Virunga Lodge

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge is a stylish eco-lodge with a stunning location just outside Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Perched on a high ridge, it enjoys marvelous views of Lakes Burera and Ruhondo, and of the region's famous volcanoes.

Opened in 2004, Virunga Lodge is arguably the best place to stay in the region. It certainly has the most impressive location, perched on a high hill from where it enjoys magnificent views over Lakes Burera and Ruhondo, and, in the distance, the Virunga Volcanoes. Virunga Lodge is not positioned as close to Volcanoes National Park as many other hotels, and this can be a disadvantage (there’s a half hour drive to the park gates), but it’s clear that Virunga’s location was chosen for other reasons—its remoteness, and its spectacular views.

Virunga Lodge presents itself as an eco-lodge. Its rustic stone-and-wood bandas are simple in appearance and don’t clash with their surrounds. Inside, they are spacious and beautifully furnished, but not at all glitzy. This is a high-end retreat, but not a flashy one.

There are a variety of activities on offer in the region around Virunga Lodge and in the Volcanoes National Park—gorilla safaris, most notably, but also golden monkey tracking, hill climbs, and guided nature walks. Virunga Lodge makes a great base from which to explore the region, though its more remote location means it’s perhaps better suited to travellers intending to spend a few nights in the region, as opposed to those on quick, one night, fly-in gorilla safaris.


Virunga Lodge offers eight individual chalets, or ‘bandas’, with either volcano or lake views, as well as private gardens and verandahs.

Bedrooms are individually decorated and spacious with king-size or twin beds. The bathrooms have eco-toilets and bucket showers, supporting the lodge’s eco credentials. (Update: we're told that Virunga’s latest renovation saw the eco-toilets replaced with standard flush loos and the bucket showers with ordinary showers).


Generous meals are served in the dining room and picnic lunches can be packed for daytrips.


- Lounge
- Restaurant & bar


- Mountain gorilla tracking
- Visit Lake Kivu and the other lakes
- Visit the nearby Genocide memorials
- Bird watching
- Golden monkey trekking
- Visit the lava formations near Ruhengeri

Child Policy

There are no age restrictions at Virunga Lodge, though gorilla safaris are restricted to children over the age of fifteen (these are the national park regulations, and are inflexible).

Environmental Policy

Virunga Lodge has been built to environmentally friendly standards relying on solar power to provide electricity. Eco-toilets are used rather than flush toilets and there is no running water (water is supplied to your room in tanks).