Wildlife and culture are at the heart of your stay at Mount Gahinga Lodge. The lodge is the perfect base for tracking both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, and for visiting the local Batwa village, established with support from the lodge. Mount Gahinga Lodge is srrounded by pretty gardens and has excellent views of the nearby Virungas Mountains.
The stone bandas, named after different mountains in the Virungas range, provide comfy accommodation, with brightly painted walls, colourful throws, cushions and rugs and open fireplaces which provide welcome warmth on chilly mornings and evenings. The bathroom has hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, hand basin and walk-in shower. You also have your own private terrace and butler service.
The main lodge has a lounge, complete with open fire, and sun room, both offering plenty of space where you can relax with other guests. Sitting on the terrace you can enjoy the garden and mountain views and do some bird watching.
During your stay you can go gorilla tracking in Mgahinga National Park, home to the Nyakagezi gorilla group. This can take anything between 3 and 8 hours depending on their location, with your efforts rewarded by time spent in the company of these amazing creatures. The park also has a population of endangered golden monkeys, and tracking trips in the bamboo are offered from the lodge to help you locate and observe them. Guided hiking trips in the local area are popular, too.
The lodge has close ties with the indigenous Batwa pygmy people, hunter-gatherers and warriors who dwelled in the forest for many generations. You are encouraged to meet individuals on a trip to the local village and school, and to learn about their traditions and way of life, including hunting, collecting honey and gathering plants for medicinal use.
Open: Mount Gahinga Lodge is open all year.
Location: The lodge is at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes, near the entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The nearest airport is at Kisoro, about an hours’ drive from the lodge.
Rooms: There are 6 original bandas, made up of 3 twins and 3 doubles, all with a fireplace I the bedroom. A deluxe banda was added in 2018. Each has an en-suite bathroom with 2 basins, a flush toilet and shower, and a private terrace. Hairdryers are provided. Butler service is available.
Activities: Gorilla tracking (between 3 and 8 hours) and golden monkey tracking are the main wildlife activities, and there is good bird watching. You can visit Gahinga Batwa village and school, and the Batwa Vocational Centre where you can buy locally made products, and take the Batwa Cultural Heritage Tour. There are opportunities for hiking in the mountains.
Facilities: The lodge has a large lounge, a sun room and expansive terrace. There are battery charging facilities in the main lodge. There is a massage room. The lodge has attractive gardens. There is a free laundry service.
Dining: Meals and local drinks are included.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome, athough it should be noted that there are no childcare facilities. The minimum age for gorilla tracking is 15 years.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in the main lodge though this can be rather slow.
Notes: Credit and debit cards are not accepted at the lodge. Extras can be paid for in cash only, Ugandan shillings and US dollars.
Volanoes Safaris Partnership Trust has been instrumental in the building of a permanent village for the local Batwa pygmy community of over 100 adults and children. This land comprises about 4 hectares and includes homes, community facilities including a school and farmland to enable them to generate an income. The trust has also helped the Batwa people by involvement in tourism, giving them a livelihood and helping hem share their culture with visitors.