Wilderness Sabyinyo Newsletter – November 2023

Camp news


New beginnings in November

In the foothills of the mist-shrouded Virunga Massif nestles beautiful Sabyinyo. Here, the true spirit of conservation and rehabilitation can be felt everywhere.

We started this month at Sabyinyo with a clear vision of what was ahead of us, and all of us were super excited about what was coming – and even when we thought we had an idea about what was coming, we were still in complete shock after the recent refurbishment of the lodge. This month turned out to be one of our most successful of the year – a feeling we had at exactly this time last year, when our minds couldn’t fathom what November would bring.

Sabyinyo guest news

November started out busily, with big numbers of guests coming in. They enjoyed several activities outside the property, as well as some in-house activities. We saw a rise in birdwatching around the property, probably a result of the great increase in bird species at Sabyinyo, thanks to the growth of different flowers. As the month came to an end and the number of guests diminished, we got ready to close for the refurb, and couldn’t wait to see the new Sabyinyo.

Sabyinyo camp news

After our first big refurb back in April, we were all very excited to see what was next. After months of planning and preparation, the time to execute the next upgrade was here. Massive boxes came in very quickly, filling up our storage containers, and leaving everyone who saw them eager to find out what was coming our way for Sabyinyo.


The refurb started with a change of flooring in the rooms, where we switched to a timber-like product. This created an instantly noticeable improvement, and everyone remarked on the beauty of the rooms. And boy, it didn’t stop here. All the interiors at Sabyinyo have changed massively. Trust me, if you were here a week before the refurb, you wouldn’t believe your eyes now.



Our interior designer focused on changing the lodge to become cosier and more beautiful, using both new and existing resources, bringing everything into a new light, and with the outstanding teamwork of the Sabyinyo team who wanted to be part of every single aspect of the refurb, we were able to finish setting up before our next guests got here. We were able to paint, move things around, and install the new furnishings, so that at the end we had a breathtaking, fresh new lodge for our guests.

Sabyinyo staff news

Another great month for the management exchange programme saw our Junior Manager, Nadine Agahozo, exchange positions with Magashi’s Assistant Manager, Elie Dusengimana, who came to the Volcanoes area. This experience helped both to learn about the different offerings of the camps, and how different their services are for their guests. Nadine also got to learn about Akagera National Park, and Magashi’s efforts to conserve the area, which left her with more knowledge and appreciation, while Elie also learnt so much from Sabyinyo, which he says has now become part of his routine.

Wilderness Sabyinyo supports the surrounding community with kitchen gardens

Through the kind donations of guests visiting Sabyinyo, we have been able to support 26 needy households with vegetable or kitchen gardens. A kitchen garden, known as akarima k’igikoni, is one of Rwanda’s home-grown solutions to preventing malnutrition and stunting. In Rwanda, the term is quite common, because many households have discovered the amazing output you can get from a well-managed vegetable garden. The typical pyramid form of kitchen gardens is found all over Rwanda. The specific structure optimises aeration, nutrients, light and water-use across a minimal surface. The project is running in Kanyampereri and Rebero villages in the Kinigi Sector.



So far we have seedlings of nine different types of vegetables that will be transplanted in a few weeks into the actual kitchen gardens. Will return with an update in a few months when all the kitchen gardens are in use by the 26 different households. The total cost of the project was roughly USD2,000, and once we have established how successful and beneficial the gardens are, we are hoping to support more families!

SACOLA continues its support for communities in the vicinity of Volcanoes National Park

SACOLA once again provided support by donating three chickens each to 241 needy families. The support has a value of USD 5,000, most welcome assistance for the households! SACOLA also provided 60 sewing machines, including seamstress training for single mothers. The machines have a value of USD14,000, and will provide future job opportunities and assist in empowering these ladies. 


At an event held in the Kinigi sector, the SACOLA leaders and Musanze district representatives participated, and advised the beneficiaries on how they could best make use of this support. 



Byukusenge Ahmed who was given chickens said: "I had one chicken and now I have been given three more layer chickens. I am lucky because I now have three hens and a rooster. Before receiving these, I had one that I was looking after and I want it to breed! You understand that I am putting in more effort to make it work. With these chickens, I can say bye-bye to malnutrition! These chickens will help me fight against malnutrition in my family and will lift me out of poverty”.


His friend who was given a sewing machine, Hagenimana Jeanine, said that the machine would help her change her life and that of her baby’s. She said, "My child and I were in a terrible situation because of poverty, but because of this machine and the training I received I can now look after myself and my family”.

You have an extraordinary staff, facility and services. Beautiful stay thanks to your wonderful staff, you are truly gracious.

M & M E W – Minnesota USA

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