Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge: Information from the owner

All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own report, which contains our own observations and views.

Type Lodge
No. of rooms 10
Last updated 24-Mar-2018

Main description of Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge: Facilities

Property facilities Spa
Room facilities Dressing Gowns, En-Suite, Fireplace, Hair Dryer, Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mosquito Nets, Safe, Shower, Verandah
Available services Credit Card
Activities on site (some activities may be seasonal) Bird Watching, Gorilla Tracking, Massages, Walks (Guided), Walks (Self Guided), Adrenaline Activities, Animal Encounters, Helicopter Rides, Hiking, Safaris

Room types at Virunga Lodge

Deluxe Bandas

Deluxe Bandas

• The two deluxe bandas, Ibirunga and Ibiyaga, were added in 2014 and have their own private separate sitting room and more refined interiors • Perfect for honeymooners or a family

Guest Bandas

Guest Bandas

• 10 luxurious bandas (6 Doubles, 2 Twins, 2 Deluxe). Each banda has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes. Luxuriously appointed, with the accent on vibrant Rwandese fabrics and stylish locally inspired furniture • All rooms are complete with a fireplace, en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilet, double vanity and shower with hot & cold running water. • Wifi access in the main lodge building and Dian Fossey Map Room. • One complimentary massage per guest. The new Spa will open in May 2018. • Full board accommodation including all soft drinks and house alcoholic beverages. Premium beverages paid at consumption. • Complimentary laundry and boot cleaning service. • Personal butler service for all guests. • Guide cottage available. • Bandas are individually named after lakes in the area. • Power sockets/charging facilities and hair dryer in the rooms. No air conditioners.

Units at Virunga Lodge

Deluxe Bandas

Deluxe Bandas

• The two deluxe bandas, Ibirunga and Ibiyaga, were added in 2014 and have their own private separate sitting room and more refined interiors
• Perfect for honeymooners or a family

Guest Bandas

Guest Bandas

• 10 luxurious bandas (6 Doubles, 2 Twins, 2 Deluxe). Each banda has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes. Luxuriously appointed, with the accent on vibrant Rwandese fabrics and stylish locally inspired furniture
• All rooms are complete with a fireplace, en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilet, double vanity and shower with hot & cold running water.
• Wifi access in the main lodge building and Dian Fossey Map Room.
• One complimentary massage per guest. The new Spa will open in May 2018.
• Full board accommodation including all soft drinks and house alcoholic beverages. Premium beverages paid at consumption.
• Complimentary laundry and boot cleaning service.
• Personal butler service for all guests.
• Guide cottage available.
• Bandas are individually named after lakes in the area.
• Power sockets/charging facilities and hair dryer in the rooms. No air conditioners.

Activities at Virunga Lodge

 Virunga “One Sheep per Family” Community Project

Virunga “One Sheep per Family” Community Project

In June 2014 Virunga Lodge launched the “One Sheep per Family” project, to provide one sheep to each of the 140 families in the Sunzu community. The sheep manure provides natural and effective fertiliser for growing crops. As well as providing manure, selling lambs provide income for the family.

For the project to work effectively, the community is divided up into 14 groups and each group is given nine females and one male. After all females produce an offspring, the breeding males are rotated to a different group for genetic diversity. A new family takes over caring for the male and donates one female offspring back to the previous ram caretaker.

As of May 2017, with the generous support of the guests, all 140 families have received a sheep under this successful initiative! We are now implementing the same project in the neighbouring village, Bugeyo, to enhance the number of villagers who benefit surrounding Virunga Lodge. Bugeyo village has a total of 175 families and, as of November 2017, 59 families have received a sheep thanks to the generous donations.

 Virunga Water Tank Project

Virunga Water Tank Project

Although it rains heavily around Virunga Lodge, there are very few facilities for water catchment and storage and in the dry season there is an acute shortage of water. The villagers in Sunzu village around the lodge, where 138 families live, do not have enough clean water for drinking or for growing crops.

