Beautiful Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the perfect accommodation choice for treks to see the critically endangered mountain gorilla. A 2½-hour drive on good roads from Kigali, Sabyinyo is a mere 3km from the main entrance to the neighbouring Parc National des Volcans, your departure point for gorilla trekking. Perched atop a steep hill, the rustic-style lodge itself – built of stone with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs – is wonderfully atmospheric. With spellbinding views, it fits beautifully into the lush, forested ecosystem of the surrounding Virunga Mountains volcanic chain.
With just six cottages, two suites and one family cottage, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge offers a personal experience. Each of guest cottages has oversized rooms that are a delight to relax in. Expect a spacious living area and enormous en-suite bathroom (including double basins, flush loo, shower and separate bathtub) and dressing room, all appointed with first-class facilities. Relax on the sofa in your living room or chill out in a hammock on your private sheltered veranda. The cosy nightly log fire in front of your luxe king-sized bed is a welcome treat in these sometimes chilly mountainous highlands. The family cottage comprises two independent en-suite rooms connected by a shared veranda.
Watch the mountain mists roll in from the immaculate main lodge and know that this is real ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ territory! With floors polished to a high sheen, the main lodge building comprises the reception area, a sitting room with snug area, a dining room, library/games room, a responsible tourism/community awareness room, shop and bathrooms. The bar and dining room have crackling fireplaces to warm you during cold weather, while the patios outside are perfect for alfresco drinks and meals during warm weather, with dramatic views to the Virunga Volcanoes and surrounding lowland farmland. The lodge grounds extend over 7 hectares (about 17 acres), which are a haven for endemic birds – over 40 species have been identified on and around Sabyinyo.
It is worth noting that there is a walk of about 200m (650 feet) from the car park to the lodge; the exceptionally friendly staff will ensure you won’t have to carry a single thing, but guests will need to walk up this hill. If you are going gorilla trekking you will need to be reasonably fit so that you can cope with the hilly, forested terrain.
The excellent, extremely friendly service even extends as far as being greeted after a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla encounter with a welcome drink, refreshing towel and staff helping you out of the muddiest of boots, gaiters and outer trousers – all taken away and returned spotless the next morning.
Things to do
• Gorilla trekking
• Escorted birdwatching walks
• Escorted nature walks
• Escorted mountain-bike excursions
• Treks to see the Golden Monkeys, as well as hikes to view the volcanoes & surrounds
• Specialised massage treatments
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