Team Rwanda’s Gorilla Encounter

Wilderness Bisate GM Ryan Dewes reports on a wonderfully unexpected gesture from a family who stayed at the lodge recently.

Hospitality is not just a job, it is truly a calling. In this difficult but rewarding career, there come certain sacrifices that one must make. One is the long hours that we work to put in the time and love for our incredible guests. The other is the fact that we work in these extraordinary places, but seldom get to experience much of the beauty ourselves… this was not the case at Wilderness Bisate last month, when a wonderful family donated five gorilla permits so that some of our staff could go and experience the main attraction – the gorillas first hand.

Names were thrown in a hat and five lucky staffers were drawn. Lunch packs and trekking gear were organised, and a Land Cruiser and coffees were provided to give our staff the true guest adventure.

We are happy to report that our staff had a spectacular gorilla encounter and have come back with stories and memories that will no doubt last forever. This is what they had to say:

Jean Bosco Iradukunda – Waiter

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude on those who have lighted the flame within us. I’m turning 26, and never in my life had I seen a gorilla, but today literally two days after my birthday, Wilderness has made what I didn’t think will come to pass even in my forties, frankly speaking.

The fullness of life has been unlocked, this day has unlocked confusion into clarity, today has turned a denial into an acceptance, today has turned a meal into a feast and today has turned strangers whose curiosity to see the gorillas landed them into the same group as we were into friends.

We’re not just uttering a special day we’ve had today, rather it is an experience our guests will be enriched with and it is gonna be a bedtime story our grandchildren will love to be narrated to time and time again.

Diane Busheja Uwase – Kwanda Assistant

We do not take this for granted. Thank you for making my dream come true. I can’t ask for more than this. Please give a lot gratitude to the best and generous guests who paid for our gorilla permits. They made our dreams come true, words can’t explain how grateful I am.

Aimable Rukundo Ramadhan – Barman-waiter

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for thinking of us. We are very grateful. We had a great experience! I will remember this forever.  

Jean d’Amour Mudakemwa – Head of Housekeeping

After many years waiting for the opportunity to visit gorillas, I didn’t realise that someone else was thinking about what was on my mind! I didn’t know what I will do to see the gorillas. The truth happened after coming from Igisha group. My dreams came true after seeing the silverback and his family. From the park headquarters, after our briefing, I was really excited as we all need to see gorillas and to know how our guests enjoy such activity as well! After two-and-a-half hours driving, we took another two hours to reach the gorillas with curiosity. I’m really lucky. No other gift I’ve ever had is like visiting the gorillas. Thank you.

Adelaide Irategeka – Waitress

Me, I am speechless, it was incredibly amazing and a dream coming true. Thank you.  

Our staff love to share their experience with guests and colleagues whenever they get a chance, connecting over a dream that really did come true. We extend a huge thank you to our lovely guests who made this all possible.