Another edition of our LUXURY AFRICA series and this time we are taking you to one of the top countries on my ‘To Do’ list. Beautiful Rwanda, in central Africa.
I was talking to my father-in-law the other day and he couldn’t believe that after the terrible genocide in 1994, Rwanda got back on its feet and is now one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Many call it the Switzerland of Africa!
And with its breathtaking landscape and national resources, you can imagine that tourism is at the forefront of the economy. The untouched rainforest with one of the world’s last gorilla populations attracts tourists from all over the world. You can visit the famous mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, hike up to the Diane Fossey's grave or trek to the top of the volcanoes and enjoy the spectacular views. There are also local villages to explore and beautiful lakes to witness.
One of the latest additions to the international hotel scene is Rwanda’s Bisate Lodge, a brand new luxury boutique hotel, right next to the Volcanoes National park in northern Rwanda. Opened in June 2017, Bisate Lodge is made up of six cocoon-like villas and a main building, that includes a bar, restaurant and a wine cellar.
Designer Garreth Kriel from South African firm Nicholas Plewman Architects based his idea for this beautiful 6 bedroom project on the historical King’s Palace in Butare, Rwanda, the traditional residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa. which is now a museum.
The six round lodges were also inspired by the style of thatched domes that are reminiscent of the weaver bird nests found beside many Rwandese rivers. Each has a tipped roof, walls clad with dried and woven grass matting, wooden floors and black-framed steel doors that open onto a bamboo balcony facing Mount Bisoke. The baker-like interiors are accentuated with green, grey and backhand white accessories and come with a pair of custom-made armchairs sitting on a cowhide rug in front of a log-burning fire.
The communal area features concrete floors with a timber inlay, brick walls and tan leather chairs.
Rwandan fashion designer Teta Isibo consulted on the project and sourced locally-produced items, such as the grey linen napkins in the restaurant, the staff uniforms which are made from traditional 'kitenge' fabrics; the recycled green glass bottle chandeliers and and the traditional, ibyansi milk jugs on the dining tables, in order to bring a vibrant Rwandan flair to the interior design of Bisate Lodge.
Rates start from $1155 a night and a gorilla trekking permit comes to another $1500 per person, but when it comes to luxury accommodation in Sub Saharan Africa Bisate Lodge is truly amongst the best.