A stone, wood and thatch build, Mount Gahinga Lodge consists of a main lodge and 9 sleeping bandas. The main lodge – which boasts Wi-Fi access – includes a newly built sunroom (lounge), bar, dining area, old lounge and library.
Sympathetic in terms of design to the older building, the circular sunroom is characterised by locally sourced lightweight seating, colourful cushions, plenty of natural light and beautiful wooden floors. Behind, the rest of main lodge is dominated by a centrally positioned open log fire, and possesses a similar taste in furnishings. Both rooms are airy, spacious and very welcoming.
FOOD AND SERVICE
A mix of local produce, fresh fish, meat and vegetables, the food is superb, and much commented on by guests, as is the service.
Circular, thatched and discreetly positioned, each of the sleeping rooms – or cottages – includes a double or twin bed, seating, room to change in, a veranda and a separate bathroom. In keeping with its ecologically conscious ethos, the bathroom contains a short drop toilet, a bucket shower and hot water is available on request.
Activities at Mount Gahinga Lodge include gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking, guided walks, bird watching, volcano climbs and massage. Please note that gorilla sightings in Mgahinga are by no means guaranteed: the forest overlaps Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo, giving the gorilla an enormous range and thus diminishing the chances of a successful trek.
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), established in 2009, is a non-profit organisation that connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to local communities and conservation activities.
The Trust aspires to promote long-term, self-sustaining projects that support the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
The Batwa Vocational Centre is the heart of the educational work conducted by the VSPT with the Batwa. The Trust has donated a quarter of an acre of land to BVC, allowing locals to learn how to farm, particularly potatoes and wheat crops. Produce is then sold to finance food, medicine and other necessary items within the community.
Built on the Mount Gahinga Lodge property, the Batwa Heritage Site consists of a herbal garden, a small collection of traditional huts and a short trail that allows the Batwa to demonstrate – to interested Volcanoes Safaris guests – how they used to live, hunt, and collect resources from the forest.
Furthermore, the Batwa Dance Group performs weekly, working to integrate the Batwa with local communities.