Re-imagining Volcanoes Lodges

Background to re-imagining Volcanoes Lodges 

Volcanoes Safaris has been at the forefront of reviving gorilla and chimpanzee tourism in Uganda and Rwanda since 1997.

Over twenty years ago we were the first to set up simple camps in the areas around the gorilla parks. Today, Volcanoes Safaris mission is to be the leading luxury lodge company in Uganda and Rwanda with our lodges:

Virunga Lodge: the Luxury Gorilla Experience in Rwanda
Mount Gahinga: the Batwa Culture and Hiking Lodge
Bwindi: the Jungle Gorilla Lodge
Kyambura Gorge Lodge: the Contemporary Chimpanzee and Wildlife Lodge

In 2017 we launched a strategic program to re-imagine all aspects of our lodges: design, style, the guest experiencefood and service, lodge and safari activities, and guest participation in community and conservation projects.

This program has required significant investment and has already seen a major transformation of our lodges, which is due to be completed by 2020.

These are some examples of our current progress and improvements:

A continuing interactive training program with our international hospitality consultants and in-house management training team to improve the quality, experience and service received by our guests.

Guy Krenzer and Stephane Chicheri, renowned chefs from Le Nôtre in Paris for whom food is an art, have been working with our chefs curating a new breakthrough in regionally inspired food with a focus on homegrown, organic ingredients, with recipes combining local cooking techniques, outdoor cooking and guest participation.

Refining and upgrading the unique Volcanoes style of design and decoration to a luxury level. The understated, timeless, distinctive style of Volcanoes lodges is being updated in a subtle way without losing its essential character. The vibrant colours and textures of local fabrics and artifacts reflect the warmth and exuberance of the cultures at the heart of Africa.

Virunga, Rwanda

At Virunga Lodge two deluxe bandas have been created, one facing the volcanoes and one facing the lakes.

The Dian Fossey Map Room was opened in March 2017, in honor of Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneer primatologist who set up the Karisoke Center high in the Virunga volcanoes in 1967.
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. It is available for private receptions, lunches, dinners and lectures by local conservationists.

We opened The Ikirunga Spa in 2018, a relaxing retreat with exquisite new massage rooms and a sauna overlooking the magical Virunga Volcanoes.

The living room, dining room and bedrooms will be further upgraded in 2019/20.

Mount Gahinga, Uganda

At Mount Gahinga Lodge a new deluxe banda was launched in 2018 and a further one has been launched in June 2019.
The lounge, dining room, and gardens have been remodeled in 2019.

The Gahinga Batwa Village was built in May 2018 to provide a home for the displaced Batwa community.

Bwindi, Uganda

At Bwindi Lodge, the Humula Forest Spa was opened in April 2018, and a sauna and new massage room are planned for late 2019.

One new deluxe banda has been launched in June 2019 and a further one is being built, each with their private sitting area and terrace. A completely redesigned standard room as well as a new dinning room will be introduced in early 2020.

Bwindi Bar, which was set up in 2015, continues to recruit and train local disadvantaged youths living near Bwindi National Park. The trainees gain practical skills in hospitality and service before graduating and seeking employment in in the industry. We are proud to have won the 2016 PURE Community Engagement Award.
Guests regularly visit the bar to experience traditional Ugandan delicacies, including the delicious signature cocktail “Gorillini” – a Bellini cocktail made with local fresh mango, and meet with local residents.

Kyambura Gorge, Uganda

Kyambura Gorge Lodge has been fully refurbished and upgraded during 2018 with entirely remodelled public areas and gardens.

We have launched four deluxe bandas in June 2019, each with their private sitting room and terrace. The swimming pool has been redesigned and upgraded.  A new spa with two treatments rooms has been opened.

We launched the Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism project in February 2019, a series of community and conservation activities developed since 2009 to safeguard the Kyambura Gorge ecosystem.

We have created new walking safaris around the lodge to experience the dramatic landscapes of Kyambura gorge and the Queen Elizabeth savannah, and visit a reclaimed wetland. Guests can walk along the Kyambura gorge buffer zone we have created to protect the fragile ecosystem from encroachment and contribute to its long-term conservation project by planting a seedling.

We hope this overview gives you an insight into the careful transformation of Volcanoes lodges and the continuing investment and improvement in the lodges, activities and experiences.

For all your enquiries and bookings, please email your usual VS sales consultant at enquiries@volcanoessafaris.com

Please subscribe to our newsletter here for more updates and visit our online Sales Tool Kit for downloadable fact sheets, images, videos, brochure, and suggested safari itineraries and rack rates for all of our lodges.

VS lodges i-brochures on Wetu can be found at the following links: Virunga LodgeMount Gahinga LodgeBwindi LodgeKyambura Gorge Lodge.