News from Rwanda! In this, the UN Year of the Gorilla, the Virunga Lodge in Rwanda celebrates with an extensive refurbishment. Virunga Lodge has long been described as one of the finest lodges in Africa, with a stunning setting on top of a hill surrounded by the Virunga volcanoes and the volcanic Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. Read more about our Rwanda 4-Day Group Gorilla Tracking Safari featuring Virunga Lodge.
The refurbished Virunga Lodge will remain in the organic bush-chic style of Volcanoes Safaris’ lodges, but the bandas are being upgraded to provide greater elegance and comfort for guests. Phase 1 of the refurbishment is complete – decorative external stonework has been added to reflect the local style and new larger terraces added so that guests can enjoy the spectacular views from their room.
In phase 2, taking place in the second half of 2009, the bedrooms are being redecorated and luxury eco-friendly bathrooms with full facilities (flush toilets, they were formerly composting ash drop-toilets) being added. The lodge’s commitment to being ecologically sensitive remains strong and they will continue to use water collected through their own rainwater collection facilities for guest and staff use and they are adding more storage tanks for this purpose. Grey water – water from showers and basins – will be recycled for use in the garden. Power will continue to be provided by solar panels, but the capacity of these will be increased significantly to enhance lighting in the rooms. The lodge remains open during the refurbishment as one banda is being worked on at a time and disruption to guests is being kept to a minimum.
The beautiful gardens are also redesigned to bring out the magic of the unique vegetation of this area – especially the beautiful wild flowers that grow in the area. Guests will be welcomed at a new reception area and terrace overlooking Lake Bulera. At the main lodge building, a new terrace overlooking the volcanoes is being built from which to enjoy the stunning scenery with a sundowner.
In phase 3 in 2010 two honeymoon bandas will be added to the lodges’ existing 8 bandas. These will be more spacious and include two terrace areas and a fireplace.
Through the Volcanoes Safaris Trust , Virunga Lodge and the guests will continue to support the local Mwiko School. A large water tank has recently been built there so that they can store enough water for all the pupils.
Photos courtesy Volcanoes Safaris.