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  • Writer's pictureXPEDITION Magazine

One&Only Gorilla's Nest to Open in Rwanda this November

Offering an exclusive front-row seat to one of the world’s most popular mountain gorilla sanctuary, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will begin welcoming guests on 1 November 2019. Cushioned in the foothills of the breathtaking Virunga volcano range, guests will be awe-inspired and explore where few have been before in one of the world’s most exceptional natural locations. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is the ultimate ultra-luxury resort in Kinigi, northwest of Rwanda and just five minutes from Volcanoes National Park. The park is home to the highest number of mountain gorillas, five dormant volcanoes and is categorised as a rainforest because its montane ecosystem. 

Guests of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will receive a traditional Rwandan welcome as vibrant drummers can be heard as they drive through the large wooden gates along the local volcanic stone pathway, revealing the dramatic Eucalyptus forest ahead. A signature rose welcome drink from the resort’s rose garden, or locally produced coffee can be enjoyed from the Main Lodge where fireplaces burn and local African artwork can be discovered, and is the place where everyone gathers after a long day of trekking. 

Beautifully designed private sanctuaries seamlessly blend with the location and offer an intimate collection of 21 jungle-chic havens. Featuring 10 Forest King Lodges, four Two-Bedroom Forest Lodges, five Virunga Suites, one Ingagi and Silverback Suite, each space is designed to frame nature, and is surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and strategically positioned on stilts. Private decks and in-room fireplaces provide guests the opportunity to live amongst the endless landscape, inviting the outside in, and allowing for a truly unforgettable African experience. Suites offer spacious living and dining areas, as well as a true natural experience with outdoor bathtubs high amongst the trees, offering ultimate privacy. Each lodge design is modern with an African contemporary feel, showcasing the hues of the surrounding vistas, and colours of the earth and natural, local volcanic rock, with touches of black and white Rwandan imigongo patterns.  

Guests can look forward to enjoying meals in the main restaurant, Nest, offering dining both indoor and out, as well as offer a private dining area for up to 22 guests. Executive Chef Bryan English and his team will focus on local and organic ingredients, making use of the abundant produce from local farmers as well as his own Chef’s Garden. Similar to One&Only Nyungwe House, the culinary team will work on a new menu daily with a focus on Rwandan and African influences, based on guests’ preferences and dietary needs. Private outdoor dining experiences, barbeques and picnics will also be an option for guests, alternatively lighter meals will also be served at the Pool Bar throughout the day. Nest Bar will serve traditional cocktails with a modern twist incorporating rose water and Eucalyptus from the surrounding forest. 

The One&Only Spa in partnership with South African brand, Terres d’Afrique, will offer guests holistic treatments using plant-based African ingredients and will provide two treatment suites in a private building. Guests will have the opportunity to select treatments tailored to a specific area of the body. Three signature treatments, only found at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, will pay homage to the location, taking inspiration from the local community and surroundings, and will include the Forest Coffee and Coconut Treatment, The Gorilla’s Nest Essence of Rose and Post Trek & Travel. Guests will also have access to Club One facilities offering a relaxation room, an open-air heated pool and plunge pool, as well as the Fitness Centre with steam room and sauna, and the Pool Bar offering healthy options with fruit juices evolving into evening cocktails.

In tribute to the destination, guests will not only have access to the activities in the National Park, but a diverse range of on-resort activities which can be booked at the dedicated Experience Centre. Each activity will cater to the physical strength of each guest with the Experience Team lead by Marelize Conradie who will tailor-make each itinerary based on guests’ preferences. Some activities that guests can look forward to include Coffee Tasting with the resort’s barista and local coffee expert. Musanze (Kinigi) is a well-known coffee farming area in Rwanda and guests will get the opportunity to taste a variety of coffee beans sourced from a female-run cooperative coffee farm. Guests will also be able to enjoy yoga on one of the outdoor decks, learn photography at the Studio, or cycle to a nearby community where they can learn about the Rwandan culture and history, the art of basket weaving and enjoy the traditional dance and music performances to name a few. 

Located just two and a half hours from Kigali International Airport, guests will appreciate the scenic drive through rolling hills of the countryside and fascinating towns, or be able to take a breathtaking 25 minute flight in a helicopter departing from the airport and landing at the resort’s private helipad. 

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is the second One&Only in Rwanda, joining One&Only Nyungwe House which opened in October 2018. The Resort will begin welcoming guests on 1 November 2019. For more information or reservations, please visit:


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