Travellers Rest Hotel is Gorilla Tours’ own hotel located just outside Kisoro, in the extreme southwestern corner of Uganda on the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, offering a perfect base for gorilla trekking in the area.
The hotel is built in a somewhat colonial style and was entirely renovated in 1999. It has 12 rooms at very reasonable prices, and it offers a cozy environment to relax in after gorilla treks or day visits to the area.
When you enter, the ibis welcomes you with its typical sound. The beautiful surrounding garden is the home of many birds. Sitting on the terrace you can smell the sweetish perfume of the honeysuckle, and in the evenings, when it gets cooler, you can warm yourself by the fireplace, outside or in the lounge.
From far away the huge cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the landscape and beckon as you approach. The surrounding landscape is of astonishing beauty. The volcano mountains offer spectacular views on the Rift Valley and the emerald-green Lake Mutanda in the distance.
A Historical Place for Gorilla Tracking
In 1955 Travellers Rest was bought by Walter Baumgartel, and quickly became a meeting place for people interested in the mountain gorilla. Amongst them was ‘gorilla-woman” Dian Fossey, who said: “Walter’s hotel was an oasis to many scientists who came here before me.”. Fossey visited the hotel many, many times in the sixties, to do paperwork, to relax or to meet people. She defined the hotel as her “second home”.
Baumgartel had realized that the survival of the mountain gorilla was closely related to the preservation of the tropical forest. Nowadays, park managers and local communities are aware that they can benefit more from preserving the parks than they would from clearing them as farmland.
Kisoro and its Surroundings
From the hotel there are a lot of activities for visitors to undertake. Travellers Rest provides bikes to discover the nearby surroundings. You can visit Lake Mutanda, walk to the local market in Kisoro on Mondays and Thursdays, or climb one of the volcanoes. And of course you can go and track mountain gorillas, in Mgahinga National Park in Uganda or the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda.