Our Guide to Gorilla Trekking
Volcanoes National Park, Virungas and northern Rwanda, Rwanda
At a Glance
Bisate can be found in a truly rare and exclusive spot in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, next to the Volcanoes National Park, offering breath-taking views of the Virunga volcanoes.
A lodge from which you can blend the bucket-list adventure of gorilla trekking with innovative concept of reforestation and community partnership.
The lodge’s six sumptuous forest rooms are designed in classic Rwandan style – with domed thatched rooves – yet comfortable and contemporary inside, observing the environment and reflecting the principles of rural Rwanda.
You don’t have far to go to start your explorations, whether it be the infamous gorillas, trekking through the bamboo forest amongst the Golden Monkeys or meeting the local community.
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Rwanda can be visited at any time of year. There are two annual rainy seasons: the long rains which last from mid-February to the beginning of June, and the short rains from mid-September to mid-December. Rainfall, especially over the mountains, is heavy during these two periods, particularly from March to May. The long dry season, June to September, is the best time for tracking gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park although their habitat is a rainforest and it can rain or be misty any day of the year, so it's best to be prepared for this.
Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to Bisate Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Rwanda
Bisate is the newest luxury lodge in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, home to the mountain gorillas. Owned by Wilderness Safaris the lodge offers a new level of luxury and conservation tourism to the country.
Bisate Lodge is located on a hillside, close to the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda combining luxury accommodation with a strong conservation and community focus.
The lodge comprises six beautiful rooms, including one family unit, all enjoying unrivalled views of the Virunga volcanoes Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno. Located in the natural amphitheatre of an extinct volcanic cone, this is an entirely unique lodge for the region offering an amazing base for gorilla tracking adventures. Designed with a typical Rwandan style in mind, the buildings are domed with a beautiful draping thatch. Although typically Rwandan, using natural materials such as wood and volcanic stone, the interiors are contemporary and decorated in warm greys with pops of vibrant green.
Bisate Lodge works very closely with the local community and has forged a partnership with the Tuzamurana Cooperative to work on community projects to ensure they benefit from the profits of the lodge. The lodge also works on indigenous reforestation of a 26 hectare plot of farmland to encourage the reintroduction of flora and fauna whose habitats have shrunk in previous years.
The main draw is the opportunity to trek to visit a family of mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the area, too. A visit to one of the habituated golden monkey troops is worth doing for a more gentle trek, and for people looking for a more energetic stay, it's possible to hike up to Dian Fossey's grave and former research station at Karisoke, or spend a full day trekking to the top of one of the volcanoes. There are also local villages to explore and some beautiful twin lakes nearby.
Jules Maury (Staff)
Stunning architecture is the USP of this lodge built on a hill overlooking Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno- just some of famous volcanoes which make up the Volcanoes National Park. Cutting edge design begs to be instagrammed and the combination of a beautiful decor, vibrant fabrics and artefacts, a dining room serving creative and delicious food makes this one of the top gorilla trekking lodges in the Volcanoes National Park. The six Bedroom suites divided by stone fireplaces lead into amazing bathrooms - both of which look straight out over your private terrace to the volcano peaks rearing up into the open skies. Wilderness are known for the sensitivity in the way they construct their lodges and Bisate, constructed in the original Rwandan fashion, is no exception. Exemplary service, open views, charming staff and a generally wow design are all reasons to treat yourself to a few days here whilst planning your gorilla and golden monkey treks. The steps up to the suites will get you fit for the gorilla treks and note that suite six has the best views but is a climb in itself!
Experiences and activities in the Virungas
Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans surely must rank at the top of any list for the sheer majesty of its landscapes. It's a land of soaring cloud capped volcanoes, beautiful mountain lakes and warm welcoming people.
Golden Monkey trekking
Trekking to see the Golden Monkeys in Uganda and Rwanda is a great trip where you will witness these inquisitive animals leaping from branch to branch around you.
Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcanoes, through the mountainous forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Seeing a mountain gorilla in its natural habitat is one of the world's most thrilling wildlife experiences.
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum should be on everybody's must-do list when in the area. The memorial is a haunting but stark journey through one of the most savage genocides in history, that took place in this tiny, landlocked country.
Location & directions
Volcanoes National Park, Virungas and northern Rwanda, Rwanda
Located in northern Rwanda, adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park, home to the mountain gorillas. The nearest main town is Ruhengeri, and the local village is Kinigi where the gorilla tracking park headquarters are based.
How to get there
International flight into Kigali followed by a drive of approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hours to reach the lodge.
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- Firsthand knowledge
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- Award-winning tour operator