Bisate Lodge - August 2017

Aug 1, 2017 Bisate Lodge
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Let’s go back to Monday the 26th of June when Bisate received the very first guests. Since this moment the Bisate team has been going on an inspiring, fully-committed roller coaster ride!

Filled with excitement and all of us in our brand new uniforms we waited for our first guests to drive in via the Bisate road. Although we had had little sleep before the opening, we could not have felt more ready and energetic. We greeted the guests with a song of welcome, and they immediately felt at home.

Bisate Lodge is all we could have hoped for and more. Beautiful design, happy guests, a fantastic team, breathtaking views and awesome surrounding community as our neighbours.

Since the arrival of these first guests, many more have followed and still each time the same excitement is there. Every Bisate employee is proud to show the guests around and to make them feel special.

The weather
August had beautiful afternoons but also chilly and cloudy days with a little bit of rain. In Rwanda we experience two rainy seasons, making it all so lush and green. One in February up to April and the second one starting in September up to November. Temperatures during the day ranged from 8 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius.

Joseph and Maria
If you have been following the news from Bisate over the last months, you know about Joseph and Maria. Together they take care of the tailoring jobs for Bisate: Little gift bags, shopping bags but also general sewing jobs for Bisate are all done in the community by the two of them. Aline, the Bisate guide, has been taking guests on a community tour where the opportunity often arises to visit Maria. They often find Joseph there too, both of them sitting outside and busy on the sewing machines!

When Maria started with the sewing lessons that Joseph volunteered to give her, Maria had no possessions or income. Now Maria is not only receiving jobs from Bisate but also from her neighbours and surrounding community members. In August, Maria had enough money to buy a small plot of land where she is now growing her first crops. From her income, she also purchased some materials to make a bed, the very first piece of furniture in her little house!

Meet a Bisate singer
In Rwanda, singing forms a big part of the culture and upbringing. Many of our team have beautiful voices and they love to sing! One voice is very special though: Alice Umuhoza our waitress, is mesmerising our guests with her beautiful singing – for many this is a highlight of their stay! Alice sings for our guests at our traditional Dusabane dinner and for birthdays, but also on request as many guests ask her to sing for them.

Gorilla Update
Of course, one of the main activities for our guests is to go on a gorilla trekking experience – which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and not comparable to any other wildlife encounter.

Many babies were born in the different gorilla families over the last period (in total 19!) and for many of the visitors these cute little black balls of fluff were so special to see. What is also wonderful is to see how the rest of the gorilla family interacts with the little ones.

Animals and birds at Bisate
Every day we see at least one if not more Rwenzori bearded chameleons around the lodge. Although at first the chameleons were not the favourites of some of our employees, now all believe that the chameleons are bringing us good luck!

Two golden monkeys are being seen on a regular basis on the Bisate property. When going on the nature walk to the top of Bisate hill and going around the crater you have a good chance of seeing them. Our resident Egyptian mongoose family is becoming more relaxed. They love foraging around in the newly-planted bamboo area.

During the build we never realised how many birds we have on the property – but when the construction noise stopped, it felt as if all birds started to sing at once! African paradise flycatcher, different types of sunbirds and lots of yellow white-eyes can be seen just from the deck of the main area.

Almost all our guests planted a tree during their stay at Bisate. Since the start of the reforestation we have planted around 15 200 indigenous trees.

Heritage Day
On the 25th of August we celebrated the very first Wilderness Heritage Day at Bisate. We celebrated this special day with all guests by creating a Dusabane Dinner – a traditional communal dinner. Only local ingredients fresh from the surrounding fields were used to for all the dishes. The staff served the dinner whilst singing Rwandan songs. Our guests and the Bisate team all loved it!

Guest comments
John & Bobbin Kreider – USA

“Bisate is the perfect combination: Fantastic service, great food, incredible views, gorillas, and it’s in Africa!!”

Amber Pickens & Jamison Taylor – USA (resident in Afghanistan)

“We loved Bisate!!! The staff were so kind, we hate to leave but will keep special memories from Bisate and the gorillas with us always.”

Richard Bracch & Josie King – UK

“Bisate exceeds all expectations! A great end to our trip!”

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