AN EXCEPTIONAL ROMANTIC BASE IN A DRAMATIC SETTING FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Rwanda’s most beautifully designed, luxury retreat, set in 42 hectares of land and with stunning views of Mount Bisoke.
Bisate is Rwanda’s first genuinely luxurious and eco-sensitive safari lodge, offering one of Africa’s most immersive wild primate experience. Set adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park, which is home to the iconic endangered mountain gorilla, Bisate Lodge offers the perfect base for mountain gorilla trekking. Situated within the natural amphitheater of an extinct volcanic cone, the lodge offers breath-taking views of the brooding Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno volcanoes.
Bisate Lodge is located in Rwanda’s northwest near Volcanos National Park, a 3 hour drive from Kigali. Beautiful Rwandan scenery can be enjoyed along the way. The property features a unique design, the spherical pavilions echo the thousands of hills that dot Rwandan landscape. This magnificent lodge is only a 20-minute drive to the park headquarters – the starting point for gorilla treks.
Luxurious suites encompass design, luxury comfort and panoramic views, while retaining the environmental principles and culture of Rwanda. Bisate offers just six beautiful ensuite rooms, including a family suite. Designed in typical Rwandan style, the buildings are domed with an authentic draping thatch. The interiors are also characteristically Rwandan, using natural materials such as wood and volcanic stone, the villas feature a vibrant and authentic decor, fusing Rwandan craftsmanship with contemporary design. A luxury accommodation with a strong conservation and community focus. In addition to the spacious suites, the lodge has a large living area with fireplaces and a wine cellar.
The dinner menu changes daily fusing local Rwandan flavors with contemporary international cuisine, Bisate chefs offer wholesome farm-to-table dishes with fresh produce sourced from the onsite kitchen garden. A highlight for many is the Rwandan coffee and pairing meals with wine from the well-stocked wine cellar.
Bisate Lodge has a long-term commitment to responsible eco-tourism and conservation of Rwanda’s incredible natural heritage. The Volcanoes National Park is located along the western branch of the East African Rift – one of the most important biodiversity hotspots on the continent that is home to over 60 bird and mammal species found nowhere else on earth.
Bisate partnered with the local community in the reforestation of an iconic site bordering the Volcanos National Park and, since its inception, two indigenous tree nurseries have been established and over 2 000 trees planted.
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.
While mountain gorillas are the main draw in this area of Rwanda, it also offers many more species of game. The birdlife is prolific, Rwanda has about 650 species of birds.
Being immersed within a group of mountain gorillas is one of the most wholesome wildlife photography experiences there is, a life-long dream for most wildlife and nature lovers. Between the raw beauty, charisma, and proximity with which you can photograph these amazing primates, it’s sure to be one of the most spectacular and dramatic photographic moments of your life. The gorillas are much more incredible in real life than can ever be shown with an image. The sheer size of the silverback males is astounding – they often weigh over 200kg.
The toddlers and juveniles love fooling around, dangling from branches and making funny faces. You are not allowed to approach the gorillas too closely, but that doesn’t mean a curious youngster can’t take interest and inspect you.
As a visitor, you can only visit the gorillas for 1 hour a day, which can make it feel like there is a time pressure to get those perfect shots. There is time, take time to absorb the experience and watch the gorillas for the first few minutes of your hour. You will probably remember the times when you were face to face with the gorillas much more than the time you spent behind the camera. Not rushing into the photos will also give you time to work out the conditions of the day and think about the camera settings to get the best shots.