Virunga Lodge is an upmarket lodge built in a stunning position atop a hillside, with a splendid view over the twin volcano lakes, and, on a clear day, of the whole chain of volcanoes in the national park. Visibility is best in the rainy season (November short rains); otherwise the mountains can be obscured by haze.
This is a true eco-lodge. The eight comfortable brick bandas employ advanced, environmentally sound technology, such as dry toilets, and everything is run without electricity or piped water.
Virunga Lodge offers very comfortable accommodation but it’s main drawback is that it takes nearly an hour to drive to the gorilla trailhead from the lodge. It’s height too can be a problem. At 2200 metres it is quite exposed to the elements, and the steep road in can be hard to navigate in the rainy season.
Apart from that, it does cost about four times more than Gorillas Nest, but it is a very special place and from here you can climb the Visoke or Karisimbi volcanoes, track the golden monkey, visit Diane Fossey’s grave or go for walks to visit the villages around the lakes.
This is an eco-friendly lodge which works with the local population, recruit staff from their communities, and is involved in various upliftment projects.