Five Volcanoes

Five Volcanoes: Our full report

Rooms
13 rooms
Children
Suitable for 15+
Open
All year

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is a newer mid-range addition to the hotels in Ruhengeri. Just a 15-minute drive from the headquarters of Rwanda’s renowned Volcanoes National Park, it is in a prime location for guests wishing to trek to see the mountain gorillas, and offers great views of the surrounding volcanoes and countryside.

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, commonly known as Five Volcanoes, is on the main road to Kinigi, closer to the town than most of the other accommodation options in this area, though set back far enough from the village to not be bothered by too much noise.

The hotel’s main thatched building houses a tiny reception area downstairs, which gives the impression of quite a cramped property. Stairs leading upstairs soon dispel this idea, as the first floor houses a spacious restaurant and lounge area. With a contemporary but comfortable feel, with some striking photographs of Rwandese life adorning the walls, there are also comfy sofas facing a large television and with windows all around. One side overlooks the hotel’s large swimming pool, and the others offer vistas of the surrounding volcanoes.

Away from the main area, set in large and well-maintained gardens, Five Volcanoes has 13 rooms: four ‘standard’ rooms, seven ‘deluxe’, and two cottages. Single storey, and spread in smaller blocks throughout the gardens, all are clean and tidy, if lacking in character, and gentle uplighting gives a more homely feel than you might expect.

Every room has either a large double or twin four-poster beds, with mosquito nets, small bedside tables with lamps, and a solar lamp in case of power cuts. Across the room you will find a personal safe, minibar (at extra cost) and tea- and coffee-making facilities. The rooms are fitted with American plug sockets, but international adaptors are provided, and the reception has extras should you need them.

The en-suite bathrooms have flush toilets and hot showers, with toiletries, dressing gown and slippers provided for guests’ use. Each room has a small patio out front, with a couple of chairs, while some also have a hammock.

The seven ‘deluxe’ rooms are larger than the standard ones, and also have a heating/AC unit and DSTV. These rooms have incredibly spacious bathrooms, too, with both double sinks and double showers.

The hotel’s two quaint cottages, complete with whitewashed picket fences, are ideal for families. Each has one twin and one double room, both en suite, and a semi-private garden with a play area, hammocks and chairs.

In the centre of the gardens is a large firepit and seating area, which would no doubt be lovely for sundowners, and we were told that local dancers perform here weekly. Hammocks and thatched lapas are dotted about the gardens, where there’s also a children’s play area with a swingset and a sandpit.

A small curio shop looks out towards the heated swimming pool, which is surrounded by sunloungers. Adjacent is a massage suite, offering treatments at an extra charge; on our last visit. in May 2017. the cost was US$50 for a one-hour massage. A sauna and gym were under construction at the time of our visit, we understand these were completed in September 2017.

As with the majority of lodges in the area, the focus of activities at Five Volcanoes is firmly on gorilla trekking. Check out our page on gorilla trekking safaris in the Volcanoes National Park for more details.

The lodge also offers cycling (through the local Africa Rising cycling team centre), and canoeing trips - chat to us for more information regarding these.

Five Volcanoes also has a large shower and changing area, where guests checking out of the area’s more remote hotels after gorilla trekking may shower and change before their transfer to Kigali.

Our view

Five Volcanoes is well placed for those wishing to visit the mountain gorillas. It’s not as characterful as some of the other lodges in the area, but the rooms are clean and tidy, and there is a good range of amenities. For those who prefer a more ‘hotel’ style of accommodation, rather than a lodge, this will suit perfectly.

Geographics

Location: Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Ideal length of stay: A stay of three or four nights will give you enough time to take part in plenty of the available activities.

Directions: Five Volcanoes is a 2-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: On our last visit in May 2017, we didn’t have time to stay and try the food, but the menu was extensive and other guests’ meals looked appetising!

We’re told that meals follow trekking times, with an early buffet breakfast, then an à la carte lunch and dinner.
We understand that breakfast is a continental buffet, with hot choices including eggs and porridge.

Lunch choices when we were there included local curry, a grilled fish option and a vegetable and cheese bake.

The dinner menu during our visit consisted of either a pepper and cheese bruschetta, or a carrot and coconut soup to start. The main course options were either: poached tilapia with coconut rice, mushroom sauce and fresh vegetables; pan grilled lamb kofta with Lyonnais potatoes and fresh vegatables.

Vegetarian options were available on request, and we were told that most dietary requirements can be catered for.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Bottled drinking water is provided in the rooms, and one soda is included at mealtimes. All other drinks are at extra cost.

Further dining info: Room service is available, at no extra cost.

Special interests

Walking safaris: The Five Volcanoes hotel is a convenient base for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, only a short drive from the headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park. This is Africa’s best area for gorilla trekking, with more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas, and makes a great choice for a walking safari.

See more ideas for Walking safaris in Rwanda

Children

Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome.

Property’s age restrictions: None.

Special activities & services: Children’s meals can be arranged on request. A play area with swingset and sandpit is located in the gardens.

Equipment: The hotel has baby cots and highchairs.

Notes: The property is enclosed and gated, so the nearby road poses minimal danger to children. The pool area is unfenced though, so younger children will need to be supervised.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: The lodge has a back up generator. American-style 3-pin sockets are found in all of the rooms, and adaptors are available at reception.

Communications: WiFi is available throughout the hotel, and you will get a cellphone signal throughout.

TV & radio: The ‘deluxe’ rooms have DSTV, and there is a large television in the upstairs lounge area.

Water supply: Mains

Water supply notes: All rooms have hot and cold running water, and flush toilets.

Health & safety

Medical care: There is a first-aid kit at reception and staff are trained in its use. The closest hospital is in Musanze, a 30-minute drive away.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: Guards patrol the site 24/7.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are located in the main areas and around the rooms, and staff are trained in how to use them.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Laundry services are available at an extra cost.

Money: Each room has a safe.

Accepted payment on location: Visa and Mastercard are accepted, as are cash payments in US dollars, euros and Rwandan francs.

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