great encounters with the gorillas. Each day we went to a different group of gorillas. One day they were moving around and feeding and the second day they were resting and playing. Each day was highly memorable.
Our driver/guide, Augustine, was excellent in ensuring that we got on good treks and then finding interesting activities for us to do in the afternoons, eg travelling north to see the Burera and Ruhondo Lakes, visiting the Iby' Iwacu Cultural Village and the local daily market.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
Overall the Gorilla Lodge was very good the staff always helpful. accommodationwas very good.
There was one slight problem for the first day was the length of time the breakfast course took, especially the leaving time of 6.30am, however as soon as they introduced the buffet style breakfast the problem was over come.
Not sure where to include this but Kamanzi Aloys [Ed: our guide for this traveller] was excellent.
Fantastic stay at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
We loved every minute at the lodge. The views were amazing. All staff were always happy, very friendly and helpful. The room was great - nice decor, large and clean. Due to the location we weren't expecting to have hot water any time of day but we did.
The food was good. Our only comment was it would have been nice to be given the option to try some local dishes. Our boots came back from cleaning after treks cleaner than when we had arrived. The children who came to do local dancing in the evening were very entertaining.
In a nut shell we couldn't fault anything with the lodge and would certainly go back again in the future.
Concerning the private guide that we organised for these travellers, they commented:
Guide in Rwanda - Johnson - an amazing person and guide
We can't praise Johnson enough. He was a fantastic guide. In the short time we were in Rwanda he gave us an amazing insight into the country, its people, history, culture and wildlife. He is a very knowledgeable and caring person.
Any requests we had he went out of his way to deliver.
We were sad to say goodbye and feel we have gained a new friend. We intend to travel back to Rwanda to see more of the country in the future and will definitely request Johnson as our guide.
Lovely located base for wonderful tracking
"Excellent" because of the tracking activities. I'd say "good" for the lodge itself. Room and bathroom extremely spacious and clean with comfortable bed and nice furniture. Limited times with electricity but normal in many lodges. Nice, and perhaps necessary, idea of log fire in rooms at night and a hot water bottle in the bed. The problem was that sometimes they forgot to light the fire or it was left to go our later and hot water bottles sometimes leaked. After hearing tales in the dining room of rebellious hot water bottles, one checked one's own carefully every night. Extensive grounds and lovely setting. Could be clearer indications, for example, to get to the dining room at night as we got lost when we first arrived. A very helpful young worker came up to help us, but there was no common language, so, in spite of our wonderful eating mime, he kept looking at our keys and pointing us back towards our rooms!
The food again, considering the standard of the lodge, was not great. The breakfast with its buffet and freshly made omelettes again fine.
Food was overcooked or made earlier and reheated.
The activities of tracking, as expected, were wonderful. The golden monkeys, as you probably know, is an "easy" hike. The first gorilla trek was quite hard because of the climb and the distance but the pace was not fast and the second one was easy because the gorilla group was near and the pace set by the people was slow. Our driver was good in that he negotiated the groups we were in with the guides etc. as I'd told him I was a bit fearful of being in a group of young fit people etc. Apart from the huge emotion of seeing the gorillas again, we again had a very memorable unexpected experience. For the second trek, our driver suddenly pulled us out of a group and, accompanied by the man in charge there, we were put into a group of Rwandans! The lady there introduced herself as Rose, the Speaker in the Rwandan Parliament. She was so friendly and unassuming. Little by little we discovered the other people included her daughter, a young man who was head of protocol in Parliament, and the head of security. There's always an armed soldier accompanying the trek in case of buffalo but this time there were three! She explained that Rwandans don't understand the interest foreigners have in animals. She didn't explain why she was there as she and her daughter didn't seem that interested in the gorillas and were in fact quite noisy. Anyway, it was interesting talking to her and she invited us to her hotel for lunch - we went straight from the trek all dusty and dishevelled but we were in a room just with her, her daughter and the head of protocol and was able to get some interesting information. She'd been a lawyer for women's rights. On the way back from the trek, in her honour we were taken to a village where they had a king's palace and compound and they put on a show with Intore dancers. Darrell was dressed up as king, and because Rose declined to be queen, I was dressed up as queen. All this was another highlight.
Seeing some less professional Intore dancers at the lodge was nice, especially knowing they were from the local village.
We went to lakes Burera and Ruhondo and I was able to revisit Virunga Lodge (where I'd stayed in 2006), now gone very upmarket and having lost some of the earthy touch, especially the bag showers and the eco loos which you threw ash into instead of flushing! There it was very nice, too, as our driver arranged for us to give local children the pens and notebooks Darrell had taken (he just called down into the valley where the village was and the children were up in no time).Seeing their faces on getting the stuff was great.
In Kigali, we had a tour of the town including the main avenues, new residential areas, a handicraft market, we spent some time in the Genocide Memorial, and we wanted to have a look at the Hotel des Milles Collines, where the story of the film "Hotel Rwanda" took place and where I'd had lunch on my last visit. It's also been refurbished.
Food seemed overcooked or just reheated. Drinks, even water, expensive, as were the postcards, shop etc, but we were given a small bottle of water free every day in our rooms.