For an unparalleled safari experience in Rwanda, these exquisite safari lodges epitomize the pinnacle of luxury.
Our team of experts has carefully selected these luxury safari lodges, offering an unparalleled experience for those seeking an exceptional adventure in Rwanda.
An adventure vacation to Rwanda unveils a world where untamed beauty converges with unmatched luxury. Home to the iconic mountain gorillas, diverse wildlife encounters, and the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda stands as a beacon for extraordinary Africa safari adventures. Amidst this captivating tapestry of nature and culture, Rwanda’s selection of premier luxury safari lodges stand as a testament to opulence seamlessly integrated with exploration, offering travelers an unparalleled fusion of indulgence and wilderness immersion.
In the center of this captivating narrative lies Kigali, Rwanda’s dynamic capital city. Framed by rolling hills and verdant landscapes, Kigali seamlessly blends historical roots with a swiftly evolving modernity. Beyond the urban bustle, Kigali’s tranquil parks and tree-lined streets provide pockets of serenity, while its vibrant nightlife offers a spectrum of culinary delights and cultural experiences. Amidst this urban canvas, luxury lodges offer oases of tranquility in Rwanda, allowing guests to experience the city’s dynamic pulse while wrapped in comfort.
Venturing beyond city limits, Volcanoes National Park takes center stage, sheltering a significant portion of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. This home of Africa’s gorillas hides Rwanda’s most exclusive accommodations, such as Singita Kwitonda Lodge and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. These retreats seamlessly blend luxurious living with unrivaled access to the park’s awe-inspiring landscapes, redefining the intersection of lavishness and untamed beauty.
If your journey involves encountering the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park and beyond, consider one of these prestigious lodges in Rwanda as your hub, starting your luxury adventure in Kigali.
Kigali, the captivating capital of Rwanda, is a city that seamlessly marries the past with the future, creating a unique tapestry of culture, innovation, and resilience. Set against the backdrop of rolling hills and verdant landscapes, Kigali exudes an undeniable charm that draws travelers into its embrace.
Yet, amidst this urban dynamism, Kigali offers tranquil respites. Its lush parks and tree-lined boulevards provide a serene escape from the urban hustle. And as the sun dips below the horizon, Kigali’s vibrant nightlife comes alive, offering a spectrum of culinary delights, cultural performances, and entertainment that showcases the city’s cosmopolitan flair. These luxurious hotels are places you’ll find those little spaces of tranquility.
Ideal for: Culture and history enthusiasts
Notable: The Retreat collaborates with Heaven Tours, offering immersive cultural experiences, including Rwandan fashion tours and visits to the poignant Nyamata Church Genocide Site. (Staying for two nights at the Retreat includes a half-day cultural tour.)
Alissa Ruxin, originally from San Francisco, shifted her career trajectory from healthcare to hospitality when she and her husband, Josh, arrived in Rwanda in 2006. In 2008, she inaugurated the Heaven Boutique Hotel and Heaven Restaurant, aiming to boost hospitality training and employment as Rwanda evolved into a global tourism destination. Two years ago, she unveiled the Retreat, which swiftly became one of the city’s most sought-after boutique hotels, especially after introducing eight expansive villa suites in January 2021. These suites, each encompassing a vast 1,300 square feet, boast oak floors, high ceilings, organic material mattresses, and outdoor showers. They also feature private saltwater plunge pools heated by solar energy. Enhancements to the property include an expanded gym, a three-room spa, and an outdoor fitness deck hosting weekly yoga sessions.
Lavish Lodges in Volcanoes National Park
Situated in the northwestern region of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park shelters over a third of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas, while also hosting some of the country’s most opulent accommodations.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Perfect for: Families and groups seeking to stay together
Highlight: The exclusive-use Kataza House villa with four rooms, complemented by a personal chef, butler, and experiences manager.
Imagine cinematic vistas of Volcanoes National Park from your private villa, accompanied by a heated plunge pool and a crackling fire. Singita, renowned as one of the finest luxury safari lodges in Rwanda, chose an unrivaled location for its latest retreat. (It’s the closest accommodation to the national park.) The standalone rooms, eight in total, boast soaring ceilings and large windows framing the Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhabura volcanoes. Drawing inspiration from the local landscape, these rooms feature volcanic stone walls and hand-fired terra-cotta bricks, harmonizing with earthy tones of gray and green.
This aesthetic extends to the light-flooded indoor-outdoor dining area, where Chef Alice Wilhelm conjures indulgent yet health-conscious dishes (think Musanze mushroom risotto and ginger caramel chicken with avocado). Her husband, sommelier and F&B manager James Burnham-King, expertly pairs her creations with the finest African wines. As you gaze over the 178 acres of land neighboring the park, occasionally spotting a buffalo or even a gorilla, be assured that the terrain is undergoing rehabilitation through a replanting initiative, expanding gorilla habitat around the park.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
Amidst the serene eucalyptus-shaded environs of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest lies a calming haven amid the vibrant energy of Musanze, the neighboring city. This latest luxury lodge, nestled near Volcanoes National Park, sprawls across a lush 35-acre expanse. Twenty-one guest rooms, available as one- or two-bedroom suites, are scattered along meandering landscaped pathways. Interiors showcase natural wood and Rwandan Imigongo geometric designs, while spacious larchwood terraces invite leisurely moments on basket porch swings.
Between treks to Volcanoes National Park for mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, guests can indulge in various Rwandan experiences. Consider a tasting of locally grown, female-owned Question Coffee or a visit to the restored Jack Hanna House, the former dwelling of the renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium zoologist. This haven affords opportunities for card games on Hanna’s veranda or private dinners featuring local Rwandan cuisine.
Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge
Perfect for: Adventurous travelers who seek a room with a panoramic view
Highlight: The forthcoming Bisate Day Lounge, on an adjacent hillside, permits early check-ins for showers, wardrobe changes, light meals, or massages during transit. Expected to debut in early 2021.
A volcanic stone staircase winds its way to the hillside expanse of Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge. Despite the 320-foot ascent, the reward justifies every step: Six distinct villas overlook three volcanoes within Volcanoes National Park. Bisate’s design, resembling the thatched exteriors of a Rwandan king’s palace, combines modernity with sustainability—its thatching comprises recycled plastic. Rwandan designer Teta Isibo of Inzuki Designs, in collaboration with Cape Town’s Artichoke Design, has infused locally inspired interiors with geometric Imigongo motifs. Rwandan textiles embellish pillows and upholstery, while cowhide rugs adorn wooden floors. Volcanic stone showers and a wood-burning fireplace amplify the coziness of each room.
Situated on a 106-acre former agricultural plot adjacent to the national park, the lodge has championed a multi-year indigenous tree-replanting initiative. This project has rejuvenated the surroundings, allowing species like the golden monkey, tree hyrax, and side-striped jackals to thrive once again. Guests partake in conservation by receiving a sapling during their stay, taking home its GPS coordinates to track its growth.
Singita Kataza House
Kataza House is the latest of Sigita’s luxury lodges in Rwanda that we can’t stop admiring. Step into the exquisite world of Kataza House, and you’ll be greeted by the warm aroma of wood crackling in the fireplace and the gentle touch of warm water in the plunge pools. The large timber-framed windows frame the breathtaking scenery, allowing the sights of Volcanoes National Park to become an integral part of your stay. Imagine cozying up by the indoor fireplace, enveloped in the comforting scent of burning wood, or taking a leisurely dip in the heated plunge pool while the surrounding natural beauty embraces you.
Nestled right on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, Kataza House offers more than just luxurious accommodation; it provides a gateway to unforgettable experiences. Beyond its elegant facade, you’ll find a world of personalized adventure waiting for you. Picture yourself stepping out onto nearby hiking trails, surrounded by the vibrant flora and fauna of the park. As day turns to night, the symphony of wildlife sounds creates an enchanting ambiance, making your stay a true immersion into the heart of nature.
At Kataza House, luxury goes beyond amenities – it’s about crafting a tailored experience just for you. The concierge service ensures your every need is met, while the customizable dining options accommodate even the most specific dietary requirements. As you relax in the massage treatment room or gather around the fire pit under the starlit sky, you’ll realize that every aspect of your stay has been carefully curated to offer you comfort, connection, and a profound sense of belonging in this warm, welcoming country.
Luxury Safari Lodges in Nyungwe Forest National Park
In the elevated southwest corner of Rwanda, a venerable mountain rainforest unfolds—a destination brimming with excitement and adventure.
One&Only Nyungwe House
Perfect for: Seasoned safari enthusiasts seeking unexplored ecosystems
Highlight: An hour-long helicopter ride from the lodge’s private helipad affords guests a sweeping aerial perspective of the jungle.
Debuting in late 2018 on a working tea plantation adjacent to the national park, One&Only Nyungwe House stands as the sole luxury retreat in this less-trodden segment of Rwanda. However, this could change with the involvement of African Parks, a Johannesburg-based conservation NGO collaborating with the government to enhance wildlife conservation and promote tourism in the Nyungwe Forest. Nyungwe, which supplies 70 percent of Rwanda’s water, offers a captivating array of mahogany and ebony trees, swamps, waterfalls, and 13 primate species, including colobus monkeys and gray-cheeked mangabeys. The area is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, harboring close to 300 bird species, from great blue turacos to giant hornbills.
Spread across 22 one- and two-bedroom suites, the expansive One&Only Nyungwe House offers a complete destination experience. Geometric Imigongo designs grace interior walls, adorned with a striking black-white-red palette. Larchwood terraces, accented by basket porch swings, provide serene views of the jungle through expansive floor-to-ceiling windows.
Akagera National Park’s Luxury Safari Lodges
Located a 3.5-hour drive from Kigali, Akagera National Park spans a modest 433 square miles but boasts an extraordinary turnaround story. After enduring heavy poaching and exploitation in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the park now welcomes 36,000 visitors annually, half of whom are Rwandan nationals. This revival is attributed to African Parks, which, in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board, has significantly enhanced biodiversity, reintroducing Africa’s iconic “Big Five” species, including the endangered eastern black rhinoceros.
Wilderness Safaris Magashi Camp
Perfect for: Guests seeking an up-close encounter with successful wildlife conservation
Insider tip: With rates starting at $540 (all-inclusive) during the “green” season, Magashi offers excellent value for exclusive luxury in East Africa.
Introduced in 2019, Wilderness Safaris Magashi Camp occupies the park’s wildlife-rich northeastern corner, embracing the picturesque Lake Rwanyakazinga. As the sole luxury lodging in this region, Magashi boasts a privately managed area of over 16,000 acres, allowing guests exclusivity in their explorations. This private concession permits off-road adventures, walking safaris, and evening drives—activities prohibited within the park. Six spacious tents, fully powered by solar energy, feature sisal rugs over natural wood floors and stone-clad bathrooms embellished with traditional basket weavings. Each tent enjoys a private deck overlooking the lake, teeming with hippos and crocodiles. While not on game drives or cruising the retreat’s double-decker swamp cruiser, guests can unwind by the lake-facing swimming pool, immersed in the enchanting surroundings.