All About Mikeno Lodge in Virunga Park
Mikeno Lodge is situated just one and half hours north of the city of Goma and it is conveniently tucked into a forested hillside at Virunga National Park headquarters of Rumangabo. Nestled on a forested hillside that offers brilliant views of Virunga national park’s volcanoes and the Great Rift Valley, this lodge’s setting provides both intimacy and a connection with nature. Its location close to the park headquarters makes it a perfect base for gorilla trekking safari excursions and treks to Mount Nyiragongo.
To the east is the Mikeno gorilla sector, and to the southwest is Nyiragongo Volcano. The facility comprises of 12 bungalows and each of them contains either a double or two single beds, giving the lodge a capacity of 24 guests. When combined with the use of a boardroom at the nearby park headquarters, the lodge is a perfect location for small conferences in a peaceful setting.
Mikeno lodge is believed to be Virunga National Park’s first lodge built with natural local materials by local hands. The most readily available building material in the volcanoes region is, of course, lava. When planning the lodge, it was the obvious choice for constructing a solid bungalow made from natural local materials.
The 12 eco – chic bungalows here provide both comfort and intimacy in the forest. Each one has its own wood-burning fireplace, as well as private decking areas and en-suite bathrooms featuring stone-carved sinks, baths and showers. Each bungalow has 24-hour electricity and hot and cold running water.
The main lodge features open-plan communal areas where guests can relax, share a drink and sit down to dinner together. Taking to the upstairs balcony you can cast your eyes across the glorious green vistas afforded you by the lodge’s forest locale, or choose to sit beneath the Boma (a traditional African structure with a thatched roof where communities gather for outdoor meals and together).
The lodge is also within walking distance of the Senkwekwe Centre at Rumangabo, which cares for orphaned gorillas. The lodge’s location just outside Virunga national park’s boundaries also allows you to walk through the local communities and coffee plantations, as well as visit the Widows Workshop, an initiative run by the park which helps rangers’ widows learn valuable skills with which they can support their families.
Guests at the lodge will be able to enjoy all the activities done in Virunga national park such as; gorilla trekking (the rare endangered Mountain gorillas), chimpanzee tracking, golden monkey trekking, birding, nature walks, Nyiragongo volcano hiking, game viewing where guests can spot a large number of animals like buffaloes, elephants and many others.
The lodge boasts a variety of facilities that will offer all guests a comfortable stay while at the property. The main area and restaurant feel as though they are set high in the trees with magnificent views over the park and the Nyiragongo and Hike. Some of the bungalows have similar views while others are set in among the trees. 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. Other facilities include; fireplace and terrace, bar, and laundry services.