February, 10 2017
Bucket List
Rwanda, Africa
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

-Susan Sontag

Each week, I’ll highlight a location, hotel, or activity that’s on my bucket list.  Can’t wait to cross them off!

One of my favorite things about traveling is the opportunity to meet new people and learn about their background, experiences, stories, and recommendations. While eating at a communal dinner table at a tented camp in Tanzania, I met a man who raved about his experience hiking with silverback gorillas in Rwanda. His passion in describing the human-like behavior of these animals intrigued me and I immediately stored it in my Bucket List that I’m constantly updating in my head.

The other day, I read about the much-anticipated Bisate Lodge that’s set to open this summer so I instantly moved it to the top of my list.

It’s no secret – I love a five star hotel and I really really love a brand new five star hotel. And let’s be honest, after a few hours of trekking through the mountains to hang with gorillas, luxury accommodations with a gorgeous bathtub overlooking the Bisoe, Karisimbi, and Mikeno Volcanoes sounds pretty amazing (and necessary).

Enter the Bisate Lodge, which will offer the most luxurious way to see the endangered mountain gorillas. It made the list of Travel and Leisure’s hotel openings to watch for in 2017.

With only 6 villas total, expect lavish accommodations and service, with a focus on community and conservation projects.

Outside the gorilla treks, there are other things to do and see such as find other primates like golden monkeys, see lava tunnels, engage and learn about the local community, and visit nearby lakes. But, mountain gorilla treks are the main reason to go as you can only see this endangered species in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo.

Best time to visit is during dry season from June to September, but note that it’s a rainforest environment so it can be misty even in dry season. The Kigali International Airport is a 2.5 hour drive.

I hear that you’re able to get pretty close and personal with the last member of the ape family in their natural habitat, but not more than 7 meters, and that’s not because the gorillas will attack you. It’s to protect them. They’re actually susceptible to contagious human diseases… so don’t plan on sharing bamboo sticks for lunch.

Stop monkeying around and book this trip.

What’s on your bucket list?

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