Lonely Planet Writer

An eco-lodge in Rwanda features amazing villas built into an eroded volcano

A new eco-lodge in Rwanda features amazing villas built into an eroded volcano, bringing travellers up close to the country’s famous Volcanoes National Park and the gorillas that live there.

Thatched-roof huts are seen through the foliage in Rwanda.
The lodges in the trees in Rwanda. Image by David Crookes

Bisate Lodge is made up of six forest villas in “the amphitheatre of an eroded volcano cone” located next to the national park on Rwanda’s northern border. The villas are located on a 42-hectare site is in a secluded area, but guests are still close enough to head from the lodge into the park for morning gorilla treks.

Beautiful patio furniture sits on the balcony of the lodge.
The balconies and views at Bisate Lodge. Image by David Crookes

Each villa contains a bedroom, reception area and bathroom – and is heated with a central fireplace. Guests can hang out on their own private deck and enjoy the views of the Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes.

The incredible view of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
The new eco-lodge brings travellers close to the famed gorillas in Rwanda. Image by David Crookes

According to the lodge, the architectural and interior design “is rooted in Rwandan building tradition as exemplified in the design of the Royal Palace of the traditional monarch”, as the villas mimic the building’s thatched roof. The textiles used in the rooms are inspired by the Rwandan lifestyle and use “imigongo”, an art form that is unique to Rwanda and uses cow dung to create geometric patterns.

A beautifully designed room inside the Bisate Lodge in Rwanda.
Inside the rooms of Bisate Lodge in Rwanda. Image by David Crookes

The lodge is committed to creating a positive impact on the famous mountain gorillas, but also aims to benefit its surroundings beyond the animals, with reforestation projects that have already seen 15,000 indigenous trees planted, as well as community engagement, eco-friendly operations and more. The company says that it plans to contribute to the conservation of the local ecosystem while providing a great experience for its guests.

A thatch-roofed house seen through the trees.
The lodge seen in the wilderness in Rwanda. Image by David Crookes

Rwanda has seen a number of boosts to its tourism industry lately, particularly with the reintroduction of black rhinos into Akagera National Park 10 years after poaching decimated their numbers. It’s also gotten easier for travellers from the UK to travel to the country, as RwandAir recently announced direct flights between London and Kigali.