The new properties reflect the company’s 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations
Hospitality and conservation brand Singita has opened two new properties: Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House in Rwanda, and committed to extensive reforestation initiatives to increase the range and numbers of endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
The new properties mark Singita’s expansion into Rwanda after 26 years of operating ecotourism lodges and camps throughout Africa. The company holds a 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations, and the opening of Singita Volcanoes National Park brings much-needed attention to the plight of the gorillas and the urgent need to expand and protect their habitat.
Set on 72 hectares on the edge of Volcanoes National Park and named after a legendary silverback gorilla known for his humility and gentle nature, Kwitonda Lodge boasts eight luxurious suites and is made up of a collection of small buildings laid out along the natural contours of the ground. Kataza House, an exclusive-use villa, features four spacious suites.
The design and construction of the lodge and villa followed Singita’s stringent sustainability principles, which informed everything from site design and materials used to energy and water systems and interior design.
The design team worked tirelessly with the local community to source most building materials in the immediate Musanze district, and a majority of the elements selected by interior designers, Cécile & Boyd and Hesse Kleinloog (HK) Studio, are made in Africa.
The interiors are simultaneously bold and gentle, reflecting the duality of the gorilla’s nature, while natural elements like earth, mist, rain and lava are cleverly integrated into furniture pieces and linear artwork, the vivid colour palette echoing the surrounding landscape. Large windows bring the outdoors in throughout the lodge, while guest suites – purposefully designed for nurturing, reflection and comfort – boast cosy couches, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and heated plunge pools, with breathtaking views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.
The lodge’s on-site nursery, Akarabo (which means “little flower” in Kinyarwanda) has to date provided approximately 250,000 indigenous forest shrubs, bamboo shoots and trees for an extensive reforestation initiative.
“It’s an absolute dream to expand our conservation footprint in Rwanda – a beautiful country with a remarkable conservation success story,” said Singita Founder and Executive Chairman, Luke Bailes. “Contributing to the Government’s enormous efforts to protect the country’s wildlife is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. We’re thrilled with the elegant, exceptionally sustainable lodges we’ve created here. They allow guests to connect deeply with nature in the heart of Africa, after a humbling encounter with the gorillas.”
The lodge kitchens feature largely vegetable-based dishes and local Rwandan favourites, with the fresh ingredients picked straight from the on-site herb and fruit garden. Guests can also embrace tailor-made trekking lunchboxes, flexible mealtimes and a signature “bar-deli”, where they can help themselves to fresh fruit and small snacks throughout the day.
With gorilla trekking a major drawcard for Rwanda, Singita is ideally situated less than ten minutes from the Volcanoes National Park headquarters. A variety of technical gear and clothing for the hike is housed in the Gear Room at Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House. Other activities on offer include golden monkey walks, day tours to the vibrant capital city, Kigali – including a visit to the Genocide Memorial – trips to the Musanze Caves, Nyungwe National Park, Lake Kivu or a local community tour.
Singita Volcanoes National Park is a comfortable 2.5-hour road or transfer from Kigali International Airport. Helicopters transfers are also available to the lodge. Rates for suites at Singita Kwitonda Lodge range between $1,495-$1,750 per person per night; or from $6,877 per night for the exclusive-use Kataza House villa in Green Season. Rates are fully inclusive, however excludes in-room massages, gorilla-trekking permits and extras, which Singita can book prior to travel.