Inside the soon-to-open Bisate Reserve by Wilderness

Min Read

Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is home to astonishing biodiversity, all packed into one of the smallest countries in Africa. World-renowned for its population of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, and the extraordinary efforts to conserve them, the country also boasts a savannah safari experience in Akagera National Park, chimpanzees and other primate species in Nyungwe National Park, as well as in Gishwati-Mukura National Park. Added to that, travellers can expect a rich cultural experience in the bustling capital of Kigali, with a wide selection of accommodation options, restaurants showcasing local cuisine, vibrant markets and a flourishing fashion scene.

Wilderness is proud to be part of the thriving tourism industry in the country, which started with the opening of Wilderness Bisate in 2017. This lodge was the first really high-end offering in the country for guests wanting to visit Volcanoes National Park.  It has been an amazing success story, not only in commercial terms but because of the conservation benefits of the visionary reforestation programme, where 100,000 trees have been planted to date, restoring the natural habitat on the property and attracting a wide variety of wildlife, both big and small, back to the site. Species now resident at Bisate include tree hyrax, serval, side-striped jackal, Egyptian mongoose and numerous bird and butterfly species, as well as a group of golden monkeys that is frequently seen.

The evolution of the Wilderness Bisate experience will reach unparalleled heights in September 2024 with the unveiling of its new lodge, Bisate Reserve. Intended to redefine luxury, conservation and exclusivity, this intimate new property will feature just four spacious villas, continuing Wilderness’ legacy of driving conservation tourism in the region.

Positioned on the rim of a weathered volcano, Bisate Reserve offers captivating vistas overlooking six majestic volcanoes. Crafted with meticulous detail, the lodge is poised to captivate the hearts of every guest, marking a significant milestone in premium hospitality and iconic destinations.

In the same way as its sister lodge, Bisate Reserve embodies much more than luxury; it represents an extension and enhancement of conservation tourism in Rwanda. Through ground-breaking reforestation and rehabilitation initiatives, each guest becomes a partner in biodiversity protection and local community upliftment, directly contributing to the preservation of the iconic endangered mountain gorilla species.

“The name of the new lodge was carefully chosen to celebrate the transformation of a former agricultural site into a thriving forest.  Reserve also talks to the finest wine and whisky; the finest in luxury. Staying at Bisate Reserve will bring these two worlds together in a profound way for our guests, offering the most exclusive, intimate and impactful experience”, says Rob Baas, Wilderness Rwanda Managing Director.

“Since Bisate first opened, it has been extremely rewarding to work closely with the Rwanda Development Board and our other partners to grow our positive impact in Rwanda. Bisate continues to receive local and international acclaim, and we are extremely proud to announce our expansion plans, allowing us to restore even more land, with breath-taking views from the exclusive new lodge directly into the park,” added Rob.

The focus on conservation initiatives seamlessly blends with immersive guest activities, including expert-guided gorilla encounters (booked through the national park authorities), captivating nature trails and a vibrant birding environment. Moreover, the lodge’s architecture and the opulent villas exude the regal traditions and heritage of Rwanda. These unique characteristics that identify the lodge extend beyond its walls, permeating into the community and offering guests the opportunity to engage with and support local empowerment initiatives.

This expansion of Wilderness in Rwanda will have an even greater positive impact on the surrounding community, with more employment and other upliftment opportunities being created or enhanced, with already more than 230 staff members employed across all the Wilderness products in this East African country.  “This in itself makes the new property special in my mind, but over and above that, it will truly be an exceptional offering, with more privacy, exclusivity and an unbeatable location. Every aspect of guest comfort has been carefully thought out and planned, with very generous villas featuring private hot tubs, two fireplaces, in-room dining options as well as in-room massage treatments, to name a few,” Rob elaborates.

Wilderness Bisate Reserve beckons as a harmonious union of luxury, conservation and cultural immersion, inviting guests to partake in a transformative experience while fostering a lasting legacy that resonates with the essence of preservation and sustainability. “We’ve kept the beautiful, iconic architecture of the original Bisate, which honours the culture and traditions of Rwanda, but we’re taking it to another level and we can’t wait to share this extraordinary offering with our guests,” concluded Rob.



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