Volcanoes Safaris announces the 2020 Reopening of their Lodges in Rwanda and Uganda   

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Kigali, Rwanda (October 01, 2020) Volcanoes Safaris is pleased to announce they will be welcoming back international visitors to their lodges in Rwanda and Uganda starting October 01. With both Kigali International Airport and Entebbe Airport reopened to international travelers,  Virunga Lodge in Rwanda, and the Uganda Lodges: Bwindi, Gahinga and Kyambura have resumed operations and are receiving guests. 

Volcanoes Safaris has introduced new health and safety standards across all properties. The wellbeing of the guests, staff and communities is of paramount importance.  These include protocols focused on cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing and food service. Please see here for the Covid 19 Safety Protocol to be followed by international visitors.

“Sensitive controlled gorilla ecotourism has been a win-win model for protecting the rare mountain gorilla, for conserving the tiny habitat where the gorillas live in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC and most of all for giving poor communities in this neighbourhood a livelihood,” shares Praveen Moman, Founder of Volcanoes Safaris. The pioneer of great ape tourism also shares, “Covid has destroyed this delicate chain and jeopardised the success of this model. We hope very much travelers will now come back to share the world of the mountain gorilla now that the destinations are opening up again.”

Over twenty years ago Volcanoes Safaris were the first to set up simple camps in the areas around the gorilla parks. Today, their mission is to be the leading luxury lodge company in Uganda and Rwanda with their lodges. In early 2020, Volcanoes Safaris concluded a three year strategic program to re-imagine all aspects of its four lodges: design, style, the guest experience, food and service, lodge and safari activities, and guest participation in community and conservation projects.
 

At Virunga Lodge two deluxe bandas have been created, one facing the volcanoes and one facing the lakes.

The Dian Fossey Map Room was opened in March 2017, in honor of Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneer primatologist who set up the Karisoke Center high in the Virunga volcanoes in 1967.


A permanent exhibition has been set up in the Map Room charting the ‘Conservationists and Explorers of the Virunga Volcanoes’ from 1850 to 1985 when Fossey died. It is available for private receptions, lunches, dinners and lectures by local conservationists.

 

The Ikirunga Spa opened in 2018, a relaxing retreat with exquisite new massage rooms and a sauna overlooking the magical Virunga Volcanoes.

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Kyambura Gorge Lodge has been fully refurbished and upgraded during 2018 with entirely remodeled public areas and gardens.

In 2019, four deluxe bandas debuted, each with their private sitting room and terrace. A new spa with two treatments rooms has been opened, while the pool has been redesigned and upgraded

In February 20219, the Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism project was launched, and a series of community and conservation activities to safeguard the Kyambura Gorge ecosystem are accessible to guests.

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At Bwindi Lodge, the Humula Forest Spa was opened in April 2018, and a sauna and new massage room are planned for late 2019.

One new deluxe banda has been launched in June 2019 and a further one is being built, each with their private sitting area and terrace. A completely redesigned standard room as well as a new dinning room will be introduced in early 2020.

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At Mount Gahinga Lodge a new deluxe banda was launched in 2018 and a further one has been launched in June 2019.


The lounge, dining room, and gardens have been remodeled in 2019.

 

The Gahinga Batwa Village was built in May 2018 to provide a home for the displaced Batwa community.

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Rwanda & Uganda Covid Policies for International Guests:

According to the Rwanda Development Board, all passengers, including those in transit through Rwanda, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda. For passengers entering Rwanda, a second test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours during which time travelers will be required to self-quarantine in a designated hotel at their own cost. All tourism activities, including primate trekking within Rwanda’s national parks, have now resumed in line with enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures. For more information on the tourism reopening guidelines, please visit: http://www.rdb.rw/visitrwandaguidelines. 
 

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) announced on September 3 that all parks are open with safety restrictions in place, and primate tourism is once again available. UWA has introduced the following procedures which will remain in effect when borders re-open for international tourism: Mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infra-red thermometers at key tourism gates. Mandatory face masks while inside parks. All tourists participating in primate tracking activities should carry at least two N95 masks, surgical masks, or double layered cloth masks with filters. Mandatory hand washing/sanitizing all the entrances of all UWA premises and protected areas. Observation of social distancing required. Vehicles and boats within parks will operate at half capacity in accordance with government social distancing guidelines.  Visitors to parks are encouraged to carry their own hand sanitizer and face mask.  The full standard operating procedures can be read here.

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About Volcanoes Safaris: 

Volcanoes Safaris is recognized as the leader in great ape tourism specializing in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda and Uganda. With four eco-safari lodges, guests can enjoy all the highlights of Uganda and Rwanda in comfort and style while primate trekking through Africa. Guests can also experience and take part in the eco-tourism and conservation efforts with the local communities, developed by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT).

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Alexandra Avila

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