Set in the foothills of the Virungas in Rwanda with wonderful views of the volcanoes and surrounding countryside, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is located close to the park headquarters for trekking the critically endangered Mountain Gorilla. Owned by the Community Trust and part of the Governor Camps family with sister camps in the Maasai Mara, the lodge uses rentals and community fees from the lodge to drive socio-economic and conservation initiatives in local communities.
If you are travelling from the UK or mainland Europe there are various flight options to Kigali : RwandAir flies directly to Kigali from London Gatwick three times a week alternatively Kenya Airways fly via Nairobi, KLM via Amsterdam and Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, all from London Heathrow. Other airlines serving Kigali include Fly Dubai and Qatar Airlines.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a 2-hour road transfer from Kigali Airport.
Just 6 cottages, 2 suites and a family cottage make up the accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Each spacious stone cottage features a private sheltered verandah, large open plan bedroom with stylish ensuite bathroom and sitting room with an open fireplace. Heat exchangers in the fireplaces provide a plentiful supply of hot water. The family cottage comprises two independent ensuite rooms connected by a shared verandah.
The cosy main lodge with restaurant, bar, outdoor decks, library and homely living room enjoy views of the landscaped gardens. Three large fireplaces provide warmth and all rooms are finished with a polished wooden floor. Two patio areas afford wonderful and dramatic views to the Virunga Volcanoes and the surrounding lowland farmland.
Gorilla trekking takes place from Volcanoes National Park headquarters, close to Bisate Lodge . Take a magical trek through the dense forest to track the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Only eight visitors are allowed per gorilla group each day and visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7 metres from the gorillas to prevent the transmission of any human diseases. Typically, tracking can take from 3 to 8 hours and requires some agility and fitness, however, all fitness levels can be accommodated and no one should feel deterred from missing this once in a lifetime experience.
Take a trek into the high altitude forests of Volcanoes National Park to see these playful and inquisitive creatures. The Golden Monkey is a local subspecies of the widespread Sykes Monkey, also known as the Blue Monkey and is endemic to the area.
Over 40 species of birds have been identified on and around Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Many of these are endemic to the Albertine Rift Forests and thrive in the sheltered 7 hectares (17 acres) expanse of land surrounding the property.
Enjoy an escorted walk or mountain bike trip in the area surrounding Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. These walks are arranged and led by the staff of the lodge and provide a fascinating introduction to daily rural life in the Volcanoes area.
Visit Iby’iwacu cultural village and discover the traditional house of a local king, watch an authentic medicine man prepare herbal potions, try bow and arrow shooting and watch cultural dances by local performers. Having been convinced by villagers to turn their back on poaching, past poachers now perform for visitors. Iby'iwaco village is located 15 minutes from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.
Take a challenging yet spectacular hike to see the grave of Dian Fossey and some of her beloved gorillas as well as the ruins of the original Karisoke Research centre. Whilst there is not a huge amount to see when there, at an altitude of 3,000 metres in the saddle between the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanic cones, a visit to this beautiful spot is highly recommended for the views alone. Operated by the National Park, the trek starts early in the morning and takes 6 to 8 hours.
The Ngezi trail is the shortest trail in the Volcanoes National Park and leads to a small scenic lake nestled in a volcanic depression at the foot of Mt Visoke. This hike takes around three hours and is not physically demanding. This short trail leads to a scenic lake nestled in a volcanic crater at the foot of Mt Visoke. There is the possibility of encountering wildlife on the trail and views extend over the Congolese parts of the Virunga range.
Mt Bisoke stands at 3700m, Mt M'gahinga at 3,400m and Mt Muhabura at 4127m. Mt Bisoke is not a demanding climb, however, does take 5 hours and is challenging at high elevation. Mt M'gahinga is the smallest of the six volcanoes in the Virunga range and is a pleasant climb to the summit crater encountering interesting features such as volcanic caves along the way. Mt Muhabura is the most easterly volcano in the Virunga range and marks the border between Rwanda and Uganda.
Rwanda is a destination for all seasons, however, visiting Rwanda to trek the mountain gorilla is best during the drier season from June to September. Temperatures hardly vary throughout the seasons due to Rwanda's position just south of the Equator. Days are warm and nights are cool, especially at altitude.