As Rwandan tourism continues to grow, new luxury lodgings are opening to meet the demand. The latest is from Singita, the 26-year-old African ecotourism company, which has just unveiled a lodge and villa at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, famous for treks to see the endangered mountain gorillas.
Built in a sustainable way, Singita Kwitonda Lodge is a collection of low-slung buildings following the contours of the land. The design takes its inspiration from Rwanda’s cultural heritage and natural environment; GAPP Architects incorporated volcanic stone walls and outdoor terraces to create a connection to the undulating landscape. More than 500 local artisans were employed on the project, creating terra cotta brickwork, woven ceilings and volcanic stone walls. The eight guest suites come with indoor and outdoor fireplaces plus heated plunge pools overlooking Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.
For guests seeking a little extra privacy, the Kataza House is an exclusive-use villa with four suites. The two properties are set on a 178-acre estate just a 10-minute drive from the Volcanoes National Park entrance. Note that helicopter transfers to the lodge are available from Kigali. (The car transfer is two-and-a-half hours from the Kigali international airport.)
Notably Singita is involved in reforestation initiatives in Rwanda, with the on-site Akarabo nursery growing indigenous plants and trees (the number is 250,000 to date). The lodge’s vegetable garden provides fresh produce for the kitchen, which sends out local Rwandan dishes and gourmet lunch boxes for the gorilla treks.