President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame have this afternoon inaugurated Singita Kwitonda Lodge at Volcanoes National Park alongside Luke Bailes, Chairman of Singita.
Set on 178 acres (72 hectares) on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, Kwitonda Lodge boasts eight luxurious suites, while Kataza House, an exclusive-use villa, features four spacious suites.
Singita Founder and Executive Chairman, Luke Bailes said that today marks the culmination of a 5 year journey, which started when they received a phone call requesting him to attend a meeting with His Excellency, President Paul Kagame.
“Singita, with its commitment to conservation and hospitality at the highest level, was regarded as being ideally suited to assist His Excellency in delivering an exceptional hospitality experience,” he said.
Luke noted that Singita has worked for 25 years in many parts of the continent and is very positive about the future of tourism in Africa.
“Currently, only 3% of world tourism comes to Sub‐Saharan Africa and all indications are that this figure is set to grow significantly over the next 10 years,” he explained.
Luke reiterated reiterated Singita’s commitment to playing a role in ensuring this becomes a reality in Rwanda, as well as in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
President Kagame acknowledged Singita Group Founder and Chairman for building such a beautiful and high-end facility.
He also acknowledged Paul Milton, whose firm led its construction working with a team of Rwandan and international consultants.
“As said earlier, we were talking about high-end. For a property like this to be built in Rwanda, the conversation was about that being possible. Now I discover that this is higher-end than the end I was talking about. So it has exceeded my expectation,” he said.
He also recognised Mikael Andren, representing the owner, Paul Tudor Jones, a very special investor, who is equally committed to African conservation and the development of the hospitality sector on the continent.
President Kagame noted that the tour they just had was really very impressiv and that Singita is one of the world’s top hotel brands.
“Rwanda is happy to be associated with the company. And I think you have raised Rwanda’s brand as well. So we thank you.”
Kagame said that like Singita, Rwanda is striving to offer visitors the highest levels of service. “Quality must be the hallmark of the “Visit Rwanda” experience. This is what we all work towards,” he said.
He urged the people of the area to work hard to meet the demand that this lodge has created in terms of what needs to be consumed.
He also reminded the leaders of Musanze District to earn money by continuing to provide the comfortable, secure environment that Rwandan people are expected to provide.
The President said that they need to work together to keep adding value to this asset that has been put in their hands by the gracious investors.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge is named after a legendary silverback gorilla known for his humility and gentle nature, is made up of a collection of small buildings laid out along the natural contours of the ground.