It was a wonderful Festive Season at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge with much merriment and fun – and also some inspirational generosity! The wonderful Cole Family wished to do something meaningful for the community during their stay with us, so we organised the purchase of some goats to be donated by them to some of the more needy families of the area. Opening the donation option up to their network of friends and family back home, the generosity flooded in and a total of 68 goats and 3 cows were purchased for donation to 37 families! A ceremony was held for the Cole Family to hand over 30 of the goats to 15 of the families, each family receiving 2 female goats. The goats serve as much more than a one-time source of food as they will be bred, producing meat, milk and a means of making money for each of the families. It is a gift that will continue to give. Thank you so much to Margie, Warren, Samantha and Jacquie and their friends and family.
The Cole Family – photo credit Chloe Flatt
Congratulations to our two lovely employees, Flora and Priscilla who successfully completed another level of spa training! We are delighted that we will be now be offering a wider range of treatments at Sabyinyo, including some very relaxing facials, body scrubs and body masks! Do ask for the treatment list when you are with us as spending an hour or two being pampered from the comfort of your luxury cottage is the best way to relax after your gorilla trek.
Spa training in December – photo credit Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
As we continually aim to improve our client’s experience, we had the pleasure of hosting Alistair from the South African wine distributor company ‘Under the Influence’, who held a one-day wine training course for our bar and dining staff. The food at Sabyinyo is renowned for being top class – hearty, creative and flavourful – so it’s very important to make sure all meals are well paired with an excellent selection of wines and divine Rwandan coffee!
‘Under the influence’ wine training – photo credit Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
December saw new Mountain Gorilla numbers announced: “Today the Uganda Wildlife Authority announced the official results of the 2018 Bwindi – Sarambwe population survey. I am very happy to tell you that mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda and Sarambwe Reserve, DR Congo, are now estimated at a minimum of 459 gorillas – an increase from the 2011 survey of 400 in this region. Combined with the 2015 – 2016 population survey results from the Virunga Massif of 604, the total world population of endangered mountain gorillas now stands at 1,063. While mountain gorillas are the only great ape in the wild whose numbers are increasing and these results are a testament to all those working for mountain gorilla conservation, their total population number is small, so it is important to remain vigilant. In Uganda alone, between July 2018 – July 2019, Gorilla Doctors conducted 126 health checks and performed 23 veterinary interventions to treat ill and injured gorillas” – Dr. Kirsten Gilardi.
Young gorilla – photo credit Austin Thomas
It is very encouraging to hear that their numbers are on the rise due to the many conservation efforts in the area – and it just goes to show that wildlife education is also working. At the end of November we hosted two renowned wildlife photographers, Andy Howe and Austin Thomas and this was a second visit to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – for both of them! They released some truly remarkable gorilla shots during their stay with us – and it was very special to be able to share their work along with the positive gorilla numbers reflected in the recent population survey.
We at Sabyinyo are delighted that one of the photos taken by Andy Howe, has been short-listed for the Land Animal category at the 2020 British Photography Awards!
Mountain Gorilla Baby – please vote – photo credit Andy Howe
Finally, we would like to remind you that we now have a Polaris buggy to assist with transferring guests from the Sabyinyo car park up to the main lodge. The path has very recently been graded and many of our guests are opting to take a ride it in – at least once!
Polaris buggy and guests of Sabyinyo – photo credit Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge