How Bisate Eco-Tourism Lodge Plans to Save Gorillas
Bisate Lodge is popular as the most attractive gorilla “education center” in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. It is situated in the natural amphitheatre of an ancient Volcano crater. Bisate denotes “pieces” in Kinyarwanda, relating to how the cone was previously intact but got worn out by natural erosion. Its area offers the most stunning views of Mount Bisoke peaks, Karisimbi and Mikeno that all come with Afro alpine forests of Volcanoes National Park. This glamorous ecotourism lodge provides visitors with not only the most comfortable en-suite rooms for overnight stays but also unforgettable Ape experiences of life time. For primate enthusiasts, spending a night in this incredible luxury facility can reward you with spectacular views of the critically endangered species in their natural habitat, just as you relax in its remarkable forest villas. This outstanding facility was built in such way that it preserves the environment while also depicting the authentic Rwanda culture. It is easily accessible by road, a short distance from the Park’s headquarters where a life changing adventure-gorilla trekking usually starts from. Bisate is beyond a lodge! Its vision of reforestation and restoration denotes that every visitor shall contribute towards wildlife conservation and local community participation. This will act as the best model of sustainable conservation tourism which will also ensure exceptionally positive and far reaching effect on the rare fauna and flora as well as their habitats.
Years of poaching and encroachment into gorillas refuge throughout Rwanda’s genocide in 1994 has claimed their lives in the wild that today they have only remained 900 in the entire world. These rare species share about 98% of their DNA with humans, making them to be more susceptible to human infectious diseases than any wildlife creatures. With endless severe threats, the survival of these primates in Africa’s jungles would be history today but thanks to Dian Fossey’s commitments to conserve them during her research as it is reflected in the 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist.” To the management of Bisate Ecotourism Lodge, it was a wise idea to raise such amazing facility that supports the survival of these endangered species. The management therefore hopes that the lodge will serve as “center for excellence” not only for exploring the Rwanda’s most beautiful Apes (the rare mountain gorillas) but also to support the local sustainable conservation economy that helps protection of their habitats. In the long run, this will boost gorilla safaris in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park. A night in this exceptional facility is $1400.
Saving Rwanda’s image
Although Rwanda is still recovering from the 1994 horrific genocide that claimed over 800000 people, the wilderness safari management was really inspired by the Rwandan government’s drive to boost its economy through foreign investment. In 2015, government passed a new investment code planned to attract foreigners curious in transforming its tourism, energy and technology sectors at large. About $580000 was spent for buying the land and offered job opportunities to 250 local builders during Bisate’s establishment. Over 172 plots were bought by the management from farmers and as part of ecotourism venture, over 15000 trees were planted to expand the forest where the mountain gorillas move. The trees follow the Volcanoes’ natural vegetation zones; a bamboo forest at the low lying areas, together with other pioneer species which thrive fast like forest dombeya and Neoboutonia. As you head up, there are hagenia and hypericum trees and others that in a long run make up stunning forest woodland around the hillsides of the lodge. A eucalyptus woodlot has also been planted and about 12 hectares have been set apart for growing pyrethrum like cash crop to aid finance the conservation projects.
Reforestation will ensure restoration and recolonization of native biodiversity that have very limited habitats at the lower terrains of the park where farming has dominated for years. Forest rehabilitation will not only keep the roaming gorillas but also the 12 avian species endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley and golden monkeys and many others. Visitors who spend their nights in this lodge are rewarded with magical encounters at the 12 gorilla groups as they cross through Bisate’s 42 hectare grounds and the surrounding Volcanoes National Park.
Besides, culture in form of traditional architecture, craft and beliefs is also embodied into the lodge design and interiors all of which make up an overall part of visitor’s experience of authentic Rwandan. This incredible establishment stands at 2650 meters above sea level and comprises of 6 luxury forest villas whose plan has been inspired by architecture of one of Rwanda’s popular landmarks-the King’s Palace at Nyanza. Each villa is 91 square meters internally and fitted into spa space including a massage table and private observation decks overlooking the forest. They also contain a bedroom, reception space and bathroom, all warmed by a central fireplace. Its windows as well are placed to capture views of Bisoke Volcano the most active mountain which lies at the border of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In conclusion, Bisate Lodge is an ecotourism luxury establishment with exceptional services in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. It was opened in June 2017. It is made of 6 forest villages whose design depicts the cultural setting of Rwandese. As an Eco lodge, over 15000 trees have been planted and they are mainly indigenous species that will also offer refuge to the roaming mountain gorillas, birds and other primates in and around the park.