Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Virunga Lodge is a lovely eco-friendly lodge, built close to the Volcanoes National Park. A central building houses the reception, restaurant and public areas all with magnificent 360 degree views across the Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera and the Virunga Volcanoes.
Ten rustic bandas, simple in design in sympathy with the surroundings and their ecology, are situated around the property. It has been recently renovated, and all bathrooms now include flush toilets and hot showers in the en suite bathrooms, which we think is a great improvement. The lodge has a very comfortable feel to it with large rooms and thoughtful local touches. The bar/lounge area is very cozy with a circular open fire in the middle, lots of comfy chairs and plenty of books and board games and a new spacious balcony has plenty of cozy armchairs where you can make the most of the views. Virunga Lodge prides itself on being particularly eco-friendly with furniture made from local materials, naturally wild gardens and solar power. They also employ local staff who are very friendly and cook wonderful meals.
The only downside to this lodge is the distance to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters - the journey takes about 40 minutes, although the road has recently been resurfaced. It is an interesting drive with stunning views and you will pass lots of locals along the roadside going about their daily business so if you don't mind the journey time, it is an ideal lodge to base yourself at for a few days of gorilla tracking activities.
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Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
The golden monkeys live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and have overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
Gorilla Tracking Mountain gorilla tracking is one of Africa's most superb wildlife experiences. It is difficult to describe the exhilaration attached to fist setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla.
Forest hogs, buffalo and various species of monkey live in the forest, so keep your eyes peeled as you trek! Once you get to the Karisoke Research Camp you will be shown around, and can see Dian Fossey's grave as well as the hut where she spent so many years living close to the gorillas.