Starting in 2016, Virunga Lodge has been providing plastic water tanks to the local community and with the support of our guests, Virunga Lodge has donated over 19 tanks as of November 2017. Our target is to provide the rest of the water tanks to the remaining families in the next months.

Birding

Birding

Rwanda offers some of the world’s best bird watching, with a vast diversity of bird species. Rwanda has over 700 bird species and is home to the second highest number of Albertine endemics in the Albertine region. Each of our lodges offers the chance to see a number of different birds, with the vast majority endemic to the Region.

Climb a Volcano

Climb a Volcano

Guests of Virunga lodge have easy access to the Virunga chain of volcanoes, which offer challenging hikes and stunning panoramas. The three most popular volcanoes to climb are Mt. Gahinga, Mt. Sabyinyo, and Mt. Muhavura. These hikes are of varying difficulty and typically take a full day. The treks starts at 7:00am from the park headquarters, from where visitors will have to drive / be driven to the base of the volcano.

Dian Fossey Map Room

Dian Fossey Map Room

The Dian Fossey Map Room at Virunga Lodge has been built in honor of Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneer primatologist who set up the Karisoke Center high in the Virunga volcanoes in 1967. The exploration and conservation of the Virunga volcanoes is a very interesting and unique story and has been brought together for the first time in the amazing exhibition at the Dian Fossey Map Room at Virunga Lodge.

The Dian Fossey Map Room was opened on 2 March 2017. A permanent exhibition has been set up in the Map Room charting the ‘Conservationists and Explorers of the Virunga Volcanoes’ from 1850 to 1985 when Fossey died.

Exclusive Gorilla tracking for a group of 8 guests

Exclusive Gorilla tracking for a group of 8 guests

This exclusive experience allows a total group of 8 guests to track a gorilla group in the forest on their own. This enables guests to have a deeper connection with these fascinating animals, accompanied by their own guide who can give them personal briefing. The cost is 15,000 USD per trek per day, for a maximum of 8 guests.

Golden Monkey Tracking

Golden Monkey Tracking

With only a small number remaining in the world, the Golden Monkey can be found in the foothills of the volcanic mountains of Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Characterized by its bright golden body, cheeks and tail, with contrasting black limbs, crown and tail end, these playful primates are a pleasure to watch. Whether you choose to do this on the Rwandan or Ugandan side, the walk will take you from the bamboo stands and forested gorge on the lower levels of the volcanoes, to the elevated heath and moorland higher up.

Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla Tracking

Tracking mountain gorillas through the dense African forests is a magical experience. Only eight visitors are allowed per gorilla group each day, and to minimize possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. Typically, tracking can take from 3 to 8 hours and requires some agility and fitness; however, all fitness levels can be accommodated and no one should feel deterred from missing this once in a lifetime experience.

Intore Dancers

Intore Dancers

The group of Intore Dancers is made up of 24 dancers and two dance trainers.

The troupe perform the traditional Rwandan ballet called The Intore, also known as “The Heroes” for Volcanoes Safaris guests, which is based on the courtly victory dance of the Rwandan Mwami (kings). Being selected as an Intore in times of old was a great honour – they would receive a privileged education, intensive combat training and they held a high status within the court. Today, the dancers use traditional weapons such as spears and bows and wear brightly coloured clothes and long flowing white hairpieces.

Lake Bulera Village Walk

Lake Bulera Village Walk

On a free afternoon at Virunga Lodge we recommend taking advantage of the lodge’s unique position by meandering down the mountain slope, through local villages, and to Lake Bulera, which sits at its foot. Passing through the local communities offers a colorful peek into village life and opportunities to visit local schools and community centers.

Visit Dian Fossey’s Grave

Visit Dian Fossey’s Grave

Located in a beautiful meadow nestled between the Karisimbi and Visoke volcanoes are the graves of Dian Fossey and some of her beloved research gorillas. For anyone interested in gorilla conservation in Rwanda, or interested in Fossey’s personal story, the trek to her grave is highly recommended. This trek starts early in the morning, can take 6-8 hours and is operated by the National Park.

X  Close