Kwitonda Lodge Volcanoes National Park
Singita Kwitonda Lodge is set to open in August 2019 on 72 hectares of private land on the edge of Volcanoes National Park. Singita sticks to its philosophy of treading lightly on the land and simultaneously offering its guests an exquisitely unique experience. With magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes, Singita Kwitonda Lodge will offer 7 suites, 1 family suite (1 x double and 1 x twin bedroom) and 1 four-bedroom villa (Kataza House). All suites come with indoor bath and shower, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, covered verandah, heated plunge pool and massage/treatment areas.
Have a look at the images of Kataza House.
A central hub with beautiful indoor and outdoor living spaces serves as the heart of Singita Kwitonda. Here lounges, dining areas, an outdoor fire pit, boutique, an interactive kitchen, bar deli and wine cellar are for guests to enjoy and unwind. Contemporarily designed around local materials, the buildings have been crafted using volcanic rock, river stone, handmade ceramic tiles and oven-red clay bricks made by the surrounding communities, connecting the structure to the landscape and its culture. In the process, sustainability is at the core of the construction project. The goal of building Kwitonda is to embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to the lodge’s namesake - Kwitonda - a great silverback gorilla whose legend lives on and was known for his humility and gentleness.
Volcanoes National Park is covered by approximately 160 km² of cloud forest, and home to the Rwandan Mountain Gorilla. Six inactive volcanoes, Muhavura, Mt Gahinga, Karisimbi, Visoke, Mikeno and Sabyinyo, create an incredible backdrop. Volcanoes National Park is known for the scientific studies carried out here by Dian Fossey, who was the first scientist to make detailed studies of the Mountain Gorilla.
From Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, Kwintonda Lodge is approximately 2,5 hours by road.
The Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is threatened with extinction. There are approximately 1000 Mountain Gorillas left in an area covering the northwest of Rwanda, the southwest of Uganda and the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) in Uganda is home to a gorilla population living in an area covering approximately 330 km². A further population is located in the Virunga Volcano Region, which traverses the Rwanda, Uganda and DRC border. Although a single ecological unit, the Virunga Volcano Region is split politically into three national parks: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Unganda, Volcano National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the DRC; the whole region encompasses some 300 km². The gorillas live in stable family groups headed by a dominant silverback.
Key species are of course the elusive mountain gorillas, but there is more to see and explore: golden monkeys, side-striped jackal, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, elephant and an abundance of bird life.
Gorilla trekking involves an early morning drive to the park’s headquarters where guests are separated into groups before receiving exact details about the upcoming tour. Each group visits a different gorilla family – when guests and guides are ready, your private guide will drive you to the starting point of the trek. Depending on the gorilla family, this will take from twenty minutes to 90 minutes. A maximum of eight guests, the porters and two rangers will then set off. The hike can be short or strenuous, depending on the gorilla group and the location of the gorillas. The first guests are back in Ruhengeri at 11 a.m., the last at 4 p.m. The maximum length of stay with the gorillas is unfortunately only one hour, then you have to say goodbye.
Although the highlight, gorilla trekking is not the only activity this region has to offer. A visit to the on-site tree nursery or the conservation room, guided walks through the Virunga Mountains (Dian Fossey hike) and trekking rare Golden Monkeys are all possible. Guests are also able to do Village Tours, farm-to-table gardening, family activities or relax while indulging in spa treatments, meditation or yoga.
Good to know
WiFi available, children of all ages are welcome at the lodge, but please note that the minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15.