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Are you planning for your trip to Virunga National Park? Are you familiar with some of the decent accommodation facilities in the Virunga? The Virunga National Park offers visitors with the most breathtaking gorilla safari experiences which is very unique. Spending an hour in a face to face interaction with the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is most dramatic and emotional experience that comes once in a life time. To ensure that visitors get the best in their safari to Virunga National Park, there should be accommodation or lodging facilities in place. Interested visitors to Virunga national park need not to worry in any way about accommodation or lodging facilities.

Below is a list of notable accommodation facilities that visitors can choose to spend a night or two while in their safari to the Virunga National Park.

There are a number of safari lodges that can be used by visitors to Virunga National Park. Experience its beauty with the park’s large variety of camping and lodging options.  Here are some of the best camping and lodging places to use on your next trip to the Virunga.

Where to Stay

There are several accommodation options in and outside the park.

Inside the park, there is Mikeno Lodge which is the most luxurious lodge in Virunga National park and is situated in the forest.  The lodge is 90 minutes drive from Goma town and offers great ambiance with cool breath from the forest.

Bukima tented camp is another accommodation option which is located  just outside the park boundary and is a few minutes drive to the park headquarters and where mots gorilla trekking starts from. The lodge is built on platform tents but are standardized and luxurious. The stay at Bukima tented camp offers great night views of the Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira light colors lighting the sky at night.

For Nyiragongo Volcano hikers, they will have an overnight stay at the top in the Top Shelters.  The top shelters offer twin beds in each where the tourists will place their sleeping bags for a night rest. This does not offer plush accommodation but gives an escape comfort from the bad weather. The stay at the top of the volcano offers a great view of the molten lava, which is the largest lava lake in the world.

Tchegera Island Tented camp which is located outside the park on the northern part of Lake Kivu offers a great relaxing atmosphere after Gorilla tracking and Nyiragongo hiking. The stay at the camp offers great view of the for volcanoes and well as a scenic view of Mt.Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira Volcano at night lighting up the sky.

There are several other hotels located in Goma town which is one hour drive to the park headquarters from Goma town.

Mikeno Lodge

The Mikeno Lodge is a 90 minute drive from Goma and offers large bungalows and a good restaurant. The lodge and restaurant are located within a forest and offer beautiful views of the rift valley and Nyiragongo and Mikeno volcanoes. Nature walks and visits to local places of interest can be arranged. There is an abundance of bird life, as well as resident blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, and baboons. Chimpanzees are also frequent visitors to the area.

Bukima Tented Camp

Just outside the Virunga National Park boundary lays the Bukima tented camp, which is one of the main starting points Virunga mountain gorilla treks. The camp was originally built for researchers, but is now used primarily by trekkers. As the name suggests, overnight guests at Bukima sleep in platform tents, but by camping standards they are quite plush. Each tent features an adjoining bathroom with running water and a nicely appointed bed and dresser for clothes. The views from the tent sites – or anywhere in camp for that matter – are spectacular. To the south, the view is dominated by Mt. Mikeno, whose 4437m (14,560’) summit towers over the gorilla sector. Across the valley is Nyiragongo volcano, whose lava lake colors the night sky with a red glow. Every few years, Nyamulagira volcano erupts and steals the nighttime show by spewing hot lava hundreds of feet into the air. Occasionally, the mountain gorillas themselves wander into the Bukima tented camp. Although this is highly frowned upon by park staff, it never ceases to impress the guests.

Prices for the camp are based on double occupancy and include breakfast. Lunch, dinner, and drinks are available for an additional charge. Of the six tents, four feature double beds and two are outfitted with twin beds.

Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters

Each of the twelve summit shelters contains two single beds on which visitors can put their sleeping bags. Although these shelters aren’t plush, they offer a welcome escape from the elements. The cost of staying in a summit shelter is included in the permit fee.

Tchegera Island Tented Camp

Tchegera Island Camp is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of Goma or to relax after climbing Nyiragongo volcano. Situated off the northern shore of Lake Kivu, Tchegera camp offers spectacular views of the lake and four volcanoes. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes add to the drama by turning the night sky red with their glowing lava. There is also an abundance of birdlife on the island, including African eagles, cormorants, herons and gulls. Whether one chooses to relax on the beach or explore other parts of the island in a sea kayak or by paddle board, Tchegera is the perfect place for rest and relaxation.

Each of the twelve summit shelters contains two single beds on which visitors can put their sleeping bags. Although these shelters aren’t plush, they offer a welcome escape from the elements. The cost of staying in a summit shelter is included in the permit fee.

In conclusion, Virunga National Park has a variety of luxury, moderate and private accommodation facilities for visitors to take a choice for their stay while enjoying their gorilla and hiking safaris. Spending a night in one of them doesn’t come with only decent rooms but also spectacular views on natural wonders within Virunga national park.