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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 gorillas.

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 four deluxe bandas offer a private suite.

Volcanoes Lodge Map Room 008

Lodge Overview

Enjoy the finest views in Africa, overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east.

Ten elegant hand built guest bandas facing either the Virunga Volcanoes or beautiful twin lakes (Four deluxe and six standard rooms). 

Wifi throughout the lodge and all-inclusive premium wines, whiskies and cocktails.

Trek the endangered mountain gorillas and rare golden monkeys in the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park. 

Enjoy complimentary spa treatments and massages, including the famous Rungu massage at Ikirunga – Spa & Sauna. 

Exceptional hospitality and locally-inspired food. Personal butler service for all guests. 

Dian Fossey Map Room, built in 2017 to celebrate 50 years since Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Centre. Available for conservation lectures. 

Join in with the “One Sheep per Family”, “Donate a Water Tank” and the Intore Dance community projects.

Hike to Dian Fossey’s grave in the Volcanoes National Park and visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Kinigi. 

The Dian Fossey Map Room

The Dian Fossey Map Room at Virunga Lodge has been built in honor of Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneer primatologist who set up the Karisoke Center high in the Virunga volcanoes in 1967. The exploration and conservation of the Virunga volcanoes is a very interesting and unique story and has been brought together for the first time in the amazing exhibition at the Dian Fossey Map Room at Virunga Lodge.

The Dian Fossey Map Room was opened on 2 March 2017. 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. The exhibition and catalogue have been curated by Giulia Ajmone Marsan, a writer on historical subjects.

Interior of The Dian Fossey Map Room at Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge in Rwanda


Conservation and Community

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“A magnificent lodge with beautifully designed bandas and a private terrace. The staff’s warm hospitality and professionalism made our stay at Virunga lodge a wonderful…
MASS Design Group
“They say that feng shui gives you peace and harmony but nothing like the tranquillity and serenity that embraces you on arrival at Virunga Lodge.…
Duchess of York
“Virunga Lodge – my favourite place in Rwanda”
Clare Richardson, President Emerita, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
The staff at Virunga Lodge offered unparalleled service and professionalism. Our deluxe banda was beautifully appointed and very comfortable – great bed! Virunga is a…
Diane and Claudio, Canada
“In all my years this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed! Congratulations on everything you do for the community!”
Renee, USA
“Words do not suffice how beautiful it is here!”
Byishimo, Portland
“Should western societies globally follow by example Volcanoes Safaris conservation and community ethos, our world would be a better place. We have respect and appreciation…
Adrian, Australia
“Coming to the Volcanoes Park to see the gorillas cannot be a complete experience without staying at Virunga Lodge, a little paradise with wonderful views…
Mark and Anne, UK
“We travelled to Rwanda with the sole intention of going in search for the gorillas. I can only say that it’s been the best experience…
Manuel, 6 day Gahinga and Virunga
“It was so nice to sit out on the patio and watch the clouds and listen to the sounds rise up. I’d go back in…
Nanci, USA

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.

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities

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.

ML Golden Monkey

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities

Golden Monkey Tracking

ML Golden Monkey

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.

Dian Fossey Digit

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities

Visit Dian Fossey's Grave

Dian Fossey Digit

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.

Sinamatella Rwanda Virunga Volcano View

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities

Climb A Volcano

Sinamatella Rwanda Virunga Volcano View

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.

A vibrant red aloe vera flower spike against a soft blue sky at Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge, with a small iridescent green bird perched on it, likely extracting nectar. A perfect spot for bird watching.

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities


A vibrant red aloe vera flower spike against a soft blue sky at Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge, with a small iridescent green bird perched on it, likely extracting nectar. A perfect spot for bird watching.

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.

Volcanoes Safaris Uganda Domestic Life

Virunga Lodge: Safari Activities

Community Walk

Volcanoes Safaris Uganda Domestic Life

Community walk

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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.