Volcanoes National Park

Wilderness Sabyinyo Newsletter – May 2024

Camp news

Eric Dushime


Fiery skies at Sabyinyo

It’s hard to believe that May arrived as quickly as it did – the months surely fly when one is having the time of their life. As the rainy days left us, and the sunny season arrived, we were blessed with perfect weather that gave us the most gorgeous sunrises, and even better sunsets. We had perfect days for both indoor and outdoor activities for our guests, and the best ambience in the evenings, with guests enjoying their glasses of wine around a warm fire after a wonderful day.

Guest experiences

May marked the beginning of peak season for Sabyinyo. Our guests were able to enjoyably experience their activities in the national park, thanks to the well-balanced weather that made their treks easier, with the charming afternoons perfect for them to appreciate the local magic of what Sabyinyo has to offer, such as informative village visits where they met people from the community who showed them their way of life, nature walks that were an absolute wonder – especially for the bird watchers as we have over 60 bird species on the property – and lovely sundowners.


We have recently gained another constant visitor to the garden of the main area – a beautiful male golden monkey that has become a show stopper for our guests. As it hopped from tree to tree, chattered excitedly, and even stopped long enough for photos, much to the delight of everyone present, it proved that playful antics and an endearing personality is all it takes to become the top star. 

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Our Sabyinyo “farm” 

The Sabyinyo vegetable garden has been flourishing, with the help of the beautiful weather that was a mix of rain and sunshine – the best combination to help the plants grow. We have had excellent harvests, especially of herbs, tree tomatoes and the many vegetables that our chefs use to make delicious meals for our guests. The garden is also a wonderful spot for our guests to visit and see where our vegetables come from.


The increase has not stopped at just the gardens, but at our sheep and chickens too. Over the last two weeks, our sheep have given birth to three adorable lambs that are growing and very healthy; with their mothers they have provided best cuddles to everyone who visited them. Our chickens have also increased in number, as has the number of eggs they produce in a day – a very important addition to our nutritious mealtime options.

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Our reforestation plan continues to forge ahead, and we removed swathes of eucalyptus trees in April, and are now replacing them with indigenous trees. The idyllic weather provided us with the perfect opportunity to plant over 300 different species of trees, including Dombeya and Hagenia.





We have also seen the trees that we planted a couple of months ago flourishing, and adapting rapidly to the location. Sabyinyo’s scenery has never been more lush and green, and it’s wonderful to see the surrounds going back to their natural state before the eucalyptus was brought in. Another great benefit is seeing the indigenous tree species bringing in more bird species, and animals such as the golden monkeys. 

Staff news

Sabyinyo staff were very pleased to welcome guests to the lodge after spending some time in April on cleaning and repairs to ensure a wonderful stay for them.


It’s always a pleasure to see the Sabyinyo family grow, and we were happy to welcome three new staff members this month – Brian and Vanessa are our youngest colleagues in the Service team, with Jean Baptiste now part of the maintenance team. They were welcomed with warm embraces and love from the family, and have adjusted well, already proving to be very important additions to our team.

SACOLA donates water-supply pipeline to five villages around Volcanoes National Park

Wednesday the 15th of May 2024 was a day of joy and excitement for the Nyange and Kinigi sectors, both situated close to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Wilderness Sabyinyo.


The occasion was the launch of a RWF 100 million (close to USD 80,000) 6.5 km water pipeline donated by SACOLA to needy families in the villages of Kareba, Nkiriza, and Nyakagezi in the Nyange sector, and Kamata and Kamakara in the Kinigi sector. 


The donation of this pipeline was made possible thanks to revenue generated by Wilderness Sabyinyo, and will serve around 800 households. 





The Nkiriza village leader, speaking on behalf of the residents, shared that up to now they have had to walk more than 3 km to access clean water. Many who could not make the long journey with heavy water containers, drank dirty water, which often resulted in illness. The community members expressed their happiness and gratitude for now having access to clean water in their villages.


Beneficiaries also shared that SACOLA’s efforts have greatly improved their health by tackling various waterborne diseases, highlighting their gratitude for SACOLA’s support and the country's strong leadership. 


Farida Nyirabakunzi, a resident of Ninda village in Nyange sector, expressed her thanks: "We are grateful to SACOLA for providing us with access to clean water. Before this, we had to fetch water from contaminated dams and it was causing us disease. But now we can enjoy good health with the clean water available in our village. We also thank President Kagame for his support by giving us SACOLA and the community lodge".


Pierre Celestin, the Chairman of SACOLA, highlighted that their current project aims to improve residents’ living standards and strengthen community development through their collaboration with the Musanze District. He stated, "Today, we have launched this water project worth over 100 million Rwandan francs to enhance local residents' living conditions, especially those near the park. We have also invested more than 200 million in other projects that will soon be launched and handed over to the beneficiaries. We are thankful to President Kagame for his support, and to the Musanze District for their partnership. We also deeply appreciate the team at Wilderness and their strong co-operation and good management of Sabyinyo. Without this, the water supply pipeline wouldn't have been possible”. 



Musanze District was represented by Uwanyirigira Clarisse, the Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs. In her speech she emphasised the importance of protecting and maintaining the new water points and other infrastructure. She urged the community to take responsibility for these resources, as they are for their benefit. 


The Vice Mayor also expressed her gratitude to SACOLA’s partners for their support in ongoing initiatives that improve residents’ lives. She noted, "These projects have significantly benefited the district, especially in enhancing residents' wellbeing. The water pipeline extends to Kinigi and Nyange sectors and will be expanded to other sectors. SACOLA’s support has been invaluable; residents no longer need to travel long distances for clean water, which is commendable”.


Musanze District has achieved 90% of its goal for clean water provision, while Rwanda aims to ensure universal access to clean water by the end of 2024 under the Good Governance programme.


“Thank you to all our Wilderness Sabyinyo guests for choosing Sabyinyo to enjoy the beauty of the Volcanoes National Park area. Your stay contributes directly to projects like these and improves the lives of so many!” concluded Leonard Harerimana, SACOLA & Sabyinyo Communications Officer.

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“What an amazing experience! Staff is wonderful caring, helpful and friendly. The spirit of Rwanda is truly inspiring!”


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