What’s new? Ugandan specialists The Volcanoes Collection has announced the re-launch of Mount Gahinga Lodge, in Parc National des Volcans. Refurbished and upgraded, the lodge offers unexpected luxury amidst the foothills of Uganda.
Modeled on traditional African bandas, the rooms complement their natural surroundings, respecting the eco-system. They’re made using locally sourced slate and volcanic rock and decked out in bamboo and eucalyptus furniture. Each has its own fireplace, private terrace and modern bathroom.
Part of the new offering is the experience of engaging with the indigenous Batwa community, something that is unique to Volcanoes’ lodge. A programme has been developed in conjunction with Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), and gives guests an insight into the ancient way of life of the tribe who are the forest’s only native people and widely considered to be the oldest surviving of Central Africa.
Activities aim to revive the community’s traditions and include a visit to the Batwa Cultural Heritage Site to discover the historical culture through hunting, fire making, as well as identifying and using the forest’s medicinal herbs. You can also join in the Batwa Cultural Dance Group, see the Batwa Vocational Centre where women are taught skills to sustain their own livelihoods, and train future generations. For the more active there’s volcano hiking, gorilla tracking and bird watching.
Price: Guests may combine gorilla tracking and the cultural experiences at Mount Gahinga on a six-day tour that starts from £2,720 per person, sharing a twin room in low season. This includes three nights at the Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, two nights at the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge and one gorilla permit.
Getting there: Mount Gahinga Lodge is easily accessible for guests flying into Kigali International airport (Rwanda), it’s a three hour drive or you can get a domestic flight from Entebbe or Kampala to the nearby Kisoro landing strip, which is then one hour to the lodge, with Aerolink.
Travel time: Flights from London to Kigali take 10 hours and 20 minutes. KLM flies via Amsterdam, Qatar Airways flies via Doha and Kenya Airways flies via Nairobi. Prices start from £800 for an adult return.
More information: Safari packages, itineraries and details of pricing can be found on Volcanoes Safaris website.