A 178-acre piece of land on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park will be home to the new Singita Kwitonda Lodge. The slopes and high-altitude dense forests of the park are also home to more than half of the world's endangered mountain gorillas.
Kwitonda Lodge, surrounded by forests, makes for a cool climate and incredibly lush landscape, unlike more temperate locations of Singita's southern and east Africa lodges. Ancient volcanoes rise above the mist at Kwitonda Lodge in stark contrast to the flat horizons dotted by acacia trees at Singita's other lodges.
Singita is geared to set even higher standards in this next step of their journey, committed to the meaningful exploration of Africa, constant conservation which drives everything they do.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge is no ordinary lodge, in this close-knit community, having been named after the legendary great silverback gorilla known for his placidity and gentleness. The architecture will be restrained but powerful, designed to embody the true spirit of Rwanda.
Rwanda's people are resilient and the countries miraculous recovery from years of political strife is a testament to the new-found solidarity, transparency, humility, truly impressive work ethic and warmth its residents display. This spirit embodies the entire guest experience at Kwitonda Lodge, providing a nurturing, contemplative space in which to appreciate the spiritual, transformative experience of coming face-to-face with the gentle giants of the forest.
Kwitonda Lodge is designed in response to the remarkable location with eight contemporary and richly textured suites and a private four-bedroom villa, named Kataza House. These will be linked by volcanic rock pathways to a central lodge.
Singita lodges and camps live by their fundamental motto of 'treading lightly on the land', including the Kwitonda construction projects environmental impact and sustainability. The projects major building materials are sourced and produced locally and local Rwandan craftspeople such as stone masons, weavers and ceramicists will be used. Community partnerships are elevated by the high level of involvement from traditional artisans, bringing their incredible creativity, skills and workmanship which will elevate the design of the lodge to new heights.
The overall result is the creation of an authentic and immersive space from which to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in this truly unique part of Africa.
Gorilla trekking is top of the list for most guests to Rwanda. All treks involve an early 7am start from Volcanoes National Park headquarters, just a short drive from Singita Kwitonda Lodge.
Lodge meals and activities are flexible around each gorilla trek owing to the distance of each trek varying, depending on the family group guests are allocated which can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. Guests' every comfort is taken care of by borrowing complimentary clothing and gear for their treks, as well as comfort kits to ensure they stay warm and are well fed.
Children under the age of 15, unable to participate in the treks will be cared for at the lodge with a variety of supervised activities and educational opportunities with on-site gorilla conservation specialists.
Rwanda has much to explore besides gorillas and golden monkeys, from the primordial Lake Kivu to the forests of Nyungwe National Park and the vibrant and sophisticated capital of Kigali.
Day trips to the moving Genocide Memorial and the Karisoke Research Centre (founded by Dian Fossey) can easily be arranged, to give guests an insiders look at Rwanda's unique culture, history and natural heritage.
Singita has expressed how honoured they are to be opening in Rwanda and their collaboration with stakeholders on critical conservation projects. This will not only help raise funds and create 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. In the end, it is all about including the surrounding community.