Reviews of Virunga Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
11 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Virunga Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Wondeful stay at Virunga Lodge"
"WOW - breathtaking!!!"
Arranging the proposal surprise was seamless – thank you for providing David’s (Lodge Manager) email address – I connected with David and he re-assured me that they would make it a memorable event, a private dinner on the terrace of our banda – it was amazing! Kirsten and I both work in the hospitality industry and we were amazed by the team’s positive attitude, level of helpfulness and professionalism. We also managed to have a village walk, our guide Emmanuel was very helpful and insightful – a pleasure to walk with! Grison as well (Ast. Lodge Manager) who organized the logistics of the proposal surprise was very helpful (we managed to have a discreet conversation without Kirsten around to discuss and plan how we were going to get her down to the banda from the bar – an excuse to do with housekeeping did the trick!) and professional – hats off to the whole team at the Virunga Lodge for making our stay one of the best stays we have ever had and one that we will cherish for the rest of our lives! The lodge should definitely look into the viability of developing a gym and a pool - an infiniti pool would perhaps round-off a very impressive lodge :-)" See all these reviews: 3n in Rwanda
However, Virunga is located at the top of a hill about an hour's drive to the Volcanoes Park headquarters, whilst Sabyinyo is just 20 minutes away. The longer drive did not bother us because it enabled us to have more time enjoying the lovely mountainous scenery and teeming village life en route. Do note that the last ten minutes of the drive to Virunga are bone-jarring!
Our banda at Virunga was spacious and, though it lacked internet access (which is available only in the lodge's very comfortable main lounge), it afforded all modern amenities. A recent renovation has upgraded the lodge's electrical system, and now powerpoints for charging batteries are now available ensuite.
Service by lodge personnel was accommodating and gracious, and the boot cleaning service it offered was world-class. (Our mud-caked boots post-trek were cleaned so thoroughly that they looked brand new when they were delivered to our banda!)
We were a bit disappointed with the meals . . . breakfasts were fine, but the mains offered at lunch and dinner were ordinary and not well-seasoned. Virunga does have an excellent baking staff because all the cakes and cookies offered at tea time were scrumptious." See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia; 3n in Rwanda
Quite a drive each morning to get to the Park HQ so may consider staying at a Lodge closer to the entrance should I return." See all these reviews: 9n in South Africa; 4n in Rwanda; 1n in Kenya
Rooms could use charging facilities for electronic devices" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 3n in Rwanda
"Virunga Lodge review"
Loved the long dining table where all the guest could share their travel experiences." See all these reviews: 11n in Rwanda; 9n in Tanzania
"Beautiful lodge, stunning location"
The bed was very comfortable with really nice linens. The bathroom had two sinks, a flush toilet, and a regular (non-bucket) shower. There was also 24 hour electricity in the rooms, and cool motion detector lights in the bathroom that were very handy if you needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. While it is a longer drive to the park headquarters than other lodges, I wouldn't let that discourage anyone from choosing this lodge, since the drive is so pretty and seems to go by very quickly anyway.
Patrick from Primate Safaris was a wonderful guide. I was traveling by myself and it felt almost like I had an older brother looking out for me. Patrick is very knowledgeable about the history and economy of Rwanda, and we had many very interesting discussions about public policy and economic development. I had read quite a few books about Rwanda before I visited, and my conversations with Patrick helped me connect a lot of dots and place everything I had learned in context - definitely a highlight of the trip. I would highly recommend Patrick as a guide." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 5n in Rwanda; 1n in Kenya
"Virunga Lodge review"
We absolutely adored this place it was complete food for our souls. The setting is fantastic and I shed a tear when we left.
It is of course not 5 star in the generally accepted sense and if visitors are after marble and deep divans etc this would not be the place for them. However, for us it was perfection, the staff are fantastic and the overall ambience superb. We loved sitting round the fire in the lounge discussing our stories with fellow guests and then dining with them iaround the large table.
This is the place I will dream about when I can't get to sleep at nights!" See all these reviews: 6n in Zanzibar; 4n in Rwanda; 1n in Tanzania; 1n in Kenya
"Virunga Lodge review"
Tribal dancing was uplifting & fun - not at all "cheesey" as we're experienced elsewhere. The kids looked like they really enjoyed it too!
The gorilla treks were everything we had hoped for. The organistion at park HQ was slick, the guides were first class (knowlegable, informative and aware of comfort / safety / needs of guests). We left with great pictures and even more wonderful memories!!" See all these reviews: 7n in Rwanda; 1n in Kenya
Holiday styles & special interests in Rwanda
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Other lodges in Volcanoes National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Mountain Gorilla View
With superb views of the volcanoes, the relaxed Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo is well-placed for gorilla trekking.
In a fine location close to Volcanoes National Park, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a very comfortable lodge with wonderful views.
Gorilla's Nest is a very high-end lodge in a great location near the Volcanoes National Park headquarters, from where all gorilla trips start.
The exclusive and luxurious Bisate Lodge, close to Volcanoes National Park, is one of the best places to stay in the area.
In the town of Musanze, a half-hour drive from the Volcanoes National Park headquarters, Bishop's House is well placed for gorilla trekking.
Close to the edge of Volcanoes National Park, the luxurious Kwitonda Lodge opened in 2019. Ask your Expert Africa specialist for the latest news.
Tiloreza Eco Lodge
Five Volcanoes offers mid-range hotel accommodation around 15 minutes' drive from Volcanoes National Park headquarters.