- The magnificent Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury gorilla lodge of Rwanda and one of Africa’s finest and most renowned lodges. The lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east.
- It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service by our carefully trained staff. It is the first accommodation choice for the luxury traveller tracking the endangered mountain gorilla
- Each of ten luxurious bandas named after the Rwandan lakes features a spacious bedroom with a cosy fireplace, as well as a private terrace with sweeping views of the breathtaking surrounds.
- Each guest will enjoy the opportunity for a relaxing complimentary massage. Adventures include tracking gorillas and golden monkeys, hikes to the top of the volcanoes, scenic walks through the picturesque villages surrounding the lodge or day trips to the lively towns of Kigali or Kampala.
- Visit the nearby village in the company of one of the staff members and get to know some of the local people.
- Sit out on your private terrace in the morning and as watch the clouds blanket the slopes of the mountain below you.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 magnificent Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury gorilla lodge of Rwanda and one of Africa’s finest and most renowned lodges. The lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east. It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service by our carefully trained staff. It is the first accommodation choice for the luxury traveller tracking the endangered mountain gorilla.
Choose between 10 comfortable stone Bandas that come in deluxe, double and twin configurations. All have en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilets, double vanities, and showers with hot and cold water, as well as private verandahs and mosquito nets. After a busy day, return to the lodge where you can enjoy a hearty three-course dinner while admiring the spectacular views that surround the lodge. Relax around the evening fire and exchange stories of your day before returning to your room for a restful night’s sleep. Guests can also go golden monkey trekking, visit Dian Fossey’s grave, hike a volcano, head out on on a crater trail, watch an Intore dance performance, hike to Lake Bulera, walk through the nearby villages and enjoy a complimentary massage.
Each Banda has an individual fire place, a luxury shower room with a double vanity, and charging station.The two deluxe bandas – called Ibirunga and Ibiyaga have their own private sitting room and more refined interiors.
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.
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.
It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service by our carefully trained staff.
Power sockets/charging facilities and hair dryers available in the rooms. No air conditioners.
New Ikirunga Spa with 2 treatment rooms and a sauna. One 30-minute complimentary massage per guest per stay.