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Wondering where to stay in Rwanda? Rwanda boasts an admirable choice of stunning hotels, lodges and safari camps. Rwanda safari accommodation offers a chance to explore one of the most amazing and fastest emerging ecotourism destinations in Africa. Rwanda is best known for gorilla trekking adventures in the forested slopes of Volcanoes National Park. Other attractions include chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest, Kigali City tour, Lake Kivu beach relaxation, authentic cultural encounters, and Big Five game viewing Akagera National Park.

A List of the best places to stay in Rwanda

  • The Retreat in Kigali
  • Heaven Boutique Hotel in Kigali
  • Kigali Serena Hotel
  • Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali
  • Hotel Chez Lando in Kigali
  • Wilderness Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park
  • Ruzizi Tented Lodge in Akagera
  • Mantis Akagera Game Lodge
  • Karenge Bush Camp in Akagera
  • Wilderness Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes National Park
  • Wilderness Sabyinyo Lodge at Volcanoes
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel at Volcanoes
  • Virunga Lodge at Volcanoes
  • Singita Kwitonda Lodge at Volcanoes
  • One & Only Gorilla’s Nest at Volcanoes
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge at Volcanoes
  • Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge at Volcanoes
  • One & Only Nyungwe House
  • Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel at Nyungwe Forest
  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
  • Forest of Hope Guesthouse in Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Recommended Hotels and Lodges in Rwanda

Please note that the accommodations below are not ranked in a specific quality order.

1. The Retreat

Where to stay in Rwanda

As collaboration between top Rwandan craftsmen and Italian architects, The Retreat is Kigali’s premier 5-star boutique hotel. In the heart of the capital, the hotel offers a tranquil refuge from one of Africa’s most exciting modern cities and a welcome relief after a long-haul flight or an exhilarating gorilla trek. Power by sunshine to lighten its environmental impact, The Retreat is not only concerned with the planet’s wellbeing but also that of guests.

There is a large saltwater swimming pool for refreshing dips while yoga, meditation and personal fitness classes are also on offer. The spa will ensure your outer being is finely tuned with massage and beauty therapies. The casual restaurant – aptly named, Heaven – serves up fresh local produce made into stunning international dishes.

2. Heaven Boutique Hotel

Where to stay in Rwanda

Heaven Boutique Hotel certainly lives up to its name, offering a delightful stay on your way to or from Rwanda national parks. It has 22 guest rooms, housed within 3 separate properties on the same street, KN 29. There is the main hotel building, The Garden Chalet and The Villa. In the main building, there are 2 options –Family Deluxe King Room and Deluxe King Room.

The Garden Chalet has King Rooms and Superior King Suites while The Villa offers Queen Rooms and Deluxe King Rooms. Villa Rooms has a spacious terrace apiece, and the family option in the main building is closest to the hotel’s playground! At Heaven Boutique Hotel, you can work up a sweat in the gym or with a game of tennis, soak in the solar-heated saltwater pool, stretch out the muscles with some yoga, indulge in a heavenly massage or explore your surroundings on a bike ride. Whichever way you prefer to relax, Heaven has you covered.

3. Kigali Serena Hotel

Where to stay in Rwanda

Nestled in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali Serena Hotel is the perfect start or end to your Rwanda safari. Its 148 rooms come in 5 categories – standard, standard disabled, deluxe, superior, and prime rooms. There are 3 types of suite – studio, executive, and presidential.

Each standard room measures at least 25 square metres and boasts a king-size bed or twin beds and en-suite facilities featuring bathtub and shower. Kigali Serena puts a strong focus on relaxation and wellness, creating an atmosphere where guests can unwind after a long-haul flight or time spent in the rainforest.

Maisha Spa offers a diverse range of treatments and massages to melt your stresses away, while a dip in the swimming pool or a delectable gourmet meal at one of the two onsite restaurants is sure to put you in an agreeable mood. And for the culture vultures, Kigali is full of sites and attractions that will titillate the mind.

4. Hôtel des Mille Collines

The name Hôtel des Mille Collines means ‘hotel of a thousand hills’, refers referring to Rwanda’s very hilly terrain. The hotel was built in 1973 and functioned as a safe haven for more than 1000 people during the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, as portrayed in the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ (2004). To this day, the film inspires a lot of visitor to stay here rather than elsewhere in Kigali city – and we think Mille Collines is a perfectly fine hotel. It is friendly with a real buzz, especially around the pool bar in the evenings. Accommodation is booked on a B&B basis.

5. Wilderness Magashi Camp

Where to stay in Rwanda

For the most exclusive bush experience in Rwanda, choose Wilderness Magashi Camp.

