SACOLA Rwanda

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is Rwanda’s first uniquely community owned lodge and we know that in order to protect gorillas, you have to look after communities.

 

Rwanda Safari

Rwanda Safari

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a world-class lodge that was conceived and is and operated by the Governors Camp Collection, in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (“AWF”) and its partner in Rwanda, the International Gorilla Conservation Program (“IGCP”). The lodge is owned by a Community Trust, SACOLA, (Sabyinyo Community Livelihood Association) which was set up specifically to receive rental and other income from the lodge, and to use that income to drive socio-economic development and conservation initiatives in the Kinigi area, which is adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park in North-Western Rwanda.

 

SACOLA

Lease fees paid by the lodge, plus a community development levy paid by every guest, are received by SACOLA. These income streams are the driving force behind many local businesses and the construction of homes for needy families in the area – and have ultimately had a most positive impact on the lives of local people and gorilla conservation. These income streams are the driving force behind many local businesses and the construction of homes for needy families in the area. They have ultimately had a most positive impact on the lives of local people and gorilla conservation. This unique revenue-sharing model sees the community directly benefiting from gorilla tourism and has been copied across many parts of Africa. Total revenue from the lodge is now over $3.3 Million and has directly benefited some 6,000 households in the Kinigi District of Rwanda. In the 12 years since its inception, SACOLA’s programs have contributed in a meaningful way to the conservation and preservation of the Mountain Gorilla and its fragile habitat. SACOLA’s programs also complement the excellent conservation work being done in the region by AWF (www.awf.org) and its local partner, IGCP (www.igcp.org).

To date SACOLA’s projects have included:

  • 5800 Houses connected to electricity
  • 12km of road constructed
  • The creation of vegetable gardens for a community farming project
  • The reconstruction of a local primary schools pupils including construction of 71 classrooms.
  • The equipping of local schools with desks.
  • The provision of school fees for children from the poorest families.
  • The construction and equipping of computer labs for the local community.
  • The building of homes for survivors from the genocide
  • The protection of water dispersal systems and erosion control
  • The setting up of a tourist “Community Walk” enhancing local crafts and businesses
  • The construction of a Community Cultural Centre
  • The construction of a small amphitheatre
  • The construction of bridges in the local area
  • The construction of a local nature walk.
  • The construction of water tanks and water collection points for the community
  • The construction / repairs of the buffalo wall along the park’s edge to protect farmers crops from marauding buffaloes
  • The providing of support to local beekeepers
  • The providing of financial support to the local guide cooperative
  • The establishment and support of a local pig project.
  • The establishment and support of a local sheep project
  • The purchase of land for a poultry project for widows of the genocide.
  • The creation of carpentry and other micro- enterprise workshops for the community.
  • The financing of the costruction of 2 SACCOS (community banks)
  • Initiating a one family one cow program which provides cows to poor people in the local community.
  • The donation of over 200 cows to the poorest members of the community.
  • The construction and equipping of 28 homes for survivors of the genocide.
  • The construction of two villages which house 126 formerly destitute farmers on the fringes of Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda”. The village provides houses, water tanks and plots of land to people living close to the edge of the national park who are being resettled within the framework of the park extension project.
  • The construction of a Health Centre on the Nyange Sector.
  • 220 School fees paid for children from poor families
  • 7000 people with Health Insurance paid for
  • 13,000 Avocado trees planted
  • 30 Hectares of land donated for agricultural business

Special thanks must go to Gaylord and Kathy Layton of Tayside Associates LLC and the Rwanda Development Board who were also instrumental in getting this landmark project off the ground.