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Rwanda / One&Only Gorilla's Nest

With eucalyptus trees as camouflage, the traditional wooden Rwandan lodges of the One&Only troop aren’t shy when it comes to welcoming interlopers to their wild and wonderful home.

Kitted out with creature comforts and rustic furnishings, there’s no denying that One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Kinigi on the border of Volcanoes National Park makes a fitting basecamp. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, as the name would suggest, it mirrors the lush home of the endangered residents that live just up the peaks. You wouldn’t come here if gorillas weren’t on the brain, and joining our second closest relative in the animal kingdom is a whole Jungle Book cast, from mountain elephants and buffalo to golden monkeys and spotted hyenas. Special trekking permits are essential, they don’t just protect the gorillas, but the proceeds also go back into preserving their natural environment – so make sure to purchase one before arrival.

They may be its namesake, but it’s about far more than seeking out silverbacks in their natural habitat here. Gorilla’s Nest is part of the local community and as well as hiring residents from the surrounding area, they’re keen on getting guests involved with their way of life. Rwandan culture is celebrated with craft lessons alongside local women and performances of ancestral poetry and dances. It even works its way into the spa, where treatments are crafted using indigenous botanicas based on ancient tribal remedies.

Travel notes:

  • 21 lodges and suites
  • Reminder: a permit is essential for wildlife trekking and must be purchased before departure
  • Dining is a farm-to-fork affair at The Nest, with private dining available anywhere from the chef’s garden to a picnic hike
  • Visit the former cottage of wildlife expert, Jack Hanna, which has been reborn as a space for guests to hideaway and enjoy private dining, cooking classes, the bespoke games room and library
  • Arrive by helicopter for breathtaking views before touching down between the trees
  • Twin with One&Only Nyungwe House for the ultimate gorilla trekking itinerary

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When to visit Rwanda & Uganda?

Gorilla tracking takes place year round – early booking is essential as permits are strictly limited. The climate is pleasantly tropical due to the high altitude and the temperature varies little year round. The rainier months are generally between March to May and mid September to November.

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