Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

January at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge 2017

Sabyinyo is celebrating 10 years of working with our community lodge association SACOLA. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was conceived and is and operated by Governors Camp. In partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (“AWF”) and its partner in Rwanda, the International Gorilla Conservation Program (“IGCP”), but the lodge is owned by a Community Trust (SACOLA) 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 Parc National des Volcans in North-Western Rwanda, home of the Mountain Gorilla. 

SACOLA began its socio-economic development programs in 2006 and in the 10 years since its inception SACOLA’s has received over US$ 2 million from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. The community trust has used this money to create programs have both greatly improved the livelihoods of residents in the Kinigi area and contributed in a meaningful way to 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 ( and its local partner, IGCP (

To date SACOLA’s projects have included:

  • 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.
  • A contribution to a rural electrification project
  • The construction and maintenance of local roads
  • The building of homes for survivors from the genocide
  • The rehabilitation of the road leading to the Community Cultural Centre
  • 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. 
This month SACOLA finalised 3 new projects which includes the building of 6 new classrooms at Kabwende School, they finalised a new road and provided 136 new desks and tables to the community schools. 
We are very proud of our association with SACOLA and the fantastic work they have done and continue to do within the community. None of this would be possible without visitors coming to stay at Sabyinyo and we are enormously grateful for everyone who has chosen to stay with us over the years and the operators who have supported us. Every person who has stayed has contributed and facilitated this amazing community work done by SACOLA. 
This month we welcomed new manager Philip and Charlie Mason to Sabyinyo. Philip and Charlie were both born in Kenya and have lived here all their lives. Their grand parents arrived in Kenya at the beginning of the last century and their two children and several grand children spend holidays and occasions with them both at their family home at Takaungu on the shore of the Indian Ocean near Mombasa. They have been part of the hospitality business for thirty years and are looking forward to their involvement with Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.



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