Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge
One-of-a-kind, authentic, eco-design
Volcanoes National Park Ruhengeri, Rwanda +250 788-315-269 wilderness-safaris.com
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At a Glance
Adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, Bisate, a Wilderness Safaris camp, is made up of a series of spherical fiber-thatched pods with domed roofs, including six sophisticated forest villas built into an eroded volcanic cone. They take their design inspiration from the King’s Palace at Nyanza, home to Rwanda’s last traditional monarchs. Each suite has a bedroom area and a grand bathroom with a deep soaking tub and a shower carved out of volcanic rock, and both have knock-out views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Interiors draw on Rwandan craftsmanship, incorporating woven baskets and colorful kitenge fabrics, and the emerald green in the chandeliers, made locally from recycled glass, reflects the green hills of Rwanda’s countryside. Imigongo tiles with geometric patterns appear in spaces like the wine cellar, where guests can have a private meal. This is the place to base yourself for gorilla-trekking, with visits to local villages and lakes, birding walks and participating in Bisate’s forest rehabilitation program.
The Standout: The attentive Rwandan team, who make Bisate visitors feel immediately at home
Don’t Miss: A traditional Dusabane dinner with local cuisine served in peace baskets
- The suites with incredible views of nearby volcanoes
- The wine cellar, which is decorated with geometric patterned tiles and is a perfect spot for a private meal
- Spending time and planting a sapling with the lodge’s agronomist, who is in charge of an ambitious reforestation project
- The warm and friendly staff, who make a stay at Bisate feel more like one at a friend’s home
Bisate Lodge Review
On a stunning hillside near Volcanoes National Park, a series of thatched huts that resemble peanut shells appear almost like a mirage. Volcanic stone steps lead up to the main building, which houses the lounge, bar, dining area and the lodge’s six suites. Fiber-thatch, which looks like leaf thatch but is made from recycled plastic strips, adorns each structure and is a testament to the focus on sustainable design throughout Bisate. Volcanic stone walls and fireplaces emphasize the grandeur and the durability of the surrounding volcanoes, which are always on view from the terraces, where black and white striped chairs and loungers invite all-day lingering before and after gorilla-trekking.
The six suites consist of a bedroom area and a large bathroom with a soaking tub, both with knock-out views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Interiors draw on traditional elements of Rwanda such as the bright colorful fabrics of the Great Lakes region. The emerald green in the chandeliers of recycled glass pay tribute to the deep green hills of Rwanda’s countryside. The traditional craft, Imigongo—geometric-patterned tiles made from cow dung—appear in spaces like the wine cellar, which is a perfect spot for a private meal. The culinary program at Bisate is incredible, given the property’s remoteness: guests can enjoy delicious sweet potato gnocchi and mezze platters at lunch and fare including butternut squash with wild rice, chickpeas and feta for dinner.
While the rates at Bisate do not include gorilla permits, which must be arranged separately, activities offered by the lodge include trekking to see the gorillas and the golden monkeys but also visiting local villages and lakes, birding walks and participating in the forest rehabilitation program. The lodge has an agronomist who is in charge of an ambitious reforestation project, and guests can spend time meeting with him and planting a sapling to help increase the gorilla habitat. And after a long day of trekking, there’s no better way to relax than with an in-room massage.
Who Should Stay
Anyone seeking the ultimate gorilla-trekking adventure with a new level of luxury
Who Should Not Stay
Anyone with mobility issues; there are a lot of steps to climb to and from rooms. Also larger groups or people who are looking for a communal experience with other guests, as rooms are spread out and the emphasis is more on privacy than camaraderie.