Exclusive interivew: Singita founder Luke Bailes on protecting mountain gorillas in Rwanda

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Kimberly: How is Rwanda’s venture uniquely situated to embellish Singita’s visionary ‘100-year purpose’?

Luke: Singita’s 100-year purpose is to protect and preserve large areas of African wilderness for future generations. In August 2019, Singita stepped into the next chapter by opening its first non-safari property, Singita Kwitonda, on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (VNP). Much of the forest around VNP has been levelled to make way for agriculture and we believe reforesting this particular area is imperative.

Kimberly: Can you elaborate on Akarabo Nursery’s ambitious goals?

Luke: Named Akarabo (meaning ‘little flower’ in Kinyarwanda) our on-site nursery at Singita Kwitonda was born from our commitment to help reforest, rehabilitate and increase the natural habitat of Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorillas. Initially, 60,000 saplings were bought from local growers and earmarked for the land the lodge sits on. This number quickly grew to 250,000 saplings before the lodge opened.

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