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Where to Stay in Rwanda

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Where to Stay in Rwanda

From rainforests to savannah, Rwanda offers a great range of conservation tourism experiences in two of the country’s most magnificent areas. Award-winning Bisate, nestled in an eroded volcanic cone overlooking Volcanoes National Park. And elegant Magashi in Akagera National Park, with knockout vistas over beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga, and an area teeming with iconic African wildlife.

1. Magashi

Witness the abundance of Akagera National Park from Wilderness Magashi. Home once more to an abundance of apex predators and their prey. Marvel at lion, white and black rhino, buffalo and elephant roaming its hills and vast savannah. This is the quintessential East African safari adventure and the perfect complement to your gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda. Perched like butterflies on the shores of Lake Rwanyakazinga, Magashi’s six spacious tented suites welcome you to an intimate wilderness area, surrounded by one of the most serene landscapes imaginable - the ideal stage for exceptional safari adventures.

2. Ruzizi Tented Lodge

A small private luxury tented camp made up of seven en-suite tents on the beautiful shores of Lake Ihema, 30 minutes within Akagera National Park. The camp surrounds a grass-thatched main structure that houses the reception area, the lounge, dining area and bar. The camp is fully powered by solar energy and has hot running water throughout. With a capacity of slightly over 20 people, the camp is an intimate retreat allowing for a relaxing stay while remaining immersed in the wildlife. Proceeds from the lodge go towards conservation and supporting the communities around the park where many of the staff come from.

The lodge allows for stunning views out over the lake as well as allowing you to be immersed in the local wildlife and culture. The tents sit shaded by swaying palm and fruiting fig trees giving a truly intimate experience.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge is all about creating a relaxing environment. The tents consist of a dressing area, en-suite bathroom and a private patio area at the front. A fireplace in the central lodge provides a setting for intimate evenings sharing stories and a drink with fellow guests.

3. The Retreat

Set in the vibrant heart of Kigali, this luxury boutique hotel and spa offers easy access to all that is happening in this dynamic city. As one of Kigali’s top 5 star hotels, it offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquility, Rwandan flair, and contemporary buzz. Whether dining on exotic Rwandan cuisine at Fusion or Heaven restaurants, soaking up the warmth of Kigali’s people and culture, your time here is sure to promise memories to last a lifetime.

With the city of Kigali as the backdrop, be spoilt for choice with out-of-this-world dining experiences at our award winning Heaven Restaurant and fine dining restaurant Fusion. Boasting 20 rooms, this 5 Star luxury boutique hotel is Kigali’s first entirely eco-friendly solar powered resort featuring locally crafted sustainable teak wood furniture, expansive custom built rooms with peaked ceilings, front and rear private patios, outdoor rain showers and private salt water plunge pools.

4. Nyungwe House

Blending into the local environment - with its natural structural appearance - Nyungwe House overlooks the tea plantation and rainforest, a unique view and spectacular area to stay. Aimed at the Western market, lodges have contemporary fittings and interiors, with traditional touches and large windows.With a tea plantation on the one side and the Nyungwe Canopy Rainforest on the other, access is via a drive from Kigali which will take about 7 hours, or the hour drive from the airport close by. There is also a heli-pad here.

Rooms are all forest facing for fascinating views; there are 24 luxurious rooms and 2 extra-amazing suites. Each room has its very own private deck for wonderful views over the forest terrain and fire places make the areas ultra cosy. Rooms are air-conditioned with tea & coffee making facilities and a mini bar as well as a wonderful ensuite bathroom, with indoor shower, and free Wi-Fi. Fantastic for tracking chimpanzees, there is a total of 13 primates in the area, as well as 275 bird species, including the striking giant hornbills, great blue turacos and red-breasted sparrow-hawks. Enjoy delicious, Fresh cuisine on the lodge terrace.

5. Singita Kwitonda

Designed for those seeking a transformative and purpose-driven safari experience, this relatively new lodge, from eco-conscious proprietor Singita, opened its doors in August 2019. Located on a stunning 178-acre plot of land on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, Singita Kwitonda Lodge is the latest property to cement Rwanda’s position as the destination for sustainable travel in East and Central Africa. The 15th property in Singita’s portfolio has been carefully curated to embody the gentle, restorative spirit of Rwanda, and with its opening will help to protect the precious mountain gorillas that live within the nation’s borders.

With the foundation of this lodge, Singita have entered into a partnership with local communities and the Rwandan government to rehabilitate, reforest and maintain the biological integrity of no fewer than 7,000 acres of land. The simply stunning landscape in which Singita Kwitonda Lodge has been built is a panoply of rolling hills and verdant vegetation: a prime example of why Rwanda’s natural treasures are valued so highly.There are seven 1-bedroom suites, one 2-bedroom suite and one 4-bedroom villa (Kataza House) available at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. All feature baths, showers, fireplaces and massage/treatment areas (both indoor and outdoor) as well as covered verandas, heated plunge pools and stylish living areas. In addition to the sumptuous living quarters, there is also a tree nursery here that guests are welcome to walk around, as well as a bar, wine cellar, boutique, gallery, media room, mud room and indoor lounge. Make sure to also take in the Conservation Lounge, which provides guests with a fully immersive introduction to Rwanda, its wildlife and its people.

