Getting from Kigali to Ruhengeri and Kinigi
Gorilla tracking, hiking and tracking safaris in Rwanda starts from Kinigi in Musanze (former Ruhengeri) province. Tracking takes in Volcanoes National Park(Parc des volcans). Every morning at 07:00Hrs, all trekking participants are briefed on dos, don’ts and other hiking regulations at Kinigi Park headquarters.
The drive from Kigali to Ruhengeri will take about 1 hour. From Ruhengeri (Musanze) town to Kinigi, the base of gorilla tracking is about 30-45 minutes. The drive from Kigali to Ruhengeri takes you through beautifully terraced hilly country side with lots of photography opportunities. Inclusive of photo stops, it might take you even 2 hours to drive from Kigali to Kinigi. Every
An alternative to driving from Kigali is using an helicopter/ charter flight to Ruhengeri Airstrip and driving to Kinigi by car. You will need advance arrangements with the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority.
Accommodation While on Gorilla Tracking And Trekking Safaris
Accommodation is available at Kinigi or at Ruhengeri(Musanze). Accommodation can be categorized into three depending on the price you pay and the level of comfort-Luxury, Budget and Mid range.
Three luxury properties for your stay while tracking are, Sabyinyo Silverback Community Lodge, Virunga Luxury Lodge and Jack Hanna’s House. The best in terms of proximity to gorilla tracking is Silverback. Virunga Luxury Lodge enjoys an enviable location on top of a hill with undisturbed vistas of Virungas and the surrounding areas.
Kinigi Guest House
Kinigi Guest house is the oldest property at Volcanes. The rooms though basic are clean. They provide accommodation and meals. Do not expect comfort in this property.
Gorilla Nest Lodge/ Hotel
Gorilla Nest Lodge is medium property located inside a eucalyptus forest. The tall trees though beautiful have blocked the beautiful views and they tend to make the place more cold. Hotel facilities include parking, restaurant, bar and laundry. They also have a mini golf course. They have permanent electricity. Due to cold weather, they have several fire places outside, though fire is rarely lit in these areas. However fire is always available in the restaurant and bar area at night. To keep the cold away, the property provides extra blankets in the rooms. More are available on request. Food is local served in buffet style.
Basic rooms are clean with tiled floors and private showers with an electric. The facility also has family or superior rooms with sitting area and two bedrooms.
In some of the nights, Gorilla Nest organizes Intore, the local Barret to entertain guests. If you feel you cannot stick to your seat, you are free to join the dancers.
Jack Hanna’s House
This is a private house booked through Gorilla Nest when the owner is not around. The house has two bedrooms and a kitchen with panoramic views of Virungas and the min golf course. Booking the house include staff.
Sabyinyo Community/ Silver Back Lodge
Sabyinyo Lodge comprises of the main building with reception, sitting room with snug area, dining room, library, and a responsible tourism / community awareness room, shop and bathrooms. Three large fireplaces provide warmth.
Accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge comprises five double cottages, two suites and one family suite. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en-suite bathrooms finished with Venetian plaster a dressing room and a sheltered veranda. Heat exchangers in the fireplaces provide a plentiful supply of hot water. The family suite has a second bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
Virunga Volcanoes Luxury Lodge
Located on hilltop between Lakes Burela and Ruhondo, the Virunga Luxury Lodge is the unrivaled destination for landscape lovers. From the lodge, one enjoys specular views of Virunga Mountains, and the surrounding. The lodge has a total of 8 bandas constructed of local material. Being on a hilltop, water has to be brought in. The rooms have bush showers and lighting is by lantern lamps.
The main building has a fire place and a bar.
From the lodge, its is 45 minutes drive to the park headquarters.
Besides these facilities, one can get accommodation at the hotels in Ruhengeri/ Musanze.
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