At a Glance
Many travel to Volcanoes National Park for one purpose: to see the endangered mountain gorillas, an experience so unforgettable that it might seem impossible for any property to match it. Enter Singita Kwitonda, an awe-inspiring oasis in a magical location that opened in 2019. The property’s eight suites, including a two-bedroom suite for families, as well as its private four-bedroom villa, Kataza House, feature African furniture and décor while also incorporating local materials like volcanic rock, brick and bamboo. The overall result is a beautiful property with a great sense of place. The staff is welcoming and the service, exceptional, from the guided gorilla treks to the in-room wellness treatments. And the property’s incredible location—it borders Volcanoes National Park—means that views from each suite’s private patio and plunge pool span the spectacular plains and surrounding volcanoes.
**The Standout: **Sweeping views of three volcanoes from the suites Don't Miss: Trekking to see the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys
Located 2,400 meters above sea level and surrounded by five volcanoes, Singita Kwitonda is a property that perfectly blends with nature and offers guests luxury accommodation and warm, attentive service. The materials—from the brick to the bamboo to the baskets—are all local, and the furniture is primarily South African paying tribute to the brand. Meanwhile, natural elements from the national park—rock, earth, grass, molten lava, fire, and thick jungle foliage—all inspired the interior color palette, including the art and sculpture, such as gorilla paintings and large scale “basket” chairs, rugs and lighting.
There are eight guest suites on property and one family, two-bedroom suite, plus one four-bedroom villa—Kataza House—that comes with its own spa and gym. Kwitonda itself means "humble," though the lodge's amenities are exceptionally luxurious. No detail has gone unnoticed by the Singita team: Expect massage tables in the bathroom and dreamy outdoor showers, as well as private plunge pools (with goggles and sunscreen on standby) in each villa, Dyson blow dryers (a treat in the bush), bespoke wine tastings and all the trekking gear you could possibly need to see the gorillas. Waking up each morning, guests will be able to take in the volcano views through floor-to-ceiling windows in their villa. Occasionally, buffalo and elephant make appearances as well, and each villa comes with a set of binoculars so you can bird and animal watch from your private deck with a fireplace.
Many come to Volcanoes National Park with one purpose: to see the gorillas. Seeing them is an amazing, soul-enriching experience, but guests should also take advantage of the myriad other activities offered on- and off-property. Tree planting, nature walks, e-biking, wine tastings are all available at Kwitonda. And just beyond the lodge, golden monkey trekking makes for an appealing second activity for wildlife lovers. Village visits (in non-Covid times), as well as hikes and visits to Mukungwa River for a canoe or kayaking trip (30-45 minutes from Kwitonda) are also available.
Who Should Stay
Kwitonda is a great choice for couples and families (with kids over 15) looking for intimacy and plush accommodation near Rwanda's best gorilla trekking. There is no gym at Kwitonda, only at Kataza (if the villa is unoccupied, Kwitonda guests may request to use its fitness room). If you are looking for a large, resort-feel, One & Only Gorilla’s Nest would be the better choice.
Written by Kathryn Nathanson