Cormoran Lodge

Cormoran Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
7 cabins
Traveller's rating
Good (88%) From 15 reviews
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Set on a steep hill, leading down to the shore of Rwanda’s Lake Kivu, the rustic yet stylish Cormoran Lodge in Kibuye has a small number of wooden cabins, each affording beautiful views over the lake.

We last visited Cormoran Lodge in May 2017 and on this, as on our previous visit, we were very impressed. It is set on quite a small plot but is well-run by friendly staff and is built to a high standard. Slightly smaller and more personal than the nearby Lake Kivu Serena, it makes a good spot to relax either before or after seeing the gorillas, or as a stop off on your journey from the Volcanoes National Park to Nyungwe Forest.

The central areas of Cormoran Lodge consist of a large wooden structure set into the hill, supported on wooden stilts, with recently renovated wooden decking. At its heart are a large bar and a big fireplace, which is lit in the cooler evenings. On one side, there are sofas, chairs and a TV; on the other, tables are set out for dinner. If you're lucky, you may get a table on the small terrace with lovely views of the sunset over the lake.

These main areas are stylish and beautifully designed. Lifesaver rings and chunky ropes create a nautical feel, while African ornaments and statues lend a local atmosphere, and the vast amounts of wood make it feel slightly alpine. Despite the mix of styles, it all works very well together!

The seven cabins are, for the most part, identical, though they all have a different colour scheme. Nestled in lush, well-maintained gardens, the cabins are reached along quite steep pathways (lit at night) with steps leading up to the doors; Cormoran Lodge is not for those who are unsteady on their feet.

Inside, the rooms are quite simple and rustic, with wooden floors, ceilings and walls, plus carved shelving in small alcoves. Each cabin has either a large wooden double bed or twin beds, with mosquito net, a small writing desk and a couple of comfortable chairs in front of a flat-screen TV. You'll also find a minibar, safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities and an umbrella for rainy days.

The spacious en-suite bathrooms have a very natural feel, decorated with individual stones set into concrete. Each has a flush toilet, large shower and a single sink with a mirror. Carved wooden towel rails and shelves complement the décor.

In front of the bedroom is a small terrace, with a nautical-style rope mesh to prevent children from falling through the gaps. It’s a brilliant spot to sit and watch the sunset if you're here on a clear evening.

Steep steps lead down to a private man-made beach next to the lake, with a few sunloungers, a campfire, and toys and swings for children. The beach is quite small, and could feel a little crowded if the lodge is full, but it's a nice area to relax. Children must always be supervised here, not least because there's a drop from the edge of the beach to the water.

If you’re feeling energetic it’s possible to swim from a nearby jetty. Other activities include renting kayaks or motorboats, or waterskiing. All have an extra charge, ranging from about US $20 per hour for kayaks, to US $90 an hour for waterskiing. Boat trips out to the local islands are also available.

Our view

Overall, we were impressed by Cormoran Lodge. Though rustic, it has an air of understated luxury. The staff are friendly and the food is lovely. It’s a great place for a few days’ rest and relaxation by the water, and would be ideal for those looking for something relatively small and personal in this area, yet still of a high quality.

Geographics

Location: Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Ideal length of stay: We would recommend a stay of two to three nights here.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: When we visited Cormoran Lodge in May 2017 we didn’t have time to stay for a meal. However, on a previous visit we were impressed at dinner by the quality of the food and the levels of service (both notoriously average in Rwanda).

We understand that breakfast is a buffet, with a selection of fruits and yoghurts, plus a cooked option, and fresh tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit juices.

Both lunch and dinner are from the same à la carte menu. There is a wide choice here, and at weekends, when the lodge tends to be busier, there are also specials. On our previous visit we enjoyed fried calamari to start, followed by an extremely tender beef stew – and rated it among the best food we had tasted in Rwanda.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Drinks are an extra cost. You can expect to pay about US$1 for a soda, US$1.50 for a beer and US$30 for a bottle of wine. Bottled drinking water is provided in each cabin.

Further dining info: Cormoran Lodge does not offer room service as all the cabins are made of wood and they don't want food to attract animals.

Children

Attitude towards children: Cormoran Lodge welcomes children.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: The lodge has toys and a children’s play area with swings by the beach. A selection of board games is available at reception.

Equipment: The lodge has cots and highchairs.

Notes: Children will need to be supervised at all times, both at the lodge and by the lake.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: The lodge has a back up generator. All cabins have multiple charging sockets.

Communications: There are no phones in the cabins but there is one for emergency use in reception. There is cellphone signal in and around the main area, and around some of the cabins. There is WiFi access in the main areas and in all the cabins.

TV & radio: There is a TV in the bar and in each of the cabins.

Water supply: Mains

Water supply notes: All the bathrooms have hot and cold showers and flush toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The lodge has a first-aid kit and one member of staff is trained in first aid. The nearest medical centre is approximately 10km away, on the road to Kibuye.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There are security guards who patrol the lodge.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in every cabin and the staff are trained in their use.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is available at an extra charge.

Money: There is a safe in each of the cabins. Guests may exchange small amounts of US dollars, British pounds, euros and Rwandan francs here.

Accepted payment on location: Cormoran Lodge accepts only cash payment in US dollars, British pounds, euros and Rwandan francs. They cannot accept credit cards.

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