The magnificent Virunga Lodge in Rwanda is one of Africa’s most loved lodges. Perched high on a ridge with the finest views in Africa, overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east.

The iconic property has defined Rwandese Afro-chic since the lodge was built by Praveen Moman in 2004. The understated, timeless, hand-made style has been further refined to meet the needs of today’s luxury traveller.

Exceptional hospitality and locally-inspired food make it the first accommodation choice for tracking the endangered mountain gorilla.

Each of our ten elegant bandas has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes.

The two deluxe bandas – named after the lakes Ibirunga and Ibiyaga – have their own private sitting room and more refined interiors, and a large terrace overlooking the majestic Virunga volcanoes or the twin lakes.

In 2022, we are reaching out to request your assistance for vital projects that Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports near our lodges in Uganda and Rwanda. Support is especially critical at the moment when so many of our communities have seen their livelihoods affected by Covid-19.

Our new partnership with Empowers Africa as our fiscal sponsor provides a simple way for contributions from US residents to be tax-deductible.

We need your support, donate here.

Lodge overview:

  • 10 unique luxury bandas (two deluxe and eight standard). Guide cottage available
  • Personal butler service for all guests
  • Ikirunga – Spa & Sauna. Complimentary 50-minute massage per guest.
  • Community projects
  • Dian Fossey Map Room available for private events and conservation lectures
  • Wi-Fi access in the main lodge building and Dian Fossey Map Room.
  • Premium wine, whisky, and cocktail menus
  • 40-min drive to Park headquarters

Ready to book your stay at Virunga Lodge? Contact our sales team now!

Africa’s Most Romantic Hotel

World Boutique Hotel Awards

Virunga Lodge won the 2016 Africa’s Most Romantic Hotel at the World Boutique Hotel Awards.

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    star rating  My husband and I traveled to Africa for 3 weeks in March-April of this year and began our trip in Rwanda to do gorilla trekking. We were so happy that... read more

    Sharell K
    21st April 2022

    star rating  This hotel is amazing. The staff is super nice. Jojo made sure it was a great experience.The hotel staff takes care of everything, you don’t have to worry about any... read more

    Borech87
    23rd March 2022

    star rating  We spent 2 nights at Virunga Lodge. While the views are truly spectacular, we were not overly impressed with the property or service level. Unfortunately our stay was pretty cloudy,... read more

    Annie J
    3rd January 2022

Activities at Virunga Lodge 2

The Dian Fossey Map Room has been built in honour of Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneer primatologist who set up the Karisoke Center high in the Virunga volcanoes in 1967.

Visit the permanent exhibition in the Map Room charting the ‘Conservationists and Explorers of the Virunga Volcanoes’ from 1850 to 1985 when Fossey died or enjoy a conservation lecture by local conservation associations.

 

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.

In June 2014 Virunga Lodge launched the “One Sheep per Family” project, to provide one sheep to each of the families in three nearby villages. 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.

With the generous support of the guests, all 140 families in Sunzu village and 175 families in Bugyeo village have now received a sheep under this successful initiative! As of November 2021, 148 families in Kigugu village have received a sheep, with a further 14 families remaining in order to supply every household in the village.

Click on the ‘donate’ button below to donate one sheep ($40) to one of the Kigugu community.

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.

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.

In the late afternoon we invite you to enjoy a performance by the local community’s traditional dance troupe, which is supported by the Volcanoes Safari Partnership Trust (VSPT). The VSPT has been working with the dance troupe at the Volcanoes Safaris’ Virunga Lodge in Rwanda, since 2004.

Today, the group is made up of 24 dancers and two dance trainers. The dance troupe performs the traditional Rwandan ballet called The Intore, which is based on the courtly victory dance of the Rwandan mwami (kings).

Guests staying at Virunga Lodge or Gahinga 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 drive 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.

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