Since opening in 2017, Bisate has racked up 34 awards and continues to inspire superlatives. Six en-suite Forest Villas embody Rwanda’s rich culture. Edifying cultural interactions, sophisticated, health-conscious dining, and exuberant hospitality all make your stay superior.
The lodge design was inspired by the former Royal Palace in Nyanza. The six thatched villas and main building, which houses the bar, restaurant and wine cellar have been built within a 43-hectare plot of former farmland which is slowly being reforested, involving the removal of invasive species and then regenerating the area with indigenous plants. This is a project Conservation Safari Company donated a decent sum of money towards, and was in full swing when we stayed in Feb 2019. A tree nursery has also been developed and over 20,000 trees have been planted. Guests are welcome to visit the nursery with the in-house agronomist and learn more about the project.
The six round villas perched on the hillside each have a tipped roof, walls clad with dried and woven grass matting, wooden floors and black-framed steel doors that open onto a bamboo balcony facing Mount Bisoke. In the living room, a pair of custom-made armchairs sit on a cowhide rug in front of a log-burning fire. There are also clusters of birdcage lights by the minibar, green geometric pattern cushions on the beds and trunks for bedside tables. Huge bathrooms have a black oval, resin bath tub in the centre, a walk-in shower and double sinks with round, leather-framed mirrors and Africology products. There are no televisions in the rooms but there is Wi-Fi.
From your sumptuous villa on the slopes of an eroded volcanic crater, designed in the traditions of Rwandan royalty, gaze through a curtain of mist at two extinct volcanoes, Bisoke and Karisimbi. Where primatologist Dian Fossey ran her research station, Karisoke, dedicated to saving mountain gorillas from extinction. Hike through verdant rainforest, up to nearly 3 000 metres, to visit Karisoke’s haunting ruins and Fossey’s grave, next to her beloved gorilla, Digit. Here, gorillas, now numbering more than 1 000 throughout the Virunga massif, await you. For one precious hour, your allocated family may deliver your life’s most astonishing encounter.
Gorilla trekking is the star attraction, but nearby Volcanoes National Park offers other adventures: golden monkey trekking; the Fossey hike; scaling Mount Bisoke. On lodge property, explore nature trails where birds proliferate and a camera trap recently recorded a first: a silverback gorilla lumbering along the path. Plant a tree towards Bisate’s reforestation project, helping to lure wildlife back to the area. Follow the hum rising from the local villages below, and meet some of the community whose lives are so integral to the lodge.
From $1 838.00 low season - to $2 678.00 high season | per person sharing per night
Fully inclusive of accommodation, all meals, local drinks, laundry, lodge activities, complimentary in-room welcome massage, wireless internet connection in-villa only, local government taxes. Guided birding and nature walks, guided nursery visit and indigenous tree planting, guided visit to the community beehive project, local nursery school and the Bisate village that is supported by the lodge, “gym in a basket” at the villas, wine tasting, explanation from guide on biodiversity on the property.
Excludes gorilla permit $1 500.00 per person per hike.