The dense cloud forests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, which lies along the Virunga Mountains and its chain of ancient volcanoes, is a place of exceptional natural beauty and great ecological significance. This relatively small protected area is home to one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas; one of the most critically endangered animal species in the world. It is here, right on the edge of the Park, that Singita is honoured to be opening Kwitonda Lodge in late 2019 in support of their conservation.
Established in 1925 in a bid to protect the gorillas from poachers, Volcanoes National Park was the first national park in Africa. The Park and its inhabitants have since endured years of war, hunting, habitat destruction and disease; threats so severe that it was once thought the species might be extinct by the end of the twentieth century. Despite decades of challenges to the mountain gorillas’ existence, conservation efforts have found success – the population has increased from 620 in 1989 to around 880 today. They remain a highly threatened species however and their survival is dependent on the commitment of companies like Singita who are dedicated to their conservation and that of their habitat.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge will be set within a landscape of wetlands and lush meadows, in a breathtaking, isolated but contained 178-acre piece of land bordering the Volcanoes National Park. Sustainability is the core focus of the lodge’s construction and will put Singita Kwitonda at the cutting edge of a new generation of environmentally conscious hospitality. There will be eight suites and a four-bedroom villa linked by volcanic rock pathways to a central lodge, with each building treading lightly on the land and showcasing locally sourced and produced materials wherever possible.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge will be built to embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to the lodge’s namesake – Kwitonda, “the humble one” – a great silverback gorilla who was known for his placid and gentle nature and whose legend lives on in Rwanda. The lodge will provide a contemplative, nurturing space in which to appreciate the transformative, often spiritual, experience of coming face to face with the forest’s gentle giants. The opening of Singita Kwitonda Lodge puts gorilla trekking within easy reach, and with our six lodges and camps in the Serengeti just a few hours away, our guests have access to the ultimate African adventure that combines life-changing wildlife encounters with the classic safari experience.
Bookings for Singita Kwitonda Lodge are now open. Please get in touch with us to make an enquiry or visit our dedicated Rwanda microsite for more information.