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!
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.
The iconic Virunga lounge.
Exceptional hospitality and locally-inspired food.
Enjoy complimentary spa treatments and massages at Ikirunga – Spa & Sauna.
All inclusive premium wines, single malt whiskies, and cocktails
Join in with the "One Sheep per Family" community project.
Dian Fossey Map Room available for private events and conservation lectures.
Personal butler service for all guests,
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.
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.
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.
“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 one.”
“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. The love from Praveen and his family and his staff exudes in making a stay here totally unique.”
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 magnificent place to stay…
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!”
“Words do not suffice how beautiful it is here!”
“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 for what you are doing. Thank you!”
“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 and the most helpful, pleasant and efficient staff to make our stay a perfect experience!”
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 of my life.”
“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 a heartbeat.”