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Meet The Virunga Lodge Team;Issa Karegeya, Chef.

Issa Karegeya.
Issa Karegeya.

Q: Have you always lived and worked in Rwanda?

A: I grew up in the Eastern Province in Rwanda, but I have also worked in Uganda and the Congo. I came to be a chef here in Rwanda and learned local dishes from my parents. I used to love helping my mother prepare dinner for the family and from the age of 15 I would help her in the kitchen. I have now been cooking for 24 years and I still love it.


Q: Did you always want to be a chef?

A: Yes. Ever since I started heping my mother at home I knew this is what I wanted to do. I went to a cooking school in Kigali. My first job as a professional chef was with another travel company in Rwanda, which was great experience.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: I really enjoy cooking “Muzungu” (East African term for foreign/white) food. It is very different to the local Rwandan food. When you are serious about working it is very easy and enjoyable to learn new things. I have had some great training from ‘Food and Stuff’ with Volcanoes and I always hope to better my skills as a chef. There is always something new to learn.

Q: What is your favourite recipe at the lodge?

A: My favourite recipe is the avocado soup. We always get such good feedback from guests and they often ask for the recipe because apparently it is not very common to have avocado soup. We have also just started serving a Rwandan Platter, so that our guests can sample some local Rwandan dishes, which is also very popular.

Q: How is Rwandan food different from Western cuisine?

A: Rwandan food is much more filling and uses far more root vegetable and beans. Meat is eaten for special occasions mostly. My favourite meal is Matoke, which is quite like a large cooking banana that we steam or put into a stew, with beans, greens (like spinach) and g-nut sauce, which is made from groundnuts or peanuts.

Q: What do you like most about working for VS?

A: I enjoy being challenged every day and I also enjoy being busy. I also really enjoy the guests saying nice things about my food. It makes me feel very proud to work for Volcanoes Safaris.

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Booking Enquiry

To make a booking, please complete this form or click here to chat to one of our sales consultants via our live chat. Alternatively, send us an email on [email protected].
To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 years are allowed to go gorilla tracking. For guests booking a stay at Virunga Lodge, please note that the minimum age limit for children at Virunga Lodge is 12 years.

Safari Activities

Chimpanzee Tracking

Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.

Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.