Reviews of Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
The lodge was really exquisite, felt lovely to stay somewhere that was not a hotel and you really get the feel for being away from the crowds, the staff were faultless and always smiling, Gilbert one of the waiters was always grinning like a cheshire cat. Was great to see someone so happy to be at their work.
I understand this lodge will shortly be connected to mains electricity.
The spacious lodges were well spread out and the rooms very spacious as well as comfortable, was a nice touch to have a fire going in the room in the evening and hot water bottles in the bed.
Wonderful views, great food and staff
The staff were warm, friendly and incredibly helpful. The food was plentiful and varied. Great views and lovely surroundings. The cottages were large and comfortable. We had a fire and hot water bottles each evening, plus hot towels, boots cleaned and ginger tea on the verandah after trekking.
The lodge was decorated in a traditional, interesting way. We had good access to hot water and light with the generator (small comment: it would have been good to have had towels dried as they stayed damp with the climate). We really enjoyed the dancing by a group of local children arranged by the hotel.
Overall, we had a wonderful time here.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review
Great log fires and fabulous views.Read more about the whole safari
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge was comfortable, clean with great surroundings for birding. Victor the kitchen manager was a great birding resource and was a great bird guide our last morning there.
Extremely friendly people, very clean country and quite frankly felt as safe as I do at home. Primate Safaris and Eric our guide was prompt, professional and provided us a wonderful drive from Kigali to our lodge and return.
Two days of gorilla trekking more than made up for this missed golden monkey day. Visited Umubano and Sabyinyo groups with relatively easy hikes and good weather. Very inspiring event that had Pam in tears as she has wanted to have this experience since middle school and thought extinction due to man's conflicts would eliminate any chance. Saw 9 of the first goup and 7 of the latter including Guhonda the largest of Rwanda's silverbacks and a baby in each group.
Great base for gorilla tracking
Lovely rooms in a great setting looking out onto the volcanoes. Great showers and lovely log fires which were lit and checked by the very attentive staff in the evenings. Very welcome after trekking! The central restaurant/bar was not open when we stayed, they are currently using one of the rooms as a makeshift restaurant, which was fine, although it lacked a little atmosphere. When the new facility is open in October, it is going to be fantastic. Staff were wonderful, very helpful and always smiling!
Our only negative comment would be the price of drinks, which came as a bit of a shock. Over $300 for 3 of us for 4 nights. We had soft drinks at lunchtime, a glass of wine/gin and tonic at night and plenty of water... One night we did have a bottle of wine, which I think we paid over the odds for having been told it would be $17.50. We understand that some drinks are imported, but this far outweighed what we paid elsewhere. Hopefully, once their new restaurant/bar is open, they will have menus and price lists on display to avoid future problems.
Overall all though, great place and you cannot fault the location. Close to the park HQ (15 mins).
Comfortable and friendly hotel
Friendly staff - as everywhere in Rwanda.
Rooms are huge, if a little characterless, but fires, hot water bottles and tea/coffee in rooms was much appreciated. Hotel will be much improved when the central bar/restaurant is finished. Relatively close to the park headquarters. Beautiful situation.
Food was delicious - best we had in Rwanda, and the chef deserves to be able to do his work in a permanent kitechen and dining room.