High-end tourism has found a new location — Rwanda.
With 12 award-winning lodges and camps across South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, Singita broke ground on August 31 for their latest project — Singita Kwitonda, on 188 acres at the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Singita was established in 1993 in South Africa, and provides high-end safari escapes in Africa.
The new luxury lodge is named after Kwitonda, a silverback gorilla who died five years ago.
Singita partially funds the protection and preservation of land and wildlife populations, and helps create economic independence within local communities surrounding the reserves.
Planned to open in August 2019, Singita Kwitonda will offer eight suites and a villa with magnificent views of the Sabinyo and Gahinga volcanoes. The project will cost about $16 million, and is expected to provide direct employment to 70 people.
At the launch, Graham Ledger, the managing director of Grumeti Reserve which is part of the Singita chain, said, “It’s been a dream of ours to be involved in Rwanda’s tourism.” He said the government had invited them to invest in the country.
The Dubai-based luxury resort company, One&Only has two new properties in Rwanda, One&Only Nyungwe House and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest.
Nyungwe opened in July, and Gorilla’s Nest will open next year. General Manager Justin Stevens was one of the namers of baby gorillas at the Kwita Izina ceremony held in Kinigi, Rwanda on September 1.
Bisate Lodge is located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone. The area has dramatic views of the peaks of the volcanoes Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno of nearby Volcanoes National Park. It has six en-suite rooms.
“When we made the decision to invest in Rwanda, the last thing we intended to do was just to build a boutique lodge and sell gorilla treks,” said Wilderness Safari’s COO Grant Woodrow in a statement during Bisate’s opening last month. The sanctuary will have around six $1,400-a-night lodges.
Wilderness Safari said it employed 250 local builders during Bisate’s construction.