Virunga National Park is one of the most famous protected areas on the African continent. The Park’s major attractions are the endangered mountain gorillas and the Nyiragongo Volcano. The Mikeno Lodge is the perfect accommodation in the park to stay at if at all you are to enjoy the gorilla expeditions in the park as well as hiking the magical Nyiragongo Volcano.
First of all, the lodge has a very great location summed up with the so nice and caring staff, and delicious food. You will really enjoy every minute at the lodge and always feel safe. You should really expect much at Mikeno the lodge competes with the high-end lodges throughout Africa, so everything here is sterling! There is great room product with lot of size and fireplace to keep warm at night.
Rooms have views of the monkeys who regularly visit the surroundings, and free laundry is a nice touch. The showers amazingly strong hot water with electricity 24/7. Rooms are extremely clean and well maintained – thanks to the management.
Service at the lodge is fantastic and the manager is genuinely interested in making sure you have a good time, and so the rest of staff. Food is tasty and delicious. Wi-Fi in the lodge is good and fast enough to post to social media – though only available in the common areas. Location is in the Virunga central compound so safety is no issues.
You will also love to be able to visit the mountain gorilla orphanage (Senkwekwe) as part of the stay. For gorilla trekking tours or volcano trekking, you are within proximity to the starting points – which is also appealing. Mikeno itself is an extremely well managed property that could compete anywhere in the gorilla safari circuit.
The minute you enter the lodge, you are greeted by a gracious staff which very quietly takes care of your every need. The main hang out spot is an expanse of well decorated sections that are open. The dining area, lounge, fire circle, and bar all look out into a canopy of trees that give way to lots of light and a view of the valley beyond. The cottages are really special.
They are round, with stone floors, high ceilings, huge bed, gigantic bathroom, with a shower and deep soaking tub and the best part…a fireplace that is lit while you are enjoying a 5-star dinner. You will love your cottage, which also has its own deck great for reading and listening to the birds and monkeys all around – so fascinating, isn’t it?!!
Mikeno is pretty versatile, because you could: trek from there and have an amazing evening of comparing notes around the fire or bar area with other travelers, or just relax and catch your breath, take in the beauty of the area, or even you can visit the Widows Workshop, The Farm (where organic vegetables for the lodge are grown).
Or you can also go on a chimpanzee walk though this is tricky, they are not so easy to find. Visiting the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage is also breathtaking and memorable.
In conclusion, the service and overall feel of the people who work here makes Mikeno feel like more than a luxury lodge. It is clear that the wait staff has been trained in the ways of fine dining, and is from the villages surrounding the park. Remember you are staying in a place that has a very serious mission.
The lodge feels integral to the efforts of protecting the environment, the wildlife, and the people of Virunga. In fact, this is a place full of passionate people in an environment that is to die for, while being pampered. Oh, and when you arrive, they do your laundry, wow such a relief!!