A luxury lodge hanging off the ridge of a mountain, overlooking Rwanda’s Virunga Volcanoes and the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhonda, is the sight of the most spectacular view. The remarkable Virunga Lodge, its intimate and comfortable accommodations, is but the perfect place to take-in the splendors of the scenery and the majesty of the nearby Volcanoes National Park.
As a base camp for any luxury traveler exploring the northern region of Rwanda, Virunga Lodge sits in a perfect location for those embarking on gorilla treks, golden monkey treks or mountain hikes. Ascending a bumpy road laden with potholes for several miles, the road narrowing the further you climb, a lodge suddenly emerges. Sitting amongst mature trees and flowering bushes, hummingbirds and butterflies fluttering about, Virunga Lodge is a welcome sight of relaxation and calm.
Stepping out of your 4×4 vehicle, the staff greets you instantly with a welcome cocktail and cold towel. Luggage is swept away as you’re taken to your private stone “banda” – a little cottage where you will spend your evenings. There are 10 bandas on the property; each one built using local materials. Stone and wood serve as the main components, while interiors are decorated with white flowing cotton, colorful Rwandan prints and locally sourced handicrafts. Cozy beds, hot water and views for miles make your “home away from home” an incredible place to be. There is Wi-Fi at the lodge, but no television. Who needs television when you are surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world?
The lodge offers delicious dining in their main building around a roaring fire, or in the elegant dining room. Local chefs concoct delicious meals using seasonal ingredients – with no detail spared. Serious foodies will be delighted with the offerings here. For lunch, the kitchen will pack you a bag with treats, as you will, more than likely, find yourself out exploring the area. After returning from a long day in the mountains, the staff is happy to clean your boots, preparing them for your next day’s adventure.
For entertainment, Virunga Lodge invites locals to perform an “Intore” dance, which is native to the area and a beautiful sight to behold. Most guests spend two nights here, including myself, but I secretly wanted more. Waking every morning to fresh Rwandan coffee and cookies delivered to my room, and watching the sunrise over the twin lakes is an experience I will never forget. Virunga Lodge is the perfect choice for any luxury traveler in search of a truly special experience and surreal vistas that will imprint themselves in your mind and never fade.