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Bisate Lodge Showcases Contemporary Rwandan Design

Blending into the steep hillside of an eroded volcanic cone that overlooks the Bisoke Volcano is the luxury eco-lodge Bisate. The word ‘bisate’ means ‘pieces’ in Kinyarwanda, and was chosen to reflect how the volcanic cone in which the lodge sits was once whole but is now worn away by natural erosion.

Comprising six luxurious forest villas and central dining and bar area Bisate is the latest edition to the Wilderness Safari portfolio, a company that upholds the principles of sustainable ecotourism. Nowhere is this more important than at Bisate, which is next to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park an area famed for its mountain gorillas making it a major draw for visitors who seek to catch a glimpse of the endangered species.

With this in mind the developers were keen to ensure minimal environmental impact during the build. The architectural design is inspired by the beehive shaped thatched structures of the King’s Palace at Nyanza, home to Rwanda’s last kings and now an important cultural and tourist site for the country. Making use of traditional Rwandan building techniques materials such ad concrete, steel, timber, synthetic thatch, volcanic rock, bamboo, reed, and papyrus were used in the construction.

Both the exterior and interior are a celebration of the past and present of Rwanda’s design and rich cultural heritage. In the interior Wilderness Safari called upon Rwandan designer Teta Isibo, founder of jewellery and fashion accessory label Inzuki, to help source locally produced interior decor products and furnishings that reflect Rwandan design. Teta also had a hand in designing the staff uniforms. The company was keen to draw inspiration from everyday Rwandan life elements if which can be seen in the inclusion of cow hides that represent the way of life of local villagers and a milk jug motif called Ibyansi which is used on several elements.

Used in furnishings, recycled glass, and decorative panels rich emerald green is a noticeable colour chosen to reflect the lush green surrounds of the mountain side. Another distinctive feature seen throughout the interior are the references to Imigongo art, striking black and white panels accentuated with deep red. The graphic art form is said to date back to the 19th century when is was devised by royalty to decorate the walls of homes.

The result is a chic contemporary lodge that doesn’t sacrifice sustainability for style.

– Tapiwa

Additional details:
For further information about Bisate Lodge visit:

[Image credits: The images shown belong to Wilderness Safaris; and main and bottom, Tom Parker for Conde Nast Traveller. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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