With the brand new year unfolded before us like a just-bought map – crisp, unmarked and beckoning with possibility – we’ve pinned down Rwanda as the most exciting new  ‘sustainable and versatile safari destination’!  With Wilderness Safari’s Bisate Lodge leading the way, others in the conservation and hospitality industry are following suit.  2019 saw the opening of three more lodges that will offer travelers luxurious, sustainable accommodation, fascinating wildlife and cultural experiences including of course close encounters with the endangered mountain gorillas as well as add-on safaris to other undiscovered conservation areas in Rwanda, namely the beautiful Akagera National Park.

Wilderness Safari’s Bisate Lodge was the first genuinely luxurious and eco-sensitive camp to cater for gorilla trekking travelers

We’re counting down the days to the opening of these three new Rwanda lodges…


With the sincerity and heart for collaborative socio-ecological restoration that singles Singita out as one of our favorite safari partners, their announcement (below) about opening a new lodge – designed to embody the spirit of Rwanda — was so thrilling that we’ve not been able to stop daydreaming (and planning!)

Rwanda’s miraculous recovery in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide is testimony to the new-found solidarity, impressive work ethic, transparency, humility and warmth of its people. Within the context of this national journey towards restoration of the people and the land, Singita is honored to be opening Kwitonda Lodge on the 5th of August 2019.

Kwitonda is open:

  • Uniqueness: Reverently and lovingly named after ‘Kwitonda’ – a legendary silverback gorilla who was known and loved for his humility and gentleness.

Photo of Kwitonda, a silverback gorilla from Rwanda
Original photo: www.gorilladoctors.org

  • Location, location, location! A treasured 178-acre pocket of fertile land in Volcanoes National Park with views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes
  • ‘Gorillas (and more!) in the Mist’: Each gorilla trek is thoughtfully designed around the different gorilla family groups, varying in distance and intensity. Inbetween each trek, you could also:
    • Explore the captivating Afro montane forests and primordial Lake Kivu
    • En route to or from Kwitonda, explore Kigali, Rwanda’s vibrant and sophisticated capital city
    • Wander amidst these wildlife key species: golden monkeys, side-striped jackal, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, elephant and — an astounding abundance of bird life.
  • Rooms with a view:
    • Endless, uninterrupted views of the mountains and cloud-forests beyond
    • From its locally sourced materials, Rwandan heritage-inspired architecture and interiors — and their engagement of the local community’s specialist craftspeople to build the traditional dry-stone walling, Singita is truly ‘treading lightly on the land’

Rwanda's Volcanic Views
A taste of Kwitonda’s volcanic views

Mother and baby mountain gorillas in Rwanda
“A sense of calm came over me. More and more often I found myself thinking, “This is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do.” ~ Jane Goodall

  • Accommodation types: (all intentionally oversized to be the perfect post-trek restorative retreat)
    • 7 one-bedroom suites
    • 1 two-bedroom suite
    • A four-bedroom family villa
  • Each accommodation type offers:
    • A comfortably relaxing sitting area – warmed by a cosy fireplace
    • The en-suite rooms (super king double or twin) have their own rest area and a dressing-room with double vanity
    • A marvellously spacious bathroom with a bath, shower, separate toilet and, magically, a glass-enclosed outdoor shower!
    • A secluded terrace with a fireplace and heated plunge pool
    • A massage treatment zone for those trek-tired muscles
    • A private dining area
    • For the hungry hikers, a well-stocked pantry and mini-bar
    • And for those who aren’t quite able to completely surrender their souls over to the mountains, there’s a work space
    • The family villa includes both indoor and outdoor living and dining rooms, a welcomingly informal lounge, a fully-equipped kitchen, media room, gym and accommodation for an au pair or nanny.

To celebrate the opening of Kwitonda Lodge, Singita’s exciting launch promotion is the ultimate African adventure:  Gorilla trekking combined with the quintessential safari experience in the Serengeti. (Contact us for more details.)


One&Only has been intriguingly hush-hush about their new lodge set to open late in 2019. Our curiosity is barely containable!

Surrounded by the magnificent Virunga Volcano Range, Gorilla’s Nest holds the promise to ‘make the magical possible’ — and that ‘magic’ is the life-changing, heart-to-heart encounter with Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, right in their very own natural habitat, wild and free.

This is how Gorilla’s Nest has been described by its creators:

“Offering an exclusive front-row seat to Africa’s oldest national park, you’ll be captivated as elephants, lions, exotic birds and one of the planet’s greatest array of primate species (…) who welcome you into their world.

Then retreat to your own world, a spectacular modern haven, where every creature comfort is yours…”

An artist’s impression of One & Only Gorilla’s Nest :  unobtrusively modern and tranquil architecture

genuinely luxurious and eco-sensitive safari camp, centred on Africa’s most immersive wild primate experience.

Afro-Scandi interiors – whose floor-to-ceiling windows invite the outside in at Gorilla’s Nest



Next on the (bucket)list is magical Magashi Camp by Wilderness Safaris whose newest Rwandan camp embodies their profound vision to build strong sustainable conservation economies in Africa.

On the north-eastern corner of Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp is spectacularly situated – amidst East Africa’s most prolifically diverse savannah — so visitors can lose themselves in the scenic serenity of Lake Rwanyakazinga beyond. Akagera’s versatility of habitats – from vast, open plains, dense woodlands, sparkling lakes and swamps to gently low-lying, grass-graced mountains – make for an abundant diversity of wildlife. From grand saults of lions and newly integrated black rhino to gargantuan crocodiles, endangered ‘shoebill murder birds’ and graciously rare swamp-dwelling sitatunga, this area is also home one of the most legendary hippo densities in Africa.

Why we can’t wait to visit Magashi Camp:

  • Exclusivity: Magashi Camp is Akagera’s only private access area
  • 6 expansive, tented en-suite guest rooms whose interiors are a timeless homage to traditional Rwandan culture.
  • Uninterrupted views of Lake Rwanyakazinga for as far as the eye can see
  • Luxuriantly appointed lounge, bar and dining area – positioned to maximise the views
  • A world-class wine cellar, perfect plunge pool and a spacious viewing deck, centred around a welcoming fire-pit
  • Magashi Camp’s location makes it a first for Rwandan visitors to explore deeper into its wild heart by allowing you to combine an extraordinary, life-changing gorilla-trek in the Volcanoes National Park and staying at Bisate Lodge with a stunning savannah safari at Akagera.

“Visitors can combine a once in a lifetime gorilla experience at Volcanoes National Park while staying at Bisate Lodge, and then continue on to a savannah safari at Akagera.”  Jim Dobson, Forbes

Why you’ll want to be one of the first to stay at Magashi Camp:

  • Expertly guided day and night game drives
  • Catch-and-release fishing. (Rods and tackle are supplied)
  • Guided bush walks – an unbeatably intimate way to experience the sounds, scents and scintillation of the wild
  • Known as one of the world’s most incredible birding areas, Akagera sees more than 500 species wing their way across its skies!
  • Cruise quietly across the waters of Lake Rwanyakazinga in a bespoke boat to discover the lake’s abundance of aquatic animals and water birds.

If you love the idea of a combination safari experience. Stay at Wilderness Safari’s Bisate Lodge for gorilla trekking and combine with Magashi Camp for a true savannah safari.  Send your inquiry here  and our Rwanda travel expert can get in touch with you.

We’re here to answer any questions you might have about gorilla trekking, Rwanda – or a safari to Africa  in general.
Contact our safari design team on info@southerndestinations.com