Recently, Rwanda has catapulted to the top of savvy travelers’ bucket lists. The small landlocked country—famed for the high-altitude cloud forests in Volcanoes National Park, inhabited by the world's critically endangered population of mountain gorillas—is seeing a host of new luxury lodges. Wilderness Safaris opened Bisate Lodge in 2017, while One&Only plans to unveil Gorilla’s Nest this year to complement the One&Only Nyungwe Lodge.
Now, we’ve just learned that Singita is joining the fray. The world-renowned conservation company will be opening the Kwitonda Lodge in late 2019. Situated on 178 acres at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, the lodge will create a natural haven on the park’s boundary, between agricultural fields and the protected park, that will further help the mountain gorillas (there are an estimated 320 in the park). Singita’s goal is a sustainable approach to tourism, working closely with local communities for the long-term conservation of African wilderness. Therefore, the company is investing in a big reforestation project, establishing a nursery and the planting of 60,000 tree saplings around the lodge. The goal is to work with the Rwandan government to increase gorilla habitat while ensuring the economic development of neighboring communities.
Named in honor of the legendary silverback gorilla called Kwitonda, the lodge is being built in a sustainable way with locally sourced materials. A big focus is design efficiency, and recruiting the local community to work on aspects of the construction (like the traditional dry stone walls). There will be eight suites and a villa overlooking the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.
Note: An experience at the Singita Kwitonda Lodge can be combined with a classic safari at Singita’s private concessions on the Serengeti plains in Tanzania.