Wilderness Bisate Newsletter - October 2023


Another year almost done

The End is Nigh!


Of course, I mean the end of the year and not the end of Wilderness Bisate!


With regard to us, we are as strong as ever! We have had another month of fantastic occupancies, another month of fantastic gorilla viewing, and most importantly, another month of fantastic guests coming to stay.


It’s apparent to me after all my years in hospitality, that certain properties attract a very particular type of guest. This has never been more evident than at Bisate, where the rooms require slightly more effort to get to, the walk to the gorillas requires our guests to get out on foot and tackle difficult terrain (sometimes with a light sprinkling of rain), get dirty and really exert these solid forms that make up our bodies. With all of these things considered, the guests we host at Bisate have truly adventurous spirits. They have an itch that cannot be scratched by sitting in a Land Cruiser, they need to experience the smells of the forest and the thrill of encountering their first silverback. All of this comes together at the Emerald Bar with a top-quality glass of wine, a fantastic meal to revitalise body and spirit, and of course, a cheeky story to wrap it all up.

So while we have a beautiful lodge, our scenery is breathtaking in every sense of the word, our wine cellar is fully stocked, and our staff are always smiling, the real magic of this lodge is the type of guest who walks these hallowed halls. We are forever grateful to our lovely visitors from all corners of the globe.


So here’s to you, our guests, for making our jobs an absolute pleasure, and for sharing your enthusiasm and thirst for life with us. And to all of our future visitors, we raise a chilled and full glass to you. CHEERS!



Wilderness Bisate and the Tuzamurane Co-operative – Empowering Bisate village


The Tuzamurane Co-operative was established in 2016 when Wilderness approached the Bisate villagers to purchase parcels of their agricultural land, with the objective of building its now ground-breaking eco-lodge. The co-operative currently consists of 241 households from Bisate village. 


Since its formation, the Tuzamurane Co-operative has been supplying goods to Bisate – from labour for the lodge’s construction (ongoing to this day) to freshly harvested potatoes and carrots! Many of Bisate’s permanent team members are connected to the Tuzamurane Co-operative – an enduring relationship that has greatly improved the lives of the people in the village around Wilderness Bisate.


The successful reforestation project at Bisate is the result of a joint effort between the lodge and Tuzamurane Co-operative – during each planting season many casual workers are employed to assist with planting and taking care of the indigenous trees in the Bisate nursery. By now we can say that most Tuzamurane members are skilled agronomists!


Through our community committee in the Bisate area and generous guest donations, we also support Tuzamurane with small-business development projects to empower the residents in the villages.



The first business we started, and are still supporting, is a large-scale agricultural and indigenous tree nursery at Bisate village. The nursery provides indigenous saplings to the national park for when the park expansion begins, and also provides agricultural trees, especially avocado saplings, as a food source for the community. Two plots of land were purchased with our financial assistance, but are registered in the name of the Tuzamurane Co-operative. We also supported the storage space for this nursery, water connection, all tools, a toilet for the workers and all necessities to start up the business. The nursery now runs independently and they successfully sell avocado trees each year. The total value of Wilderness support, through donations from our guests, is USD 17,570.00


The second small Tuzamurane Co-operative business we support is a start-up for the production of organic fertiliser and compost to supply farmers in the area. This project has been running since March 2023, and impressively, has now trained most farmers in the area on the usage and production of organic fertiliser. The total support provided by guests who visited Bisate is valued at USD 8,000.00. The organic fertiliser is a combination of raw materials like leaves and grasses, maize and bean crop waste, clay, cow dung, ash from the kitchens, and charcoal residue. To date, there is a great quantity of around 25 tonnes of manure ready to be sold, which should also ensure that this business will run without the need for additional support.


From 17 to 20 October 2023, the General Assembly of the co-operative trained all 241 active members in the production of organic fertiliser. All participants also went home after the training with avocado saplings to plant at their homes. This training will ensure that all members can supply their own fertiliser for their farms, and can make some additional income by selling the fertiliser to others. We hope to reduce the use of chemical fertiliser in the area, which harms the soil and over time affects the productivity of the land.



Through the Tuzamurane Co-operative and the Bisate community committee, people in the area and Wilderness Bisate are happily intertwined and work together on a daily basis. Together we hope for many more successful years, so that we can continue to empower the residents of our surrounding villages!


Bisate Family


This month we had our Wilderness 40th birthday celebrations!  A big Happy Happy to us!


We decided that, because of the occasion, we would include our annual month-end get-together and make it one big party. Of course, in Rwanda, it’s not a party without exceptional food, lively music and a bit of light-hearted competition to foster bonds and keep the blood flowing!


This party did not disappoint. We started off the celebrations with some extremely fun and entertaining team-building exercises, which included tug of war, pipe dream, and an especially interesting game where a sheet of plastic is placed on the ground and six team members need to place their feet completely on the plastic sheet for 10 seconds. Sounds easy right? Well, what I didn’t tell you is that after each round, the plastic sheet gets folded in half! What resulted was a spectacle to behold! By the end, we had teams challenging professional trapeze artists with the way we were jumping on each other’s shoulders and twisting our bodies. A very fun and worthwhile endeavour all around.



The next step was of course to eat, and our chefs did not disappoint. For a change, we all had a taste of what it feels like to be a guest, with Rwandan flavours presented in a very fancy way to delight our tastebuds! The star of the show was a local favourite, goat skewers and Bisate potatoes, grilled over open coals and served with a spicy sauce to keep us warm in our mountain home.


The event culminated with a presentation from our fearless leader, Rob Bass, who gave a beautiful presentation on Wilderness over the years, and what we are up to next. All I can tell you is keep your eyes on the stars, because that is exactly where we are going!


Once again, happy 40th birthday to our wonderful Wilderness – and we look forward to 40 more, and another 40 after that!

“From the moment we arrived, you all made us feel so welcome and special. Along with the amazing scenery and thrill of seeing the gorillas – each and every one of your staff helped in making our stay so memorable.”

– J & C

Wilderness Bisate Rwanda Camp Aerial View

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.