When celebrities, CEOs and former presidents have wanted the ultimate wildlife adventure, they’ve turned to Singita, which for 26 years has been the standard-bearer of luxury safari experiences and conservation efforts in countries like Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe. As of this month, they—and all fans of singular safaris—have a new destination to explore Singita-style, as the brand brings its signature vision to Rwanda’s gorilla-centric Volcanoes National Park.
Set on 178 acres on the edge of the dense park, Singita Kwitonda Lodge—which opened on August 1, along with the nearby Kataza House exclusive-use villa—takes its name from a legendary silverback gorilla known for his gentle nature. In honour of the native gorillas, as well as the welcoming people of this fertile region, the eight-suite lodge and four-suite villa have been designed to be some of the most sustainable properties in Africa, with stringent sustainability principles informing everything from the materials used in the construction and décor (much of which was sourced from the surrounding Musanze district) to the energy and water systems.
As part of Singita’s 100-year commitment to help preserve the African wilderness for future generations, the company (in partnership with non-profit Funds & Trusts) is also implementing reforestation initiatives in Rwanda to both protect the land and encourage growth of the endangered mountain gorillas. An on-site nursery has, to date, provided close to 250,000 indigenous trees, forest shrubs and bamboo shoots to help with the reforestation.
Along with all the socially and environmentally responsible ethos, guests will also enjoy what are now two of the top overnight options in the region. Envisioned by noted architects and design studios, the bold, striking interiors are inspired by the strong-yet-soft nature of the gorillas, while furnishings and artwork take cues from natural elements like mist, rain, and earth, and a colour palette of lava black, fiery orange and khaki green reflect the surrounding landscape. Volcanic stone walls, woven ceillings, and hand-fired terracotta can be found throughout, while all eight suites feature indoor and outdoor fireplaces, heated plunge pools and timber-framed windows with views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.
A Gear Room is stocked with clothing and technical gear for the gorilla-trekking hikes in the national park (which is less than 10 minutes away). Other activity choices include golden monkey-spotting walks, local community tours, a visit to the Musanze Caves, and day trips to capital city, Kigali. Back at the lodge and villa, regroup with an in-suite massage, and enjoy flavourful snacks, customised lunch boxes, and dine-when-you-want meals crafted with ingredients from the on-site gardens.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge rates start at around £1,230 per person per night; Kataza House villa rates start at around £5,650 per night. Transfers from Kigali to the lodge and villa are available by road or helicopter.
Check out more photos of the property below: