September 2017 – Wilderness Safaris’ newly launched Bisate Lodge in Rwanda has won the coveted PURE Award in the Mindful Design category, announced at an exclusive ceremony held during the PURE Life Experiences travel trade show in Marrakesh on 12 September 2017.
“We are honoured to receive such esteemed recognition from PURE and our valued network of travel trade partners who play a vital role in the work that we do”, said Wilderness Safaris Chief Sales Officer, Dave Bennett. “Launching Bisate in June this year was a momentous occasion for us, one that began over eight years ago when we contemplated how our ecotourism model could contribute to the conservation of the Virunga Massif ecosystem and an iconic endangered species like the mountain gorilla”.
The overall design concept for Bisate is based on the principle that ‘purpose is the new luxury’, with the vision being to create a world-class ecotourism venture that will make a far-reaching positive impact on more than ‘just’ the Critically Endangered mountain gorilla. Bisate not only offers guests something completely unique to the Rwandan landscape but a lodge that is steeped in local design, culture and traditional architecture.
“To have won the Mindful Design category is testament to the collaborative effort involved in the Bisate project and the launch of this truly world-class ecotourism offering. Obviously there was a principal architect – in this case Garreth Kriel from Nicholas Plewman and Associates – who pulled the project together, with Designers Caline Williams-Wynn and Nilfah Adams from Artichoke, but over many months there was meaningful input from a whole suite of people ranging from additional architects and interior designers, to the National Ethnographic Museum, local textile experts, the full gamut of Wilderness Safaris and our local Rwandan partners”, added Bennett.
The whole Bisate experience is based around Wilderness Safaris 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. Its pioneering reforestation project, which has already seen over 15 000 indigenous trees planted to date, community engagement, cultural appropriateness and exposure, eco-friendly operational systems and more will take guests beyond the ‘gorilla express’ and enrich their experience in this inspiring country.
Now in its fifth year, the PURE Awards form part of the annual PURE Life Experiences travel trade event in Morocco, celebrating excellence in the field of high-end experiential travel. After the judging panel selected a shortlist of finalists for seven categories, PURE attendees voted for the most deserving initiative in each one. The Mindful Design category focuses on “high-end design that contributes to the emotional experience of the traveller, using exquisite aesthetics and creative ingenuity to offer a new perspective and to showcase the richness of its locality”.
Click here to view a short video on Bisate.