We’re excited about Wilderness Safaris’ new lodge, Bisate Lodge, opening in Rwanda. Judging by the photos, it’s a mix of local craftsmanship, modern design and down-to-earth luxury. The 6 woven villas, perched on the mountains like weaver bird nests, blend into the Rwandan countryside. The design is contemporary – and Bisate Lodge is a refreshing step away from the traditional lodge designs we know so well. Even the interiors are unique, showing off organic, spherical shapes and thatched roofs, stone stairs with elevated wooden desks.
What to do there?
- Gorilla trekking from the headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park to spend time with one of the 13 habituated gorilla families (ranging between 8 – 29 gorillas in each group)
- Golden Monkey trekking from the headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park, which is endemic to this area
- Guided hikes in Volcanoes National Park and guided community hikes in the surrounding villages
- Dian Fossey’s grave and research centre outing
- Visit the nursery – and leave your mark – by planting a tree
- Rwandan coffee, tea and wine tasting
- Guided or self-guided nature and birding walks
Is it an eco-friendly and sustainable lodge?
Wilderness Safaris’ company ethos is all about conservation by protecting wildlife and supporting the local communities where they set up lodges.
It’s a balancing act: to provide jobs for locals and be the guardians of responsible tourism. Yet, it appears that Wilderness Safaris is doing well.
Sarah Hepola recently wrote in an article for Bloomberg, “About 250 locals helped build the property, and 45 Rwandans were hired as permanent staff, almost half from the village.” The lodge is also planning to collect rainwater and reuse it as greywater for toilet and shower usage, and avoid plastic at the lodge as much as possible by offering guests reusable drinking bottles.
What does the lodge look like?
Built near a small town, Bisate Lodge is made up of six 91-square-meters villas in an eroded volcanic cone. The villas are shaped like chestnuts or weaver birds’ nests, designed by Nicholas Plewman Architects. Local materials have been used throughout: parquet floors made of local blackwood, black volcanic brick, woven walls, etc.
Inside, there’s a glamour present – large bottle-green glass chandeliers dangle from ceilings and nature-inspired décor meets textured walls and bespoke furniture. The main area has a restaurant, lounge bar and reception in different ‘nests’.
Each suite has a cloakroom (for muddy shoes after gorilla trekking), a spacious lounge and bedroom area with double or twin beds, a daybed, and a fireplace. There’s also a large bathroom with shower and bathtub. There are many extra touches from a high-end lodge as you would expect.
How to get there?
Kigali International Airport is the closest airport to the lodge, and from there you can get to Bisate by road or helicopter.
- Road transfer: 3 hours
- Helicopter: 30 minutes
What does it cost?
A one-night stay at Bisate Lodge in Rwanda starts at $1,100 per person. Price includes three meals per day and drinks. Gorilla permits are $1,500 per person. Contact us if you’d like to book your stay at the Bisate Lodge in Rwanda or see gorillas in the wild.