Singita’s New Property: Kwitonda Lodge Rwanda
By Tully Luxury Travel | 01-20-2020 |
Singita is a conservation brand that has been preserving African wilderness for the past 26 years, offering guests an exceptional safari experience with 15 luxury, award-winning lodges, and camps across five regions in Africa. In partnership with non-profit funds and trusts who implement strategic conservation projects in each region, Singita is preserving and protecting pristine land and wildlife populations, and helping to create economic independence within local communities surrounding the reserves.
Travelers choose to stay at Singita because of the expansive space and beauty of the reserves, limited guest and vehicle numbers, extraordinarily consistent game viewing, and the exceptional care that is taken of each guest during their stay. Guests leave a Singita safari being transformed for a lifetime and having made a contribution to the legacy of Africa.
Kwitonda Lodge – Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Singita Kwitonda Lodge sits lightly on 178 acres of breathtaking land right on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, where more than a third of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas find refuge. The lodge forms part of an ambitious undertaking to rehabilitate, reforest and maintain the biological integrity of the land, thereby increasing the range and numbers of the gorillas, while uplifting and empowering surrounding communities in a sustainable manner.
Unlike the temperate location of their southern and East African lodges, Kwitonda Lodge is surrounded by forests, making for a cool climate and incredibly lush landscape. Rather than a flat horizon line dotted with acacia trees, Singita’s newest lodge looks onto a range of ancient volcanoes that rise out of the mist on the other side of the Park border.
There are eight contemporary and richly textured suites and a private four-bedroom villa, Kataza House, designed in response to the remarkable location and linked by volcanic rock pathways to a central lodge. As with all Singita lodges and camps, treading lightly on the land is fundamental to the design, as is the environmental impact and sustainability of the construction project. The build employs local craftspeople such as stonemasons, weavers, and ceramicists, as well as uses locally sourced and produced materials for walling, ceilings, and surface finishing. The high level of involvement of traditional Rwandan artisans, who are bringing their incredible skills, creativity, and workmanship to bear on every corner of the lodge, not only affirms our community partnership goals but elevates the design to new heights. The result is the creation of an immersive and authentic space from which to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a truly unique slice of Africa.
For most guests, a gorilla trek is top of the list when they get to Rwanda. Setting off early in the morning for the 7 am briefing at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters, a short drive from Singita Kwitonda Lodge, guests will be matched with a guide before starting their hike into the dense cloud forest. As the distance of each gorilla trek is varied, depending on which family group guests are allocated, these excursions can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day, so meals and lodge activities are flexible around each trek. Guests will also be able to borrow complimentary clothing and gear for their treks and be provided with convenient comfort kits to ensure that they always feel warm and well-fed. Children under the age of 15 who are unable to participate in the treks will be cared for at the lodge with a variety of supervised activities and educational opportunities with our on-site gorilla conservation specialists.
Singita is honored to have opened in Rwanda and to have collaborated with stakeholders on critical conservation projects which will not only help to raise funds and awareness for the protection of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas but create an ecological buffer zone between the Volcanoes National Park and the agricultural land surrounding it.