KIGALI - A leading safari lodge, Gorilla Nest Lodge, was partially destroyed by fire.
According to the Management of the lodge located in the Volcanoes National Park in the Northern Province, the fire started in the kitchen.
The cause if the fire is yet to be determined.
“It appears that the fire started in the kitchen area and spread quickly through the building causing extensive damage,” a statement issued by the management read.
“While guest rooms were not affected by the fire, only the recently renovated five-star cottage on the property owned by Jack Hanna and Dubai World remains open for bookings.”
The Management said that urgent attention is being given to insurance matters and programmes to build a replacement facility containing a new reception, dining room and lounge.
Speaking on behalf of the owners, Mr. Deo Kamurase apologised for any inconvenience caused to tour operators and other business partners saying every effort would be made to get the lodge back to full operational capacity as soon as possible.
Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operations Officer (COO), at Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the incident was “unfortunate”.
“We are saddened by the fact that one the best facilities in the country that has been supporting gorilla tourism for a long time was burnt down,” she said.
“We are aware that expansion plans were underway and we are waiting to hear from Dubai World on the way forward, but we do hope repairs will be done in time for the lodge to become operational again”.
Akamanzi noted that tourism would not be affected since new hotels that have come up in the area, will continue to accommodate tourists as Gorilla Nest carries out the necessary repairs.
In an interview with The New Times, Grace Umulisa, the Director of Sabana Tours Ltd, said that the most important thing was that no tourist was affected by the fire.
“What happened at Gorilla Nest was unfortunate but the good thing is that no tourist was affected by the fire and that people reacted quickly to put out the fire before it could raze the whole facility,” Umulisa said.