Bisate Lodge, Volcano National Park, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge lies in the natural amphitheatre of an extinct volcanic crater – the word bisate means 'pieces' in Kinyarwanda, describing how the cone has been worn away by natural erosion. Perched dramatically on the edge of Volcanoes National Park (VNP), in north-west Rwanda, with spectacular misty views of the brooding Bisoke and Karisimbi volcano peaks rising through the Afro-alpine forests – Rwanda is one of the most thrilling safari destinations in Africa.

On lodge property, explore nature trails where birds proliferate, and a camera trap having recorded a first: a silverback gorilla lumbering along a path. Plant a tree towards Bisate’s reforestation project, helping to lure wildlife back to the area. Or meet members of the surrounding community whose lives are so integral to the lodge.

Bisate’s sophisticated architectural and interior design is rooted in Rwandan building tradition as exemplified in the design of the Royal Palace of the traditional monarch. This spherical, synthetic thatched structure echoes the thousands of hills that dot the Rwandan landscape, while the richly detailed interior exhibits surfaces and screens made from a variety of woven materials with strong resonance in Rwandan culture.

With only six villas, the real generosity in the Rwandan context is the amount of private and exclusive space that surrounds Bisate, cosseting it in a rare natural landscape brimming with Albertine Rift biodiversity and beauty. The bespoke, chic interiors are a welcome retreat after an exhilarating, and uplifting, gorilla trek.

The legendary Virunga Mountains in the north-east are home to volcanoes, swathes of cloud forest and half the world’s total population of endangered mountain gorillas. The primates of Rwanda are unparalleled, and Bisate Lodge is the perfect base for mountain gorilla trekking. This thrilling excursion takes place from Volcanoes National Park headquarters where guests are allocated to one of the twelve habituated gorilla families for a one-hour awe-inspiring encounter.


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