This intimate luxurious safari camp features just 6 spacious and stylishly decorated standing tented rooms. Each tent is set on a stilted wooden platform and has a private balcony overlooking the beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga.

What makes Wilderness Magashi Camp stand out, however, is that guests have exclusive access to a 60-square kilometer private concession that offers some of Akagera National Park’s best game viewing. Guided wildlife game drives here routinely throw up quality lion, elephant, and black rhino viewing, while boat cruises on Lake Rwanyakazinga can be rewarding for leopards, which here have the unusual habit of catching fish from the shore.

6. Karenge Bush Camp

Karenge is rustic fully-catered bush camp, perched on a ridge overlooking the wildlife-rich Kilala Plains below. It is an off-the-grid getaway for safari enthusiasts seeking privacy and solitude.

It is located in the remote north of Akagera National Park and it is completely unfenced to give guests a natural safari experience. Its canvas central area features a lounge, dining area and bar, an outdoor fire pit and a wooden deck with wonderful views over the bushveld below. 

Karenge means ‘small footprint’ in Kinyarwanda, which reflects this camp’s rustic charm and light ecological footprint.  Karenge Bush Camp is conveniently situated a short game drive from the north (exit only) gate to national park – near productive game-viewing areas. The camp has 5 tented chalets (canvas on raised wooden decks). Each tent has a private but separate outdoor bathroom and loo located a few steps from the tent.

7. Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Where to stay in Rwanda

Ruzizi is a marvelous tented camp that stands in a dense patch of lakeside woodland adjoining Lake Ihema in the far south of Akagera National Park. At Ruzizi Tented Camp, you are guaranteed to hear hippos grunting merrily in the lake at night.

The camp is also a great base for safari boat cruises and game drives in search of the Big Five and other wildlife of Akagera National Park. Its standing tents are well equipped and spaced widely along the shore to ensure maximum privacy. The area is also a great spot for bird lovers, and the breakfast terrace is perfectly positioned for watching beautiful sunrise over the lake.

8. Mantis Akagera Game Lodge

Mantis Akagera Game Lodge is the only non-tented accommodation in Akagera National Park. The lodge comprises 6 Rooms on a hilltop that offers sweeping views over Lake Ihema. Akagera Game Lodge is the oldest lodge in Rwanda. It was originally established in the 1970s.

It has experienced many ups and downs prior to being taken over by the upmarket Mantis Collection in 2017. It feels like a bit of a throwback architecturally, but the current management has renovated the decor to give rooms and public areas an appealing contemporary African feel.

Amenities include tennis courts, large manicured grounds alive with birds, a refreshing swimming pool, and a varied menu of guided activities. Akagera Game Lodge is highly recommended to first-time safari-goers who would be uncomfortable sleeping under canvas in Big 5 territory.

9. Wilderness Bisate Lodge

Where to stay in Rwanda

Wilderness Bisate is our favorite lodge near Volcanoes National Park.

The lodge features just 6 exclusive villas. The villas are spaced widely on a 43-hectare hill only 400m/1,300ft from the national park border. The artistic design of the spacious twin-domed villas represents a captivating contemporary take on the traditional architecture of Rwanda, and makes ample use of local materials such as lava stone, hand-fired bricks, wood and thatch.

The views across to the volcanic outline of nearby Mount Bisoke are superb, and a nature trail around an eroded crater rim offers great bird watching experiences.

A re-wilding project involving the planting of over 60,000 indigenous highland trees has encouraged the return of wildlife to the lodge grounds. Occasional visitors include buffalo, elephant, golden monkey and even mountain gorillas.

10. Wilderness Sabyinyo Lodge

Wilderness Sabyinyo is one of the most luxurious lodges in Rwanda.

The lodge is also notable in that it operates in collaboration with a local community association that owns the land on which it stands. Next to Volcanoes National Park, the rehabilitated grounds stand at a chilly altitude of 2,500 meters below Mount Sabyinyo, a dormant volcano whose peak forms the three-way border between Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.

Its well-equipped stone cottages are pleasantly adorned in traditional Rwandan style, whilst log fires keep guests warm at night. We highly recommend Wilderness Sabyinyo Lodge to those who want to be sure their safari in Rwanda benefits the local people, as rates include a substantial community levy.

11. Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Musanze

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is named after the 5 volcanic Virunga peaks that lie partly within Rwanda. This well-run boutique lodge is a popular base with upmarket gorilla trekking tours. 

