I ( Jessie) recently joined Adventure Consults for an “Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda” safari in East Africa. This is the fourth and last installment of my trip report — on the places I stayed in Rwanda.
Gorillas Nest Lodge, Virunga
We were unable to do an actual inspection here due to road constructions. However, we were able to collect some valuable info on the property. The lodge burned down eight years ago and during that time span only the Jack Hannah Cottage has been available for guest stays. Now the whole lodge is being reconstructed and will be open again in the near future. Gorillas Nest Lodge is right down the road from Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Volcanoes National Park
This is a very large property. One thing we really enjoyed is the local dancers that preform at the camp every evening. The rooms are spacious, but can get quite cold since they are constructed with concrete. However, they do set a fire for you each night and there is a small space heater to keep you warm.
Notes: Great for large groups, as there are 30+ rooms.
Sabiynyo Silverback Camp, Virunga
Wow! Sabiynyo is absolutely incredible. This five-star property is a part of the Governors Camp collection. After the very long hike up to the property (walking sticks provided) you’re rewarded with amazing view of the mountains. The common areas are bright, open and beautifully decorated. There’s a small TV room with several DVDs for your entertainment. Every guest room features a fireplace, heater and fresh flowers daily. This is truly a luxurious property and your high-end clients will most certainly be satisfied.
Notes: 10 rooms including 2 suites, 6 cottages, 1 family cottage with 2 rooms, 1 guide cottage. All-inclusive with the exception of premium wines, etc. Wifi throughout. Funded by USAID.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Virunga
A beautiful new mid- to high-range property (built in 2016) located in Virunga village. You may hear the occasional noise of the hustle and bustle of the villagers, but nothing too disturbing. The guest rooms are beautiful, spacious and equipped with AC and a television. Both the common areas and rooms have eclectic decor. Throughout the property, there are wonderful views to Sabinyo volcano. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment in the outside massage pavilion by the pool or a nice camp fire at the outdoor fire pit.
Notes: 15 rooms including 7 deluxe, 4 standard, 1 family cottage with 2 (could be 3) bedrooms, 1 VIP room with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. You can bring the chef to your room for private dining. Deluxe rooms feature wooden tile floors; standard rooms have carpet. All rooms have AC, TV, hair dryer and Wifi. Full board (but not all inclusive). Laundry and spa service fee. Heated pool. The same owners are building another property down the road.
Virunga Lodge, Virunga
Although it’s a little bit more of a drive to the start of gorilla tracking (one hour), the grounds of this lovely lodge will leave you breathless. No matter what room you stay in, the stunning views of the surrounding lakes and volcanoes seem endless. During our stay, every guest was out on their deck enjoying drinks and the view. Virunga is very close to the Uganda border, so if you’re coming from Bwindi it makes the transfer much shorter. The rooms are incredibly spacious and beautifully decorated — their bright colors and linens can’t help but make you feel happy. The lodge offers a family style dinner at 7 pm, a great opportunity to share your gorilla experience with other guests. We absolutely loved Virunga Lodge and so will your high-end clients.
Notes: 10 rooms including 4 twin, 4 double and 2 deluxe. Five o’clock wake-up call to start the drive to the gorilla tracking place. Rate all inclusive. Currently expanding the restaurant; 7 pm family style dinner or private dinner on request.
Flame Tree Village, Kigali
A great place for a day room or overnight in Kigali. Located just 20 minutes from the airport, Flame Tree is a convenient stop to wrap up your trip. The guest rooms — like townhouse with two floors — feature a kitchenette, toilet and living room (with TV) upstairs. Downstairs is the master bedroom with bathtub, shower and closet. Fresh flowers on the beds and towels are a nice touch. Flame Tree is great for a one-night stay or even an extended stay in Rwanda’s capital city. Reception is incredibly helpful — they helped us arrange a transfer to a nearby massage parlor as well as the airport. The food is delicious as well.
Serena Hotel, Kigali
Serena hotels always seem to live up to their name, and the Kigali property is no exception. If your clients are looking for a resort-style hotel in the middle of the city, this is for them. Great property for business and extended-stay clients.
Notes: 148 rooms in six categories including standard deluxe junior suite superior and prime (7) and executive suites (6).