Trek with Mountain Gorillas at Rwanda’s Otherworldly Bisate Lodge

bisate lodge rwanda africa mountain gorillas gorilla
For decades, Northern Rwanda has been a go-to destination for adventure travelers. The country’s aptly named Volcanoes National Park is home to a rare population of mountain gorillas and is one of Africa’s biggest draws for wildlife-lovers. The area’s newly opened Bisate Lodge is so lavish and incredible, it’s a worthy destination in its own right.

Tucked into the eroded cone of a dormant volcano, Bisate Lodge is no doubt the area’s swankiest hotel. The overall design tastefully incorporates elements of the King’s Palace in Butare with weaver bird nests found along Africa’s riverbanks. Each of the lodge’s six private forest villas is a masterwork of architecture and design, blending traditional materials with modern elements in a way that’s at once beautiful, familiar, and otherworldly. All feature a spherical, pod-like design with a high, synthetic thatched roof and liberal use of local materials like wicker, rattan, stone, and raw wood — all of which creates a warm, organic feel.

There’s plenty to remind guests that this is no ordinary African lodge. Luxury amenities in every 980-square-foot guestroom include gas fireplaces, soak tubs, double vanity sinks, and free Wi-Fi. Large, private balconies also ensure breathtaking views to Bisoke Volcano, while some offer glimpses of the area’s two other prominent volcanoes, Karisimbi and Mikeno. The lodge’s central lounge houses the on-site restaurant, a gorgeous tile bar, and an extensive library of books detailing the area and its unique wildlife.

The main attraction for most travelers to this region is the mountain gorilla trekking. Just 20 minutes away, Volcanoes National Park is renowned as the place to experience walking safaris with the critically endangered creatures, as well as the lesser-known golden monkeys. The rugged, high-altitude landscape is home to twelve habituated troops of gorillas. All can be reliably tracked by the park’s expert guides, who lead daily journeys through the Afro-alpine forest.

The eco-tourism group that runs Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safaris, has a strong focus on bolstering local communities and the environment. Hotel guests are invited to join in guided community walks to meet and interact with families of the nearby rural town of Kinigi. A comprehensive reforestation project is also underway; more than 15,000 indigenous trees have already planted to help regenerate the lodge’s 35-hectare expanse. Guests can explore the property via two dedicated nature trails and take part in a tree-planting ceremony of their own as well.

Rates start at $1,100 per person per night, including all meals, beverage service, and excursions.

Living

Peek Inside NoDa House, a Reimagining of Traditional Mill Houses with a Modern Twist

NoDa House has all of the mid-century modern goodness we love about Eichlers but with a modern twist.
Travel

An Entire Swiss Village Could Become One Beautiful ‘Scattered Hotel’

Spend the night at an authentic, 19th-century Swiss village before it disappears forever.
Culture

11 Buzzworthy Podcasts Being Adapted Into TV Shows

Here are the latest and greatest podcasts to feature on the small screen, along with some rumored up-and-comers.
Travel

The Ultimate Guide to a Road Trip Across Newfoundland

One of Canada’s most remote provinces is also one of the most spectacular places to visit within the massive country.
Grooming

Aesop x Rimowa Köln Travel Kit Is the Dream Dopp Kit

This isn't your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill travel grooming kit.
Travel

Luxury Train Travel: Ride the Rails in Splendor Aboard One of These Extravagant Trains

Watch as amazing landscapes rush by while indulging in five-course meals before drifting off to sleep in your private cabin to the rhythmic rocking of the rails.
Travel

Crossroads Hotel Opens in Kansas City’s Former Pabst Brewing Co. Plant

Tattoo artist-designed wallpaper and a KC-centric rooftop bar — what's not to like?
Travel

Hate Hostels? Hilton’s New Hotel Concept Wants to Change That

Motto by Hilton offers a fresh approach to modern budget travel with an updated and elevated micro-hotel format.
Travel

An Introduction to the Most Fascinating Ghost Towns of America

During the 1800s, towns across the United States seemingly sprung up overnight with the discovery of gold. Many are now the ghost towns we know today.
Travel

Virgin Voyages Announces Squid Ink, the World’s First Tattoo Studio at Sea

Now, after one too many daiquiris aboard a cruise ship, you can commemorate the experience forever with a tattoo.
Travel

World’s First ‘Craft Beer Airline’ Scheduled to Takeoff from London

It's kind of like Hooters Air, but with better beer and less pantyhose.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet? So get inspired.
Travel

10 Best Travel Gifts for a Modern Gentleman Nomad

For the sophisticated gentleman traveler in your life, your holiday shopping begins here.
Travel

The Future of Luxury Air Travel Is Sleeping in the Cargo Hold

It should be far more luxurious than sleeping amid crated dogs and stacks of luggage.