6. Gorilla's Nest

Gorilla's Nest is a luxury lodge located at the foot of the Virunga volcanoes and only a 5 minute drive from the park headquarters. Fit with 5-star treatment, rooms are styled like treehouses up stilts, and with a design that draws the outside in. The hotel was imagined by interior designer Hubertus Feit to give a subtle sense of Africa while taking nothing away from the true emphasis of the place: the surrounding landscape. One&Only Gorilla's Nest is a place that encourages you to gaze into the mirror through eye-opening encounters with majestic mountain gorillas and experience the story of Rwanda.

Gorilla's Nest is situated close to the entrance to Parc National des Volcans in northern Rwanda and set within a grove of trees with the rooms set around a large courtyard. On a clear day the views across to the volcanoes and surrounding area are spectacular. Away from gorillas the Park is also home to seventy six mammal species, including a troop of habituated golden monkeys. Nature walks can be undertaken alongside a knowledgeable National Park's guide; climbs of the volcanoes are also possible as well as visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey.

7. Bisate Lodge

Nestled in an eroded volcanic cone, right on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, Bisate Lodge boasts stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes: Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi, Mikeno in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Sanyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura to the east. Only recently opened in 2017, Bisate Lodge is a luxurious retreat in Rwanda’s Virunga Volcanoes region. This sumptuous eco-lodge aims to provide guests with more than just a ‘gorilla express’ experience, rather immersing you into the local atmosphere, giving you a greater understanding of the conservation work that helps to protect the gorillas, eco-systems and the local community.

With just six forest villas spaced across the large but private Bisate site, you will feel as though you are actually staying within the national park itself. The design of the lodge focuses on traditional architecture with thatched structures that echo those dotted around the region. Each thatched forest villa comprises a large double bed, spacious bathroom, central fireplace and large private deck from which to take in the wild surrounds. With local décor and luxurious touches, Bisate offers quality accommodation as well as a strong conservation ethos for those looking for an extra special gorilla tracking experience.

As well as gorilla trekking (the obvious activity to do around Volcanoes National Park), Bisate Lodge offers plenty of other activities to keep you entertained. From golden monkey trekking and guided hikes, to visiting Dian Fossey’s grave and getting involved in the conservation and community projects, Bisate offers activities for everyone. You can even learn a little about local produce, taking part in tea, coffee and wine tasting with resident experts!

8. Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

The perfect base for those looking for comfortable and affordable accommodation, offering a restaurant, a pool and beautiful gardens to relax in. With good accessibility to the park headquarters and cosy accommodation, it's a great option for those looking for more affordable accommodation in the park. This boutique hotel sits on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, in the town of Kinigi. This town is at the foothill of the park entrance and headquarters, so from an accessibility point of view, the hotel makes the perfect base.

Typically Rwandese in style, the stone cottages each have an en-suite bathroom and outdoor seating with views out onto the surrounding volcanoes mountain range. The design of the rooms are basic but offer everything that is required for a good night’s sleep after a day of trekking and excitement!

Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge is a comfortable eco-lodge located on a hillside overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. 360 degree breathtaking views make this one of the top lodge destinations in Africa. Amidst stunning panoramas of volcanoes and lakes, 45 minutes from Volcanoes National Park, this luxury eco-lodge in a spectacular setting ideal for a honeymoon gorilla safari.

Ten bandas with private verandas offer views over the lakes and volcanoes; open fireplaces in the lounge and dining room are a warm welcome after a day tracking the mountain gorillas. Volcanoes Virunga Lodge is built around eco-friendly concepts with solar lighting and use of local materials. Approximately a 45 minute drive from the gorilla park of Parc National des Volcans. As well as tracking gorillas, guests can also track golden monkeys, climb a volcano, hike to the waterfalls or walk to the local village. There is also the opportunity to visit a local school or community project if you so wish. A tranquil massage room is available for guests to enjoy a complimentary massage during their stay.

9. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Located close to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, this luxurious lodge allows travellers to acclimatise to the altitude of the Virunga Mountains while preparing for a life-changing experience: tracking the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Spacious rooms, sheltered balconies, 24-hour electricity, hot and cold running water and the choice of a bar, restaurant, library and games room ensures every guest is well catered for, no matter how they'd like to spend their stay. Thanks to its proximity to the gorillas' habitat, Sabyinyo is a fantastic choice for safari-goers who wish to combine their gorilla trekking experience with rest and relaxation.

The main lodge is made from local stone with terracotta roof tiles and beautifully landscaped gardens, ideal for trying to spot one of the area 650 bird species. The bar and dining area lead out on to an extravagant and extensive outdoor decking area from which guests can enjoy spectacular views and relax after a hard days trekking. The main lodge also has a library, games room, shop and a community awareness centre – where you will find information on the areas gorillas and the history of Rwanda.

Accommodation consists of 5 cottages, 2 suites and a family room, which has an extra bedroom and bathroom. Each room has its own private veranda, modern en-suite bathroom and sitting room with a fireplace, fantastic as it can get chilly in the evenings. Rooms also include a dressing room, large comfortable beds and huge windows, so you can’t escape the beauty of the area.