Rwanda is a fast growing economy and tourism central to this growth. Whereas most tourists to Rwanda focus on the mountain gorillas, the government has worked tireless to diversify its major attractions. One can now go and spot the big five at Akagera National Park, bike though the famous Congo Nile Trail or track chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest. In order to catch up with the growth in the tourism industry, several hotels have sprung up outside Kigali and close to the national parks offering only luxury facilities.
We have already looked at hotels and lodges for gorilla trekking. Today we shall look at the very best luxury hotels and lodges outside Kigali that you can use while on a safari in Rwanda. These are different from the top hotels in the city Kigali;
Singita Kwitonda Lodge: This luxury lodge is named after a dominant silverback in one of the gorilla groups found at the Volcanoes National Park. It is one of the top lodges in Musanze District. The lodge is beautifully designed with nine self-contained suites and villas offering double, single and family rooms. The hotel has a section where staff members and their Manger stay ready to offer 24 hour services to guests.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest: One & Only is a resort group operating two Luxury lodges in Rwanda. They first started with a facility in Nyungwe Forest before acquiring the former Gorilla’s Nest Lodge at the Volcanoes National Park and turning it into an ultra-luxury lodge. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest at the Volcanoes National Park is surrounded by eucalyptus forest with simple but high quality luxury rooms. The hotel serves tasty African food that is grown right from the gardens nearby. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is close to the park gate and is a great place to stay if planning to spot the gorillas, golden monkeys or hiking one of the volcanoes.
Bisate Lodge: Bisate Eco-lodge is simply the best lodge in Rwanda. The lodge is built on the slopes of one of the volcanoes with amazing views of the Rwandan Volcanoes National Park. Bisate is beautifully designed and offers amazing facilities with uncompromising quality services. The food and juice is served fresh and got from the lodges own gardens. The staffs are very friendly and will do everything to ensure that guests have a memorable time while receiving the king of services for which they are known for.
Virunga Lodge: This was the best before Bisate came and changed the status quo. The lodge is owned by Volcanoes safaris and is built on a hill with amazing views of the volcanoes national park. The lodge has won international awards because of the quality services on offer. Virunga lodge offers ten luxury cottages made out of local material and decorated with beautiful fabrics and African art. While at the lounge, guests can read books about wildlife.
One&Only Nyungwe House: This lodge is located within the Gisakura tea plantation and close to the border with Burundi. Like One&Only Gorilla’s Nest at the Volcanoes National Park, this lodge is owned by One&Only resort group. It underwent renovation and reopened in 2018 to offer luxury facilities within Nyungwe National Park. One&Only Nyungwe House has fifteen rooms with balconies offering great views of the forest. It is possible to reach the hotel by helicopter or chartered flight.
Ruzizi Tented Lodge: This is arguably the best lodge in Akagera National Park. The lodge is close to the park headquarters and is managed by African Parks. It is built close to a lake with stunning views and opportunities to spot animals like hippos and primates from the forest. The tented camp provides rooms that are very comfortable but still giving a feeling of being out there in the wilderness. The tents also have hot shower and clean toilets. The intercontinental food served is tasty and fresh. Campfires are set up every evening with a lot of celebration and drinks.
Akagera Game Lodge: This lodge is the main competitor to Ruzizi Tented Lodge. It is built on a hill and with bricks instead of the tents used in Ruzizi Tented Lodge. Akagera Game lodge offers great views of the park from its elevated position on the hill. The rooms have nice wooden furniture and stone walls with televisions and internet connectivity. Other services in the hotel include a large swimming pool and conference rooms that are used by both companies and Non-profits for meetings.
Magashi Camp: This luxury lodge was built only recently (2018) by Wilderness Safaris. It overlooks the Lake Rwanyakazinga in the northeastern side of the park. Magashi offers the most luxury rooms in Akagera and is committed to wildlife conservation. The rooms consist of open tents that are decorated with African art. Magashi operates as a private reserve in Akagera National Park – Just like it does in all of the other parks where it operates in Africa. Only their guests are allowed to access their reserved area.
Lake Kivu Serena: Lake Kivu Serena is located in Gisenyi close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the best hotel in Gisenyi and offers ultra-luxury services that are typical of the Serena chain of hotels. The hotel has a large swimming pool with very spacious rooms, furnished with nice carpets, bathrooms and furniture. Guests have opportunities to go to the nearby border with Congo or stroll by the Lake shore and watch locals swim and fish. Lake Kivu Serena is perfect for guests who are planning on visiting the Democratic republic of Congo to track gorillas or climb Mount Nyiragongo.