It has a convenient location on the northern outskirts of Musanze Town, alongside the main road to the famous Volcanoes National Park. The hotel has 10 spacious rooms and suites that are built with locally sourced lava stone and come with walk-in nets and private verandas. 

Its attractive gardens are centered on a large free-form swimming pool and overlooked by a distinctive terrace restaurant serving exceptional Indian-inspired cuisine.

12. Virunga Lodge

Virunga Lodge was one of the first luxury accommodation facilities to open in the vicinity of Volcanoes National Park, and it remains another favorite.

It’s most outstanding feature is unquestionably the magnificent panoramic views, which take in 4 of the Virunga Volcanoes along with Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Guests at Virunga Lodge are accommodated in attractive stone-and-wood chalets with private verandas. The lodge is significantly farther than other luxury lodges from the meeting point for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes, but the staff are used to organizing early wake-up calls and breakfast.

13. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is set on the slopes of the Volcanoes that make up Volcanoes National Park and only a short drive from its entrance gate. It is a great choice for a simple and comfortable accommodation at the heart of the life-changing gorilla-trekking experience. Thoughtfully designed and built using local sustainable resources, the lodge’s 30 cottages are well spaced from each other and come complete with fireplaces and en suite bathrooms.

14. Singita Kwitonda Lodge

The stunning design of Kwitonda Lodge matches the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings. Nestled on the fringes of Volcanoes National Park, this upscale lodge provides easy access to the lifechanging opportunity of encountering the famous mountain gorillas – and does this in complete comfort and style. When you’re not trekking through the rainforest or climbing up a volcano, Kwitonda affords every creature comfort you need to unwind after a day of adventure.

15. Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge

At Tiloreza, it is the little touches that ensure you have a nearly perfect stay.

Before departing for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes, you’ll be provided with gaiters to keep your trousers dry in the dewy rainforest. After your exhilarating return, the staff will whisk away your muddy boots to be cleaned, and present you with a refreshing drink, warm towel and soft slippers so you can relive your experience in complete comfort.

After a delicious dinner, you find your bed being gently warmed by an old-fashioned hot-water bottle. Add to that a heated swimming pool, a sauna, a massage service and much more.

16. One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Where to stay in Rwanda

Nestled in the foothills of the iconic Volcanoes National Park is the idyllic Gorilla’s Nest Lodge. Being part of the One & Only portfolio, you would expect nothing less than an über-lavish, world-class stay. And Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, with its elegant contemporary style and indulgent luxury offerings fits the bill. The endangered mountain gorillas might be the reason for your visit to Rwanda, but the lifestyle at Gorilla’s Nest will be the reason you start planning a trip back the minute you leave.

17. Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Although it doesn’t pretend to match the nearby One&Only in terms of unbridled luxury, this comfortable and welcoming lodge is easily the best option in Nyungwe National Park for visitors on a more restricted budget.

Its best feature is a spectacular hilltop setting offering stunning views east over the vast rainforest and west towards Lake Kivu. Accommodation is in large stone chalets, all of which have a sitting room with fireplace and a private balcony. Meals are taken in a circular two-story traditional-style building with a tall thatched roof.

18. One & Only Nyungwe House

Where to stay in Rwanda

One & Only Nyungwe House is the most prestigious and costly lodge serving Nyungwe National Park. The lodge stands in a pretty tea estate scattered with relict forest patches inhabited by a wealth of beautiful monkeys and birds.

It has spacious chalets that combine an organic wooden feel with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, television, hot tub and private balcony. There is also a heated infinity pool, a spa and mountain biking. If you are looking for a super-luxurious base for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda and other activities in Nyungwe, this is the obvious choice.

19. Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

A key ingredient to every successful safari holiday is some time spent on a pristine beach. Rwanda might not have Zanzibar or Kenya’s Coast, but that does not mean you can’t get your dose of fun under the sun.

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is located on a private beach on the banks of beautiful Lake Kivu, one of the series of Great Lakes on the Great Rift Valley floor. Here, you will be able to tan, swim and build sandcastles to your heart’s content. Lake Kivu’s tranquil waters aren’t the hotel’s only drawcard; there are a host of other activities such as boat cruises, kayaking, fishing and more.

20. Forest of Hope Guesthouse

This super exclusive two-bedroom property is the only accommodation servicing Gishwati-Mukura National Park – Rwanda’s newest national park, whose Gishwati sector effectively operates as a private concession for the exclusive use of overnight guests.

Set on a grassy hilltop overlooking Gishwati Forest and the more distant peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes, the lodge is absolutely stunning. Guided nature walks come with a good chance of seeing chimpanzees, golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys and a variety of colorful forest birds.

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