Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: The Lowdown

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Sabyinyo Silverback is currently the most luxurious lodge you can stay at if you wish to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. It’s a cosy bush lodge rather than a 5* hotel, so you certainly shouldn’t come here expecting ultra-fast wifi and hot and cold running waiters. Instead, it’s a comfortable lodge with a great location close to the entrance to Volcanoes National Park and a sweet, welcoming team of staff who’ll cheerfully lend a hand when you struggle to remove your boots after a long day on  the mountain.

What’s Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge really like?

As you might expect in the Land of a Thousand Hills, it’s certainly a steep walk up from the car park to the lodge, but this is just a drop in the ocean for anyone who’s come to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking so we don’t expect it to pose too much of a challenge. When you make it to the top you’ll find Sabyinyo’s main homestead. Outside there are glorious views from the terrace, and inside you’ll find a cosy lounge where you’ll meet for evening drinks, a community information centre and a dining room.  Meals are friendly and we rated the food as amongst some of the best we ate in Rwanda, and you’ll also be provided with a snack pack to take out with you on your gorilla trek days (tip from us- if you’re serious hikers, consider bringing some energy bars with you- it’s astonishing how much you’ll need if you’re on one of the longer hikes).
Pathways lead on to five large ochre-coloured standard cottages, two larger suites with a slightly better location and a family suite which has an extra bedroom and bathroom. The cottages all have their own bathroom and fire places for chill mountain nights (even so, we’d recommend packing a cosy pair of pjs- it gets cold up here!)

What can I do at Sabyinyo?

Most guests come to Sabyinyo for the gorilla trekking, almost all will spend at least a day doing this, sometimes two, which we’d absolutely recommend if your budget extends this far. It’s also possible to do a warm-up trek to visit the golden monkeys, take in the pretty scenery at the nearby twin lakes or hike to Dian Fossey’s grave. For those with a particular interest in gorillas we can also arrange access to the Gorilla Doctors centre and an insight into the amazing work they do to protect these great apes.

Giving back at Sabyinyo: The owners of Sabyinyo Silverback have long demonstrated a commitment to eco-tourism in their sister properties in Kenya, and this continues in Rwanda. The land the lodge is built on is leased from the local community, and a community trust has to date received over $500,000 from the lodge for development projects, including building a local school and roads, houses for refugees, two model villages and clean water projects to mention just a few. We’re running out of space to write more here, but safe to say that the team at Sabyinyo are committed in a very real way to ensuring the impact of your stay in Rwanda is a positive one, and if you’re interested in more details, please just ask us, we could continue on for hours!

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