From the balcony of my villa at daybreak, I can see the nearby village creaking to life.
Children are walking to school in their blue uniforms, and a farmer slings a hoe into the ground. The Africa of travelers’ imaginations is defined by vast open spaces—the treeless plains, the lonely desert—but Rwanda is the most densely populated country on the continent, and a trip here comes with an awareness that you’re sharing this space.
I sip my coffee in the morning breeze, and my eyes wander out to the mountain dominating the landscape. Mount Bisoke is one of several volcanoes in the Virunga chain, and every room at Bisate Lodge offers a front-row seat to its majesty. Although the peak spends much of the day hiding behind clouds, at this early hour, sunbeams shoot out from behind the crown like a kind of holy light, and I can understand why people from another era might have believed it was magical.