Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge (Volcanoes)
Location: Bordering Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
This lodge is “located in a stunning location at the base of brooding volcanoes” (Lonely Planet).
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to mountain gorillas, rare golden monkeys, the extinct Virunga Volcanoes, atmospheric bamboo forests and the sacred Ngarama Cave – once home to the King of the Batwa Pygmies. After a thrilling day of mountain climbing, wildlife watching or cultural trekking there is no better place to relax than Mount Gahinga Lodge.
With a warming open fireplace, massage room, delicious three course meals and blissful views of the mighty volcanic peaks, this lodge is a wonderful place to recuperate after your Ugandan adventures!
Guests are guaranteed a great night’s sleep in our comfortable private cabins, surrounded by beautiful gardens and terraces to make the most of the views and native birds and butterflies.
We look forward to creating a unique and memorable holiday for you!
- Restaurant and bar
- Open fireplace
- Laundry service
- On-site wildlife viewing
- Outdoor sitting area for birdwatching, surrounded by wild plants
- A sunroom facing the volcanoes
- Solar power
Mount Gahinga Lodge’s eight attractive bandas are nestled in the wild gardens at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes.
All bandas have their own patio seating area, as well as private bathrooms with composting toilets and bush showers, which are filled with hot water upon request.
Lighting is solar powered, making them extremely environmentally friendly.
Activities At The Lodge
- Guests can spend the day climbing the Muhavura Volcano. (Elevation 4137 m) Its name means “the guide.” The typical cone-shaped mountain provides some of the best views in the country. Much of the climb passes a rocky surface covered by grasses and small shrubs. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with the view of the Virunga Volcanoes, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi, and the peaks of Rwenzori Mountain. The hike takes approximately 8 hours (round trip covering 12 km).
- Guests can spend the day climbing the Gahinga Volcano. (Elevation 3473 m) Its name means “small pile of rocks.” A hike, which takes you about 6 hours round trip goes through a good example of a pure bamboo forest. Gahinga once had a crater lake on top but time has changed it into a lush swamp. (Distance to the swamp is 8 km.)
- Guests can go on a nature walk along the Congo/Uganda border (visa not required). This hike takes you first toward Sabinyo. The trail climbs up the base of Sabinyo for a while through fine montane forest before turning toward the Congo. Along the way you will get a great view of Sabinyo’s gorge and peaks. Upon reaching the Congo you cut back along the international border. The return leg to the park headquarters is a great section for birding. The two rest huts along the way are good places for a break. Look closely for the golden monkeys and signs of elephants. (Hiking time is 5 hours and distance is 10 km.)
- Guests can visit the rare golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park. They can spend one hour with the golden monkeys – less famous but rare and equally deserving of protection. Golden monkeys are found only in the Virungas and in one other forest in Rwanda.
- Guests can go birding in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is blessed with a unique bird fauna; 79 bird species have thus far been recorded within the park including several species endemic to the East Congo Montane region. For the Virunga Conservation Area as a whole, over 295 species in the Virungas are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afromontane region representing 59% of the total of known endemic species.
- Guests can visit local communities and schools, a 2-3 hour walk. The walk is not that strenuous, through local villages where stops can include a basket maker, blacksmith, and school.
- Guests can take part in a full day Batwa pygmy experience. This cultural walk starts at a base camp, which is situated 30 minutes from the lodge. Members of the Batwa community and Ugandan Wildlife Authority guides take you through the dense forest and educate you on the Batwa ways of life. You will see traditional dwellings, shoot with bows and arrows, learn about medicinal and edible plants, and visit the Garama Cave for a song and dance performance.
Composting toilets, bush showers and rainwater catchment sytems preserve water supplies. Solar electricity is also used, and the wildflower area has been left to attract birds and other wildlife.
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust receives $100 from every safari and has purchased school roofs and water tanks, and made donations to hospitals