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SACOLA Community Trust and Planned Upgrades at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is owned by a Community Trust (SACOLA) which was set up specifically to receive rental and other income from the lodge and to use that income to drive socio-economic development and conservation initiatives in the Kinigi area, which is adjacent to the Parc National des Volcans in North-Western Rwanda.

SACOLA began its socio-economic development programs and conservation initiatives in Kinigi, the area adjacent to the Parc National des Volcans, home of the Mountain Gorilla, in 2006 and in the 10 years since its inception SACOLA’s programs have both greatly improved the livelihoods of residents in the Kinigi area and contributed in a meaningful way to conservation and preservation of the Mountain Gorilla and its fragile habitat. SACOLA’s programs also complement the excellent conservation work being done in the region by AWF and its local partner, IGCP.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is also contributing to wildlife conservation project in Gishwati Forest, a patch of natural forest situated at about 50 km from Volcanoes National Park. We provide technical advice to the Gishwati Forest Conservation Project in the development of eco tourism activities in the forest. We have helped with the creation of two hiking trails through the forest and we have contributed to the promotion of Gishwati Forest as an eco tourism destination. We have also just provided one year of salaries and field costs for one the tracking teams supporting the habituation and field research of a group of Chimpanzees in the forest. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge has also provided field cameras to monitor the wildlife in Buhanga Forest (a small protected natural forest situated in Musanze area) this has confirmed the presence of Serval Cat in the forest. We are also contributing to the promotion of the forest as an eco tourism destination.

To date SACOLA’s projects have included:
• The creation of vegetable gardens for a community farming project
• The reconstruction of a local primary school including construction of 71 classrooms.
• The equipping of local schools with desks.
• The provision of school fees for children from the poorest families.
• The construction and equipping of computer labs for the local community.
• A contribution to a rural electrification project
• The construction and maintenance of local roads
• The building of homes for survivors of the genocide
• The rehabilitation of the road leading to the Community Cultural Centre
• The protection of water dispersal systems and erosion control
• The setting up of a tourist “Community Walk” enhancing local crafts and businesses
• The construction of a Community Cultural Centre
• The construction of a small amphitheatre
• The construction of bridges in the local area
• The construction of a local nature walk.
• The construction of water tanks and water collection points for the community
• The construction/repairs of the buffalo wall along the park’s edge to protect farmers crops from marauding buffaloes
• The providing of support to local beekeepers
• The providing of financial support to the local guide cooperative
• The establishment and support of a local pig project.
• The establishment and support of a local sheep project
• The purchase of land for a poultry project for widows of the genocide.
• The creation of carpentry and other micro- enterprise workshops for the community.
• The financing of the construction of 2 SACCOS (community banks)
• Initiating a one family one cow program which provides cows to poor people in the local community.
• The donation of over 200 cows to the poorest members of the community.
• The construction and equipping of 28 homes for survivors of the genocide.
• The construction of two villages which house 126 formerly destitute farmers on the fringes of Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda”. The village provides houses, water tanks and plots of land to people living close to the edge of the national park who are being resettled within the framework of the park extension project.
• The construction of a Health Centre on the Nyange Sector.

– 35 classrooms at Kabwende, Kabara, Nyange Schools
– 60 computers given to 2 schools
– 23 houses built for genocide survivors
– 418 cows in total donated to the poor families including 40 donated two months ago
– 40 students in the secondary schools have been assisted with school fees
– Medical insurance paid for 3000 poor people with a plan to pay for 4000 people this coming year.
– 7 new houses added in Sacola villages
– Construction of Nyange sector office
– Water project to Nyonirima village
– Mushroom project for women association in Nyange sector
– Construction of the road to Nyabigoma village
– Repairing of the buffalo wall
– Bamboo planting project to the rivers from the sabyinyo volcano.

Sabyinyo Silverback Refurbishment

In other news, the planned refurbishment for Sabyinyo will is currently underway and includes numerous back of house upgrades which won’t be seen by clients but having improved water and electrical facilities, returning guests would notice a complete refurbishment of beds and linen and an elegant new take on an existing theme in soft furnishing.

The main reception buildings will boast a newly designed dining room, new bar area and a remodeled lounge, reception and veranda with similarly upgraded furniture and soft furnishings. The bulk of the final new equipment and furnishing will be installed during the November mini low season to be ready to welcome guests in for the festive season and New Year.

We have done the remodeling on the two suites which look better and have built over 200 steps around the paths. The car park area has been ‘made over’ and the old gorillas and swing barrier replaced with pillars, a pair of gates, and a neat surrounding wall. Kitchens, stores, reception washrooms have been rebuilt and tidied up, tiled, re-plumbed and repaired.

Find more Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge images here.

Contact Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Tel. +254 20 273 4000 – 5

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