Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safari’s first Rwandan property, is located right next to Volcanoes National Park, where Rwanda’s famous gorilla trekking occurs. Lodge guests have easy access to the park gates, and in addition to seeing gorillas, can also opt for golden monkey hikes, twin lake visits, lodge-led nature walks, and coffee or tea tastings.
The lodge itself is home to just six villas, and thus houses no more than twelve people at a time. The intimate setting is integral to Bisate’s brand, with crackling fireplaces and waitstaff that know every guest by face and name. The service is unparalleled, and the food divine. Though the menu changes daily, expect Rwandan ingredients and produce prepared with the utmost of care. Think fresh spring green soup with toasted sesame wafers to start, and grilled local fish with a fennel and rocket risotto as the main. Dessert is a classy and indulgent affair, with chocolate fondant or passion fruit cheesecake often making an appearance.
The exterior of the hotel is already becoming famous for resembling bird nests from afar, with intricately thatched roofs and walls that blend into the mountainous backdrop. Apparently, this design was inspired by the King’s palace in Butare, Rwanda. Inside the lodge, guests will enjoy the contemporary Rwandan decor with stark cowhides, baskets, recycled wine bottles, and colorful hand embroidered pillow cases adding a warm touch. Spectacular views are available from every villa on the property, and each one has a spacious bedroom, modern bathroom, and private porch. Much of the lodge’s decor was dreamt up by Teta Isibo, the founder of the celebrated Rwandan jewelry design company Inzuki.
In accordance with their eco-tourism purpose, Bistate Lodge engages in reforestation projects that have already planted 15,000 indigenous trees in the surrounding area. Preservation and conservation are at the core of the Wilderness Safaris mission, and Bisate Lodge is yet another green jewel in their collection.
Rates start at $1,100 USD per person per night, and include lodging, food, local drinks, and most lodge activities.