There is an inherent majesty to traveling in Africa—the legacy of the land and its brilliant endless skies, the cultural roots and creative energy of the people, and the powerful folklore woven through it all. You can experience this epic adventure in Cuvée style at Singita Kwitonda Lodge (featured on Travel + Leisure ‘It List’), with eight contemporary suites that look out onto a range of ancient volcanoes rising out of the mist, or its neighboring Kataza House, an exclusive use, four-bedroom villa, connected by volcanic rock pathways to the central lodge. Both are situated on 178 acres at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, the oldest national park in Africa and location for the film “Gorillas in the Mist,” based on the autobiography of Dian Fossey, the primatologist and conservationist who lived on this land to study the physiology and behavior of its mountain gorillas.
Surrounded by unforgettable views of Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and high-altitude cloud forests, these luxuriously modern African style accommodations were designed to bring you close to nature and all the serenity and beauty this unparalleled landscape offers. Rich in amenities and ambiance with free-flowing indoor and outdoor areas, here is your chance to experience true environmentally conscious luxury in the heart of Africa.
In this place of great ecological significance, Singita is part of the reforestation program to rehabilitate the land around the lodgings, including an onsite nursery for indigenous plants, many purchased from neighboring communities. Working to restore and maintain the biological integrity of the land in a sustainable manner is fulfilling Singita’s pledge to practice stewardship by helping to preserve Africa’s precious wilderness areas for future generations.
Because one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in Volcanoes National Park’s high-altitude cloud forests, Singita is dedicated to their conservation and that of their small, protected habitat. A guided gorilla trek will bring you face-to-face with one of the most critically endangered animal species, an East African wildlife quest you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Following a briefing at the park headquarters, guests and guides start their hike into the dense cloud forest. Although the mountain gorilla can climb trees, they are usually found on the ground in communities of 20 or more apes, led and protected by one dominant, older adult male called a silverback, from the silver stripe they develop on their backs when they mature. Remarkably peaceable and tolerant of human visitors, gorilla troops are wanderers, moving a short distance every day, and so your journey to their natural habitat can last for several hours, with meals and other lodge activities flexible around each trek.
Africa’s Bio-Diverse Land
Apart from gorilla trekking, there is much to see and explore on guided mountain walks in this remarkably bio-diverse land. The park is also home to golden monkeys, another rare species and the only other primate that lives in the bamboo forests within the Virunga volcanic mountains. Because the golden monkeys return to the same sleeping and feeding areas for multiple days at a time, they are easier to spot than gorillas on shorter treks, during which you may also see spotted Hyena, black-fronted duiker and bushbuck antelopes, and about 178 bird species.
After nature, comes time to nurture, and you’ll find a refuge of comfort upon returning to your lodge, sustainably constructed to continue your engagement with the landscape, from the rich deep colors of African art and layered wood and stone textures to the private-heated plunge pools and in-and outdoor fireplaces. This sense of intimacy and solitude in constant connection to the vast expanse of the earth and sky will open your heart and mind to the unique spirit that is Africa.