Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge


Virungas, Rwanda

Accommodation Type

Permanent Lodge

Accommodation Level
DeluxeSomething special. Indulge yourself with a high-quality experience.
Price Guide

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge affords visitors a luxurious and comfortable base when trekking for the endangered mountain gorilla. With awe-inspiring views of the Virunga Mountains, this lodge, perched on a hillside, offers a friendly Rwandan welcome in elegant surroundings. It’s much closer to the national park than the other lodges, just 15 minutes or so to Park HQ where gorilla treks begin.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is just 3km from the main entrance to Volcanoes National Park.  As gorilla trekking requires an early start, this is a great place to stay. It’s luxurious and one of the top choices for a high-end gorilla safari. Gorilla trekking is awe-inspiring but tough, so knowing you can come back home to somewhere like Sabyinyo makes a magical experience more special.

Although now there is now more competition for the luxury market than there used to be, Sabyinyo, operated by Governor’s Camps, is still a firm favourite. The staff work hard to make you feel welcome and the open fires in the rooms bring added warmth and ambience. But for even more warm feelings, the lodge works very closely with the local community trust that it is owned by, so brings huge benefit to the area’s people and wildlife.

Reaching the lodge involves a 200m climb up a steep path, but there is a bench halfway in case you need to catch your breath (you’re at an altitude of over 2,000m here). The climb is worth it for the views alone. Sit out on your veranda overlooking the landscaped gardens to the forest and volcanoes beyond, it’s quite breath-taking. There are 650 species of bird in the surrounds, so spend some time trying to spot them. Once the night draws in you can retire to the cosy lounge where there is a TV, DVD library and a separate area with a roaring fire where you can relax with a drink before dinner.

Gorilla Trekking
A visit here is, of course, all about gorilla trekking. For lots more detail about trekking to see gorillas please see the information page on our main website Tribes Travel. We’ve trekked to see gorillas many times (in both Rwanda and Uganda), and would love to tell you more about it.

Times to Go

The main reason for visiting the Virungas is gorilla trekking and this takes place all year round. Although it can be tough going and muddy during the rainy seasons (April, May and November), treks still take place. Permits are very limited so it’s best to book well in advance, particularly for the peak season.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge highlights

  • Luxury base for mountain gorilla treks
  • Near Volcanoes National Park HQ
  • Golden monkey hikes
  • Beautiful forest surroundings
  • Closest lodge to the national park
  • Breath-taking views

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge location

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge


  • 9 cottages
  • Open all year round
  • Children of all ages welcome (15yrs+ for gorilla trekking)


  • Laundry
  • Massage room
  • Community awareness & info centre


  • (All activities are optional)
  • Gorilla trek
  • Golden monkey trek
  • Birdwatching
  • Cultural visits
  • Cave walk
  • Markets
  • Mountain bike excursions
  • Hike to Dian Fossey’s grave

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge rooms

The accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge includes six cottages, two cottage suites and a family cottage.  The cottages are dotted about the grounds of the lodge, well-spaced to ensure privacy.  All are built of stone with Rwandan terracotta tile roofs.  The large windows and patio doors make the most of the spectacular views that you could never tire of.

The cottages are homely and warm with elegant furnishing. A large open-fireplace keeps the chill at bay. There is ample comfy seating inside, and also outside on your private veranda. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious and stylish and finished with Venetian plaster. There is a bathtub and separate shower, hot water is plentiful.

The family cottage is designed in the same style as the other cottages but has two independent rooms, each with their own en-suite. They are connected by a shared veranda.

The suites are a little larger than the cottages with the lounge area being separate from the sleeping area.  Each suite has a TV which is pre-loaded with documentaries relating to Rwanda and the wildlife found here.

Twiga the giraffe likes this because…

Whilst Governors’ Camps operate the lodge, it is community owned (the community trust is called SACOLA – Sabyinyo Community Livelihood Association). It was developed by Governors’ Camp Collection in collaboration with African Wildlife Foundation and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme.  The aim is to provide income to fund development projects for the local community (such as building local roads, providing support to beekeepers, a poultry project for widows of the genocide, donation of cows to the poorest members of the community … the list goes on) and also to conserve the endangered Mountain Gorilla.
So, whilst this is not the cheapest place to stay, your can rest assured your hard-earned money will be doing a lot of good for the local community and wildlife.

And don’t forget … for every booking we get, Tanzania Specialists plants trees in deforested areas of Africa through The Travel Forest, and we back The Tribes Foundation’s conservation and social projects.

Tanzania Specialists

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Call: 01473 890499


Amanda Marks

Managing Director
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.


Tracy Edwards

Travel Consultant
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.


Sinead Bailey

Travel Consultant
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.


Christine MacDougall

Travel Consultant
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.