Mount Gahinga Lodge

Uganda

Nestled at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Gahinga Lodge is a stunning luxury adventure lodge hidden in the southern corner of Uganda. Its rustic charm is inspired by traditional design and building techniques.

Gahinga Lodge is the perfect base to go gorilla tracking, track the rare golden monkey, climb a volcano, walk through local villages and most of all to share the culture of the Batwa pygmies, the oldest inhabitants of the Central African rain forest.

The lodge with its beautiful living room, sun room and terrace has fantastic views of the volcanoes and the Kisoro valley below.

The luxury bandas reflect the magic of the aesthetic traditions of the Bufimbira people, with their distinct colours. Each Banda has a an ensuite luxury shower room, fireplace and private porch.

Lodge Overview

  • 6 stone guest bandas with papyrus roofs (3 doubles, 3 twins)
  • Fireplaces
  • En-suite luxury shower rooms
  • Private verandas
  • Bandas are individually named after each of the Virunga Volcanoes.
  • Wi-Fi and charging stations available in the main lodge building.

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Activities at Mount Gahinga Lodge

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.

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.

Supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, this hands-on experience will open your eyes to another world – that of one of Uganda’s longest surviving tribes. Visit the local Batwa community in their traditional dwellings and learn about how they have lived for generations in the surrounding forest.

Supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, the local Batwa community visits Mount Gahinga Lodge and performs their traditional song and dance for lodge guests.

Both Uganda and Rwanda offer some of the world’s best bird watching, with a vast diversity of bird species. Uganda has over 1,000 bird species with 150 found only in Uganda. 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.

Walk along farmers’ fields to land purchased by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) for the re-settlement of the local Batwa community. Currently the trust is working alongside architects and engineers to draft plans for permanent residential structures that meet the needs and desires of the community members. Visit this site led by Herbert Mfitundinda, regional head of the VSPT.

Located less than a kilometer from Mount Gahinga Lodge, the Kisozi Caldera is an easy to moderate hike to the top of a small hill where the caldera sweeps from corner to corner. A caldera is formed by volcanic eruptions, and many dot the stunning landscape of this volcanic region.

Set up by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), this vocational school offers the local Batwa community a place to come and learn various crafting skills such as sewing, weaving, and knitting. All goods produced by the Batwa are for sale and proceeds go directly back to the artisans.

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Safaris at Mount Gahinga Lodge

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects at Mount Gahinga Lodge.