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“Beautiful, Peaceful, Perfect.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Virunga Lodge

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Virunga Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
88 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful, Peaceful, Perfect.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

Everything about this place was perfect - the views, service, location. The views at this lodge is magnificent. Very relaxing, peaceful and serene. All your troubles just seem to disappear looking out into the lakes and volcanoes. Aside from the beautiful location, the staff really make the place. They were all very friendly, helpful and accommodating. The wake up calls with coffee by one of the staff is such a great personal touch. Your shoes are cleaned after gorilla trekking. Your bed is turned down every night while at dinner. I can't say enough great things about this lodge and the people who work here.
I hope that I will be lucky enough to stay here again in the near future.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank born_t0_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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231 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    166
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    19
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28
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

This place is perfectly set up for the gorilla trekking – the package rates including transport and permit seemed crazily high, but as an east African resident, I got the rates of the hotel much cheaper and by not doing a package trip, saved a lot of money.
The lodge is stunning and has the best views of any place I stayed in. My room (I say room although it was more like a small cottage!) had views of the volcanoes and the lakes...nothing nicer than to come back from the trek and chill on your own private porch looking out at the view.
Food was amazing – you get a choice of breakfast and dinner every day which you submit to the chef in advance. As it’s only got 8 rooms, all guests eat together which is great, as you just end up comparing gorilla experiences! All drinks are included in the price, and they have a lovely lounge/bar area with a fire in the evening where guests can sit and chat.
Had a complementary massage after my trek which was quite possibly the worst massage i’ve ever had. The concept of a complementary massage is really very nice, but i think the lodge would do better to charge for massages and provide someone who has been properly trained.

Room Tip: Some rooms have views of both lakes and volcanoes.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KAWJuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
186 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2012

This is a good base from where to go seeing gorillas in Rwanda (which is much easier than seeing them in Uganda). Apart from that, the rooms are spacious and well appointed, the staff is efficient and friendly and the food is excellent. If you like bird-watching, there are a lot of birds even on the grounds of the hotel and the view over the lake is stunning.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JamesXXI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

I was only here overnight for a relaxing mini break with a friend who lives in Tanzania (and therefore we were able to get an East Africa resident discount, meaning my idea of value for money at this place may differ from that of other Westerners! I take it that it is usually extremely expensive to stay here).

The view and our cabin absolutely took my breath away! The drive up into the mountains from Kigali was beautiful (we used a local freelance driver who knew the area well), but upon arrival I was truly impressed. The volcanic mountains of Rwanda are a stunning site, and our cabin had a huge private verandah/viewing platform where we could relax and look out on the view. The main lodge has a bar, a common room, dining room, and plenty of great spots to sit and admire the view. The service is attentive and includes free guided walks around the area, bird watching, and complimentary massage. The massage was ok, but some more expert training for the massage therapist might be in order.

Cabins are designed and decorated with an excellent attention to detail and are truly lovely. Even the huge bathroom windows overlook the mountain vista.

The lodge runs on Eco-friendly principles which they take seriously, including no power points in cabins to discourage electricity use, and no plastic.

The food was mostly good but not amazing.

If I had a longer stay I would have gone on a gorilla safari while staying here.

The lodge also seems to have connections with local villages and schools so that the community can benefit from the tourism of the area.

Highly recommend this place!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jlb96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2012

Eco Lodge? Being picked up at the airport and being driven to the lodge in a car that seemed like it was 30 years old and that was spewing out diesel fumes was far from an eco-friendly experience. Besides the eco-thing being somewhat overblown, this was an excellent stay for the gorillas.

The rooms are very spacious and we had an excellent view over the lake. Very comfortable beds and the mosquito net was set up every night although I am not sure it was really needed given the altitude.. The room is not particulary well lit due to the lack of electricity and there is no heating in the room which is mainly an issue when taking a shower.

Staff was very friendly and went out of their way to always help out. Food was good given the circumstances but the options are usually limited to 2-3 appetizers and main courses.

The Gorilla experience is just amazing. The 45 minute ride to the Park is not too bad given that there is a lot of time spent waiting at the park while one is being allocated a group and after that there is usually quite a bit of a ride to the location where the actual trek starts so in the overall scheme of things it does not matter too much.

Strongly recommnded as a place to stay for anyone doing the Gorilla trekking

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fantokyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

Don't know where to start other than..... my trip thru Rwanda & Uganda to trekk with the Mountain Gorilla's was life changing. The Virunga Lodge in Rwanda was breathtakingly beautiful perched atop a mountain top with views... forever. 2 lakes on one side and 8 volcanos on the other.... What more can you ask for? The staff, accommodations, food, dance.... everything was Top Notch! AAA++++++ Can't wait to take a group of friends back to Rwanda and share my experiences with them. Thank you SO much for the BEST Christmas I've ever had in my 45 yrs. We tracked & filmed Gorillas ON Christmas Day. The Lodge put on a scrumptious feast when we arrived back with Christmas songs by the staff as we filed into the dining room for dinner..... just magical! :))

Room Tip: Rooms are either on the view side with Volcano's or Lake view... I preferred the lake view due t...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BGoddard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aventura, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

For some the extra distance to the entrance of the Parc Nationale De Volcans may be off-putting. I think this is the most incredible lodge to sat at. the views from the lodge overlooking the twin lakes is as well as the volcanoes is nothing short of spectacular. The lodge itself is very, very echo friendly. afar the first couple of hours I thought we ay have made a mistake but that feeling soon evaporated and the lodge just fit "hand in glove" with the gorilla trekking. The staff cannot do enough for you. Staff are all local so sometimes language can be challenging but the attitude more than makes up for it. The food is plain home cooked food but very tasty. There is no electricity so everything is generate powered. I am gluten intolerant and they went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of.

i would stay there again and again.

Room Tip: It is a small lodge and all rooms have good views
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank normanp28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Virunga Lodge

Property: Virunga Lodge
Address: Lake Bulera, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Phone Number:
Region: Rwanda > Northern Province > Ruhengeri
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Ruhengeri
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a spectacular location overlooking the Virunga volcanoes and shimmering lakes Ruhondo and Bulera.The magnificent Virunga Safari Lodge, set on a stunning hillside, has eight bandas with a panoramic view of the Virunga volcanoes and the lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. The terraced gardens on this high ridge are now well established, with a magical sunken paradise garden as their focal point. Aside from gorilla tracking , clients can climb a volcano, track the golden monkey, visit Dian Fossey's grave or go for gentle strolls around the picturesque villages near the lakes. Three hours' drive from Kigali or a long day's drive from Kampala. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Virunga Hotel Ruhengeri
Virunga Lodge Rwanda/Ruhengeri

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