Philip and Charlie take a trek to see the Kwitonda Gorilla family and spend a fascinating hour watching the family interact. Back at the lodge we hosted delegates from the Dian Fossey Board and held great pre dinner talks from the Gorilla Doctors team. And this month we highlight the SACOLA poultry project one of SACOLA's many fabulous community projects.
Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda Blogs
Sabyinyo is celebrating 10 years of working with our community lodge association SACOLA and with over US$ 2 million generated for the community trust by the lodge there have been some remarkable achievements to date. We are very proud of our association with SACOLA and the fantastic work they have done and continue to do within the community and SACOLA also completed some new projects this month and Sabyinyo welcomed new managers Phil and Charlie this month who are settling in very nicely.
Sabyinyo celebrated a very happy christmas and new year with our guests which included some unexpected last minute Rwandese adjustments. There was much singing, dancing and merriment all round. Relief manager Henry accompanied guests on a breath taking gorilla trek to see the Hirwa gorilla family whose playful babies, aloof matriarchs and imposing Silverback gave them all some 'uniquely glorious' moments.
Rainy season has arrived in Rwanda, and with it wild flowers are blooming in the lodge grounds, bringing in an abundance of birdlife. New bamboo shoots are growing in the forests drawing the gorilla families down the slopes to feed on their favourite delicacy and get a little drunk in the process. Jess and Oliver take a memorable trip to the twin lakes and the genocide memorial and they bid a fond farewell to the Sabyinyo team as they return to Kenya.
This month Sabyinyo welcomed visiting chef Antonia Stogdale who came to work with our chefs on giving our menus a whole new makeover and the results are delicious! There have been some fabulous gorilla treks and we sent waitress Priscilla and receptionist Eric on a gorilla trek to see the Isabakuru Gorilla family. Jess and Oliver took treks to see the golden monkeys, Dian Fossey research camp and Buhanga sacred forest which they fill us in on and SACOLA the community lodge association s busy raising funds to cover the community medical care.
We have had a fabulous month at Sabyinyo, firstly at the end of August we were awarded the best compliant tax payer for 2015 for our province and then we were given the honour of naming a baby gorilla at the very prestigious gorilla naming ceremony! Our guests have been enjoying some wonderful gorilla trekking and back at the lodge there have been celebrations galore including a traditional Rwandese wedding for some of our guests, marked by lots of dancing!
We have had a fabulous migration month, with river crossings on a near daily basis. Huge herds fanned out on the plains and guests in the balloon had fabulous sightings of the migration from the air. Elephant families pass back and forth, pausing in the Marsh to drink and feed sometimes moving through the camps in large numbers. There are tiny cubs in the Marsh and Paradise prides of lion and we have had lovely sightings of some small leopard cubs up close to the river. But the great highlight of the month was the sight of a pack of wild dogs seen by our guests outside of the reserve.
It has been a busy month at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge with guests arriving from all over the world. Thor and his team have been busy building a water reservoir at the top of the property. Alisa took a trek to two gorilla families Titus and Kwitonda. Titus is one of the families studied by the Dian Fossey research group, the highlight of the trek was seeing a band new two day old baby gorilla. This month we also say farewell to Thor and Alisa who are leaving the lodge but will remain with Governors Camp Collection in Kenya.
July has been a busy month at Sabyinyo with the lodge running at full capacity. Manager Thor has a new toy, a drone which he has been using to capture aerial footage of the lodge. Manager Alisa took some guests to the Iby'waciu Cultural Village, which was created to provide an income to people who were carrying out illegal activities in the national park like poaching, and cutting of trees. Started by a charismatic young ex park ranger who is on a mission to save the mountain gorilla and its habitat, its an inspiring place and we highly recommend a visit.
The seasons are turning and the clouds are lifting giving glorious views of the volcanoes and beautiful starry nights. There has been lots of bird and wildlife seen in the lodge grounds including a golden monkey and African Harrier Hawk. Alisa and Leonard took a trip to the local schools to talk to the children about tourism. The lodge community association donates 60 cows and 6 new houses to the community. Thor and Alisa explore the kayaking on Lake Kivu and they take a trek to see the Isabukuru family with their two tiny twin gorilla babies.