Wilderness Safaris incorporates Rwandan culture into new camp

With the opening of Wilderness Safaris’ first lodge in Rwanda just a few weeks away, Bisate’s food and beverage team has finalised its fine dining experience, fusing local Rwandan flavours with contemporary international cuisine. 

“In keeping with the light ecological footprint adopted by all aspects of our operations and to ensure our continued support of the community, we will be sourcing most of our fresh produce from our very own kitchen garden and from neighbouring farms, all situated within a five-kilometre radius of the lodge,” said Bisate’s Food and Beverage Manager, Benjamin Nskekuye. “The menu evolves with the seasons, according to what nature allows

“Our chefs will use only the freshest ingredients, old-world techniques and modern inspiration to create a sustainable and unique dining experience”, he explained. “The menu evolves with the seasons, according to what nature allows us to harvest, as we only take what we need from the land. The altitude and climate of Bisate calls for slow-cooked, hearty but healthy dishes and by serving them in colourful ceramics we can highlight both the natural ingredients and the atmospheric forest setting”.

Local ingredients likely to feature strongly in Bisate’s menu planning include wild honey, avocado, climbing beans, mango, kale, papaya, plantain, passion fruit, pineapple, macadamia nuts and chilies. A highlight for many will be the Rwandan coffee sourced from the local Kigufi Coffee Estate, called Gato Keza.

“We will have coffee tastings and different flavours of the Gato Keza coffee available so that our guests can order the coffee of their liking with our barista,” said Bisate GM, Ingrid Baas. “Our service staff have received training on the different types of coffee and how to make the best coffee from bean to cup; guests will also notice hints of coffee flavour in some of the dishes during their meals, especially in some of the desserts.

Signature Bisate dining experiences will include interactive dining with the lodge’s resident Rwandan chefs, giving guests the opportunity to experience local dishes such as liboke (chicken cooked and served in banana leaves), sambaza (fried, spicy small fish served with ginger rice), coconut fish and kachumbari (a traditional tomato and onion salad).

Guests can dine in the wine cellar, and wine tasting will be offered before dinner. Guests will be able to walk to the Bisate nursery for an alfresco lunch, harvesting their own ingredients to use in their meal. In-villa dining will also be available.

Bisate has also revealed details regarding its wellness offering. The on-site masseuse, Orlane Delice Umutesi, will provide a full range of massage treatments for guests to enjoy in their villa, including Bisate’s signature massage, Intonga Amasatchi. This is a deep tissue massage for relieving stress and makes use of different-sized wooden sticks to stretch tight muscles and ease toxic overload.

Baas says the yellowwood rods represent wisdom and direction to traditional healers. A special blend of orange, geranium, lemon and lemongrass oils is used as part of the in-villa massage offering. Guests can also make use of the in-villa gym and yoga equipment will be on offer.