(eTN) – Information reached late yesterday that a fire yesterday has partially destroyed the luxurious Gorilla Nest Lodge, which is owned by Dubai World and strategically located just outside the Volcanoes National Park, home to the prized mountain gorillas.
Information received was sketchy and efforts to get more details were futile, but it seems established that the fire started in the kitchen area of the main building before spreading further into the facility.
It is understood that guest rooms were not affected by the fire, which did, however, cause major damage to the public areas and facilities of the main building, hampering operations.
Management is understood to be making urgent arrangements to open a temporary dining room, bar, and lounge for the clients staying at the property in the coming weeks, while undertaking urgent repairs following an assessment by engineers and insurance-loss adjusters.
Sources in Kigali were unable to give a timeframe at this time of how long repairs would take but vaguely spoke of several weeks.
The Gorilla Nest Lodge is one of two lodges owned and operated by Dubai World, which in the aftermath of the global economic crisis scaled down their planned investments in Rwanda considerably, but completed and opened the Nyungwe Forest Lodge last year, which has immediately gained a reputation for being a very luxurious and well-managed property in a relatively new park featuring the only tree top walk-way in Rwanda and, in fact, in Eastern Africa. The company is, however, said to be monitoring demand and market developments in Rwanda and could restore some or all of their initial plans in the future.