Rwanda

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Bisate Lodge

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High-design, authentic, inspiring

Ruhengeri, Rwanda (27)-­21 -702-­7500 wilderness-safaris.com

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At a Glance

Wilderness Safaris, the Botswana-based, pioneering conservation/tourism company, brings a new level of luxury to gorilla viewing with its first lodge in Rwanda.

Indagare Loves

  • The suites’ incredible views of nearby volcanos
  • 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

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 testifies to the focus on sustainable design throughout Bisate. Volcanic stone walls and fireplaces emphasize the grandeur and the durability of the surrounding volcanoes that comprise the views 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, which are cow-dung tiles with geometric patterns, 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 trekking, there’s no better way to relax than with an in-room massage.

Who Should Stay

Lovers of great design and the ultimate comforts.

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.

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