The Original Gorilla Lodge in Rwanda

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

The iconic property has defined Rwandese Afro-chic since the lodge was built by Praveen Moman in 2004. The timeless, hand-made style makes it the first accommodation choice for tracking the endangered mountain gorilla.

Exceptional hospitality, locally-inspired food and a private butler are hallmarks of the guest experience.

Each of the ten elegant bandas has a private terrace overlooking the dramatic landscape. The three deluxe bandas offer a private suite.

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

Visit Dian Fossey’s Grave

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.

Climb a Volcano

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.

Gorilla Tracking

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 10m 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.

Golden Monkey Tracking

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.

Birding

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.