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The Bishop’s House

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“The Bishop’s House makes for the perfect base from which to trek the gorillas in nearby Volcanoes National Park. The property offers great value for money in what is a notoriously expensive destination, whilst its nine rooms ensure a tranquil, personalised stay.”


If you’re looking for excellent value accommodation not far from Volcanoes National Park, The Bishop’s House is well worth considering! With just nine rooms, it offers great service too.

The Bishop’s House is privately owned and run. It was previously known as Villanova Boutique Hotel and opened as The Bishop’s House in mid-October 2017 following a period of renovations. Please note, although all ages are welcome the property is best suited to adult travellers due to the sophisticated style of the accommodation. Additionally, there’s a minimum age requirement of 15 years for gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park. The price of your stay here includes all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, 24-hour room service, a laundry service, and Wi-Fi. The house is open throughout the year.

Access & location: 

The house is accessed via the town of Ginseli or Kigali via aircraft flight or road transfer. It’s situated in the village of Ruhengeri, just 25 minutes’ drive from Volanoes National Park.

Accommodation & facilities at The Bishop's House:

Guest accommodation consists of just nine rooms, all positioned within the house itself, which also contains all communal spaces. The main feature of every room is its antique four-poster bed with immaculately carved wooden headboard, which lends a colonial feel. Other furnishings include bedside stands and lighting, a writing desk and chair, a separate seating area, and ample storage units. Among the in-room amenities are a television, a telephone, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, a safe, and Wi-Fi. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirrors over, and walk-in shower. It’s possible to book connecting rooms, and access for wheelchair users is available. Please contact a member of the YZ team to discuss the options in further detail.

The communal areas at The Bishop’s House include its comfortable lounge, which has plenty of well-cushioned seating around coffee and occasional tables, a cosy fireplace, a few intriguing artefacts, and a selection of reading material. The furnishings are fairly modern, but there’s a colonial flavour too. Double doors lead out onto a pleasant patio, where you can relax and soak up some sunshine. The house also contains a library, and a restaurant serving up the likes of full or continental breakfast, lavish lunches, and six-course dinners! There’s a well-stocked bar as well, in addition to a gift shop that’s great for browsing for souvenirs. The spa services on offer include a range of massages. Finally, you can also relax and perhaps enjoy a meal or two in the garden, which has a few tables-and-chairs set up under parasols amidst a few palm trees and colourful flowers.

Activities at The Bishop's House: 

The Bishop’s House offers an exciting variety of activities, as follows:

  • Expertly guided gorilla treks

    - The house is conveniently situated for access to Volcanoes National Park, the setting for gorilla treks. Within the park, there are ten habituated groups of mountain gorillas. It can take a few hours to locate a group, and the way through the forests can be challenging at times, but the experience of being in the presence of these majestic mammals is well worth the effort! Trekkers enjoy a whole hour in the gorillas’ company, to watch them eat, play, fight, groom, or rest together.
  • Golden monkey treks

    - This activity is also accompanied by a knowledgeable and experienced guide. Golden monkeys might be significantly smaller than the mountain gorillas, but they’re just as thrilling to observe, with their sumptuous coats and intelligent faces.
  • Visit to Dian Fossey's tomb

    - Murdered in 1985 due to the success of her conservation work, American primatologist Dian Fossey is buried in a site within the midst of rainforest and surrounded by the graves of gorillas. While you are here, you could also visit the remains of Dian’s research centre nearby.
  • Volcano hikes

    - The topography of Volcanoes N.P. lends itself well to strenuous ascents! For example, you could climb Mount Bisoko – the views from the top are absolutely spectacular.
  • Day visit to lakes Burera and Ruhondo

    - A trip to either or both of these lakes makes for a very relaxing day out, with plenty of opportunities to spot a fine assortment of waterbirds.
  • Tour of Musanze Caves

    - Situated just outside Ruhengeri, the caves were formed after various lava flows merged to create the Albertine Rift Valley. They’re fascinating to explore, not least for their bat populations.
  • Tour of Iby'iwacu cultural village

    - This tour is perfect for travellers who like a little culture on holiday. It involves interactions with the local medicine man and dance performances by people from the area.
  • Evening cultural talk

    - Offered free of charge, this talk is provided by The Bishop’s House’s own naturalist. It provides some interesting insights into the wildlife of Volcanoes.
  • Evening guided walks to villages and Musanze town 

    - Another activity included in the price of your stay, walks are highly recommended for getting to know the local culture. For further information about this, or anything else to do with staying at The Bishop’s House, please get in touch with a member of our team.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

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