June 2021

Encounter the gentle giants of Volcanoes National Park

in Biodiversity

Encounter the gentle giants of Volcanoes National Park

Across the six regions and four countries in which we operate, Singita offers guests unparalleled opportunities for connections with nature – immersions into the landscape, wildlife encounters that humble and inspire, and sensory journeys that restore. Being at one with the wilderness and in close proximity to its animals is a privilege, one which leaves an indelible mark on all those who visit, and makes a lasting impact into the future. 

Each destination offers its own unique flora, fauna and opportunities for engagement with the environment. With an unparalleled setting right at the edge of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House are located close to one of the last remaining natural habitats of the endangered mountain gorilla, a third of whom call the high-altitude cloud forests in this part of the world home. It was here in this park that renowned conservationist and primate expert Dian Fossey spent over 20 years studying the gorillas in their natural habitat, raising awareness of their plight and setting in motion a focused movement to protect them.   

Volcanoes National Park is home to a third of the world's remaining mountain gorillas, within easy proximity of Singita's Rwandan lodges

A rainforest sanctuary

Centred around the landscape and the unique wildlife, Singita Volcanoes National Park’s lodge and villa are inspired by their setting in this remarkable and fragile landscape. Taking their cue from Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage, as well as the conservation of the majestic mountain gorilla, they provide a sanctuary-like base from which to appreciate life-changing encounters with the gorillas – nurturing spaces that echo the meaningful encounters you will have here that offer room for reflection. A dedicated Conservation Room, Gear Room, on-site nursery and vegetable garden providing fresh produce for the lodge’s farm-to-table food journey are further reminders of your connection to the land during your stay, and reinforce the notion of the importance of travel with purpose and impact.

A dedicated Conservation Room serves to educate guests about the landscape and mountain gorillas the lodge and villa have been inspired by

Inspired by the landscape

A model of sustainable tourism, Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House have been designed to honour the landscape, people and delicate ecosystem of their setting – touching lightly on the land while contributing to conservation ensures that our presence here is meaningful for guests as well as those whose land we share. Ecotourism in Rwanda relies greatly on gorilla trekking, an activity which ethically and sustainably channels revenue back into the preservation of this species (efforts which have been largely successful in increasing their numbers over the last 30 years), as well as contributes to local community upliftment, empowerment and education. Singita’s proximity to the natural habitat of these gentle giants – we share a 1.2km border with the Park and our property is the closest to the starting point of the trek in this park – makes trekking a seamless and integral part of a stay here.  

Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House have been designed with utmost respect and reverence for their setting, and continuously connect you to your surroundings

An immersive experience

The immersive experience of hiking through the dense, lush rainforest in search of the gorilla families is a journey in itself. Lead by expert rangers, guests will navigate the beautiful rainforest terrain in search of habituated gorilla family groups. Being on foot and at a close – but respectful and safe – proximity to these majestic beings is undoubtedly one of the most meaningful wildlife encounters you can have. 

Trekking in the Rwandan rainforest to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is one of the most remarkable wildlife encounters you can experience

Trekking in the jungly landscape does require a certain amount of physical dexterity – and while not extreme, is something to bear in mind when choosing a gorilla trekking experience. Our travel advisors can give you valuable insight into the level of fitness needed, while on the day the rangers leading the trek will brief you thoroughly on all the regulations and rules in place – designed for the wellbeing of the gorillas as well as guests. 

Find out more about this once-in-a-lifetime encounter and a stay at Singita’s Rwandan haven here >

By Julia Freemantle

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